Keep mowing when the grass or weeds dictate mowing. The rule of
thumb is to remove no more than a third of the leaf blade at any
one time. This means that if your desired mowing height is 2
inches, you should be mowing when the grass gets 3 inches tall.
No summer slump this year, due to all the rain. It figures that
we mow every three days all summer long when gas is still
With relatively few adult beetles to lay eggs, which then hatch
into grubs, there will probably be very light grub pressure over
all. This would be especially true considering the excellent
growing conditions for grass this year. Grub problems are
normally found first along walks, driveways, or patios. The
insecticide must get to where the grubs are, so make sure to
water the liquid formulations in as soon as they are applied.
The two widely available products are GrubX (halofenozide) and
Merit (imidacloprid). Remember the active grubs now are from the
June bug, and weíll want to wait another two to three weeks on
trying to apply grub treatments for the Japanese beetle grub.
Carbaryl (Sevin) granules are an option for Japanese beetle
grubs, but they donít work on the other species.
Yellow grass tops are visible in many areas. This tends to
happen in very wet years when nitrogen is taken from the root
area, and trees and shrubs grab available nutrients. In the
past, treatments havenít had much effect in the current growing
season. Next year you wonít see the same problem, at least to
start the season.
Fall seeding of grass should be done between August 15 and
September 10. This is a tried and true date, but the end of the
world won't come about if you are a week later. The goal is to
give the seed enough time to germinate and become established
before bad weather arrives. Seed at the rate of 4 pounds of seed
per 1000 square feet on bare spots, or half that rate on
If you have a compacted yard, or have a deep thatch layer, these
seeding dates also define ideal times to dethatch or aerate.
Thatch layers should not be over 1/2 inch deep for optimum
growing conditions. When aerating, make sure you use a core type
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Fall fertilization is also a good practice. If you haven't
fertilized in the last month, consider applying a fertilizer
treatment around September 1. Use about 8 pounds of 13 13 13
1000 square feet of lawn. Try to avoid the high nitrogen
fertilizers this late in the year. It's hard enough to keep up
with the mowing as it is, and nitrogen promotes top growth. The
even analysis fertilizers will also promote root growth, which
is what we want going into the late fall and winter.
Crabgrass and other annuals grass weeds can be seen about
everywhere. They will die with the first frost, so treatment is
not available, or recommended, in the fall. Make a note of where
these grasses are, and an overseeding to thicken up the grasses
you want there may help crowd out the annuals. Preventative
treatments may also be applied in the spring (around April 1
depending on soil temperatures) to kill the germinating seeds.
As many have found out, a second treatment about June 1 is also
necessary since the products only last six to eight weeks.
Last, but not least, is broadleaf weed control. Fall is a
particularly good time to treat problem perennial weeds since
they are sending food down to the roots to overwinter. A spray
about the 3rd or 4th week of September (making sure to use the
appropriate product) can do a world of good on the perennial
weeds. Remember to be very careful with herbicides around
perennial plants since they are also getting ready to
overwinter. Also, waiting this late in the season reduces drift
potential for the neighborís garden. Dicamba is particularly
prone to vapor drifting, for up to two weeks, with hot, sunny
conditions. Itís hard to get a good weather forecast for two
weeks, let alone the week we are in.
[By JOHN FULTON, COUNTY EXTENSION
DIRECTOR SERVING LOGAN, MENARD, AND SANGAMON COUNTIES]