April 20, 2011
IT’S TIME TO CONTROL THE CRABGRASS
A drive around the area will allow you to see the forsythia bushes coming into bloom. This means that it is time to get the crabgrass control onto your lawn.
Crabgrass is a coarse leaf grass that grows low to the ground. It is an annual weed. This means that the plants that were growing in your yard last year are now dead and you won’t have to deal with last years weeds springing back to life. However, Mother Nature has a very good sense of humor. Even though last years crabgrass plants are dead, they did leave you a present. During the late summer, last years plants produced hundreds of seeds. These seeds fell onto the ground before the plants died. These seeds will soon sprout and you will have a new generation of crabgrass plants growing in your lawn.
Since last years weeds are dead, you can prevent an infestation of crabgrass in your lawn by eliminating those crabgrass seeds before they have a chance to turn into new plants. The seed of the crabgrass germinates at about the same soil temperature that causes the forsythia bushes to drop their flowers. Now is the time to apply your crabgrass control products.
If you need to re-seed your lawn, you need to be careful about which crabgrass control product you use. The conventional crabgrass control lasts in the soil for 13 weeks. Along with killing the crabgrass seed, it will also kill your grass seed. If you need to seed your lawn, make sure that you chose a control that allows you to re-seed this spring.
Many of you will remember the orange colored growth that appeared on the cedar trees last year. It was very strange looking to say the least. This was a disease called cedar – apple rust. This disease attacks the cedar trees one year and then attacks the apple trees the following year. The disease is spread by the wind from one plant to the next. This means that trees in the apple family, including crabapple trees, will be prone to infection this year. You can prevent this from happening by spraying your apple trees with a fungicide. The timing of the application of the fungicide is important. As the flower buds swell on the apple trees, you should apply the fungicide when you see the pink color in the swelling buds. The next application is applied when ¾ of the flower petals have fallen. The third and final application is applied 10 days later. It is very important to remember that you don’t apply any spray when the flowers are open. This has the potential to kill the bees that will visit the flowers when the blooms open.
When applied at the proper time, the fungicide will prevent the spread of cedar – apple rust to the apple trees.
As your ornamental trees begin to wake up, you may notice that a small caterpillar will be attacking the new growth. This caterpillar is very likely to be the larval stage of the winter moth. This caterpillar can be very destructive and has the potential to do major damage to your trees. I think it is too late to apply a dormant oil spray to kill the eggs of this moth. At this point, watch your trees for signs of caterpillars and apply a spray at the first sign of the caterpillars. It is much easier to control this caterpillar earlier rather than later.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.