August 20, 2014
In some areas, there has been a virtual invasion of Japanese Beetles. In other areas, there appears to be just a few. If you are one of the unlucky ones who have a lot of beetles, keep in mind that those beetles are laying eggs in your lawn. By about the middle of September, those eggs hatch out as grubs that will be eating the roots of your lawn. Many of you will prefer to use an organic approach to grub control. Let me give you two options.
There is a product called Milky Spore. It is a bacterium that comes in a powder form and a granular form. In the case of the powder, the powder is dropped a teaspoon at a time in piles three feet apart in rows that are three feet apart. One application of powder is all you need for grub control for 10 years or more. After you put down the powder, you should water it into the soil. The spores of the bacteria that are in the powder then wait in the soil for grubs to hatch out. As the grub starts to eat the roots of the lawn, the grub ingests the spores. The bacteria then begin to grow inside the grub and eventually kill the grub. The dead grub then releases more bacteria into the soil. This process prevents the grub from doing damage top your lawn. As I said, one application of powder is all you need to give your lawn 10 years or more of protection from grubs. The granular form can be applied with a conventional fertilizer spreader. If you use the granular form, you will need to do one application in the spring, one application in the summer and one application in the fall. The following year you will do another application in the spring, another in the summer and another in the fall. The multiple applications are needed to get enough of the bacterium into the soil to give you effective grub control. Milky Spore can be applied now to your lawn. The sooner you get those bacteria spores into the soil, the better chance you have to control those grubs.
The other organic grub control is a tiny worm like creature called nematodes. Nematodes come in a package that you mix with water and spray onto the lawn. The nematodes go into the soil and locate the grubs. They then tunnel their way into the grub and kill the grub. The nematodes will also eat flea larvae that live in the soil. Interestingly enough, the nematodes do not bother the earthworms that are in your soil. The nematodes should be applied to the soil at the time the grubs would first appear in the soil. Around here, you should apply the nematodes in mid September. If you apply them too early, they won’t have the food that they need to survive. We carry both the Milky Spore and the nematodes in our store.
Just a reminder that August is a good time to apply your second application of tick tubes to control the deer ticks that carry Lyme disease. If you have never used this product to control deer ticks, it is very effective. Again, this is a product that we carry in the store and the customers who have used it have been very happy with the results.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.