Joe Rimelspach reported that Ohio had its first confirmed case of gray leaf spot on August 19, 2015 in the Columbus area. 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/.
Dave Shetlar 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 are the nemesis of white grubs. The wasps may be seen cruising a few inches above the turfgrass, often in loops or a figure-8 pattern, searching for signs of white grubs.
Rough bluegrass (Poa trivialis) is considered a major grassy weed on lawns, golf courses, and sports fields because of its invasive nature, patch-like growth pattern, and habit of going dormant in the summer.
Several BYGLers reported that the annual rise of rust on turfgrass is beginning to occur in both the northern and southern portions of Ohio; 'tis the season. While turfgrass rust may occur in the spring, the disease most commonly appears in Ohio in mid-to-late summer with infections continuing into the fall.
Since the constant rain has stopped, turfgrass growth has slowed and you do not need to mow as often. Turf pathologist Joe Rimelspach noted there is rust on lawns in central, northeast and northwest Ohio; but it is not a big concern at this time. He reported dollar spot scars are lingering but the disease is not too active. In addition, the drying down of the grass is causing brown spots and thin spots in some areas so don't be surprised if you see brown tracks where the mower moves across the lawn.
On Tuesday August 11, 2015 the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation and The Ohio State University together sponsored an OUTSTANDING Turfgrass Research Field Day. From golf greens to sports turf to homeowner lawns and everything in-between, the latest and greatest findings from The Ohio State University (OSU) researchers was presented. It was also a kind of "Farewell Tour" salute for Dr. John Street, who has been associated with turfgrass and OSU for over 35 years! Dr.
Todd Hicks and Joe Rimelspach discuss turf conditions around the state and the concern over shallow roots.
Dave Shetlar reported that he has received numerous phone calls and e-mails in recent weeks from turfgrass managers located in eastern Ohio who are seeing areas of turfgrass that have been excavated by skunks and raccoons, particularly under or near large deciduous trees. The timing and location of the damage is no accident: The eastern part of the state, along with PA, WV, VA, and MD will experience the emergence of Brood V of 17-year PERIODICAL CICADAS. The furry insectivores are digging for late instar cicada nymphs located not too far below the soil surface.
Several BYGLers gave reports of renewed Japanese beetle activity around Ohio. It has been several years since this beetle has shown up in any great numbers.
Erik Draper reported that turf conditions in northeast Ohio have gone from lush and succulent green to toasty brown and crisp within the past week. For the first time since the beginning of June, we have not received any form of substantial precipitation for over 2 weeks; consequently, the turf which we could not previously mow fast enough, now with high temperatures and no rain, has now gone brown and summer dormant!