TURF TIPS

Mud "chimneys," the nuisance handiwork of TERRESTRIAL or BURROWING CRAYFISH, are rising above turfgrass in southwest Ohio. There are several species of burrowing crayfish, but most belong to two genera: Cambarus and Fallicambarus. Like their aquatic cousins, these crayfish use gills to extract oxygen from water.


The onset of turfgrass green-up in the spring may bring complaints of patches of grass in home lawns that appear very different from the surrounding turfgrass. If lawns were spot-seeded last fall, patches of light-green, thin-bladed grass may simply be juvenile plants; it takes a full season for turfgrass to mature. Patches of grass that don't match the color, texture, or growth rate of the surrounding turfgrass may also be another turfgrass, or a grassy weed.


As turfgrass begins to "green up" and show signs of life, patches of bleached out grass are becoming very obvious in some lawns. These patches in some cases are turf that was damaged by PINK SNOW MOLD/MICRODOCHIUM PATCH (Microdochium nivale, formerly referred to as Fusarium nivale). Pink snow mold-damaged turfgrass appears as sunken, flattened, matted, tan-colored patches of grass.

Issue:

Overwintered ground-nesting bees are becoming active in southwest Ohio. Although there are a number of species of ground-nesting bees representing several hymenopteran families, the species currently on the wing belongs to the family Andrenidae. The common name for this family is "mining bees;" however, these important native pollinators are most often called "ground-nesting bees," as well as "burrowing bees," or "digger bees" owing to their soil excavating nesting habit.

Issue:

How would you like to participate in an EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE that covers the ENTIRE landscape from TURFGRASS to TREES & SHRUBS? Wouldn't that be ideal? Maybe you're a turfphile that suddenly is responsible for the ornamental plants on the job and you don't know where to start!


Although proper turfgrass maintenance programs can greatly reduce the invasive pressures of the various turfgrass weeds, even the highest quality turfgrass areas will occasionally be invaded by one or more weed species. While a few weeds can be physically removed, considerable weed encroachment may require chemical controls. Fall is the best time of year to control many of the perennial broadleaf weeds (e.g. dandelions, violets, ground ivy).


It is not a good idea to allow whole tree leaves to accumulate and lie on lawns over the winter. The dense layer of leaves will decompose very slowly if at all. The matted down leaves hold excess moisture over the grass potentially promoting turfgrass diseases such as snow mold. They provide harborage for animals such as voles.


There is an age-old suggestion to lower mowing heights in the fall to avoid turf diseases developing during the winter. This is not necessarily accurate. Ohio State University turfgrass specialists say that it is more important to KEEP MOWING until the grass stops growing for the season.


There seems to be no end to the mysteries of grubs in Ohio! This week, BYGLers tackled the existential question, "How can a lawn have high grub populations when the Japanese Beetles were few to non-existent this year?" Dave Shetlar, our ever-knowledgeable "Bug Doc," reminded us that all grubs are NOT created equal.


Curtis Young, Dave Shetlar, and Joe Boggs reported that fall crane flies (Tipula spp.) are rising from turfgrass in northwest, central, and southwest Ohio, respectively. They look like giant, mutant mosquitoes; a startling image outside of a sci-fi movie. Fortunately, crane flies do not possess mosquito-like piercing mouthparts, so they do not bite.


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