TURF TIPS

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.


Dave also reported that he's getting calls from concerned homeowners of BLUEWINGED WASPS (Scolia dubia) performing their low-level flight plans over home lawns. This is actually a good thing since the larvae of these blue bombers feeds on white grubs.


Dave Shetlar reported that late instar JAPANESE BEETLE grubs (Popillia japonica) in central Ohio are now yellowish-white in color, meaning they have accumulated enough fat to stop feeding and successfully survive the winter.


Julie Crook gave turfophiles in the BYGL group, a chance to "cross blades" with turfgrass identification. Someone sent to Julie, a photo of some wide-bladed, open-crowned grass in their lawn, which was disturbing their karma while gazing upon their greenness! They were wondering if the coarse-bladed invader of their green domain was really a southern incursion of Dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum).


One question, which often arises this time of year, is regarding turf and the best way to prepare for winter, often called "winterizing". There is as much misinformation, like "home or neighbor remedies" on winterizing lawns, as there is valid and accurate research to provide factual information on turf winterization.


It's that time of year again, late season grub management. Pam Bennett reported finding evidence of skunks or raccoons digging up grubs in turf. A quick check confirmed that there were many WHITE GRUBS just under the soil at the site. This week's Turf Tip Video also confirms that now is the time of year to be checking for and treating late season white grubs.


Joe Rimelspach reported that over the Labor Day weekend, gray leaf spot was active and confirmed in several locations in central and southern Ohio. This can be a very destructive disease to perennial ryegrass. If this disease is suspected and you would like confirmation send samples to the OSU Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic: http://ppdc.osu.edu .


Joe Boggs reported that he made a site visit last week to a golf course in southwest Ohio to investigate the sudden appearance of an abundance of moth egg masses. The tan colored egg masses appeared within a few days on sign posts, marker stakes, and hole marker flags. A close examination revealed that the masses consisted of one or more layers of tightly packed round eggs that were lightly "dusted" with tannish-brown, fluffy scales shed by the female moths as they laid the eggs.


Joe Rimelspach reported that turf pathologists are jumping for joy about the diversity of disease samples they have received, which could mean bad news for some lawn owners. The higher temperatures and humid, stormy weather has created conditions conducive to a slew of different turf diseases.


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