New lawns require time to become established and set down a root system before they are mowed. If you’ve seeded your lawn, it may be as long as two months before it can be mowed. Sod, on the other hand, may need to be mowed within three weeks of being laid. Plugs, sprigs and stolons can take as much as six weeks to become firmly established. If you’ve seeded your lawn, all seeds must have germinated before you mow. Plugs, sprigs, stolons and sod must have roots firmly set before they’re mowed to prevent damage.
It’s your home and lawn, right? So why share them with destructive pests?
“Your yard shouldn’t be a place where you have to deal with destructive bugs or worry about the diseases they may carry,” says Bayer Advanced; Garden Expert Lance Walheim, the author of “Lawn Care for Dummies.”
But there are really two types of destructive pests: those that damage the lawn or affect people by attacking above ground, or those that attack your lawn by chewing on the grass roots. It is important to make sure you are treating for the right pests.
A few pests that can be roaming above or below your lawn
Chinch Bugs-In Southern states, the chinch bug is the most destructive pest of St. Augustine grass lawns. Consumers spend more than $50 million annually trying to control them.
Mole Crickets-This is the #1 lawn pest on the Gulf Coast. The bug damages lawns two ways: by feeding on the roots and through significant tunneling.
Ticks-Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are two illnesses transferred by ticks. Lyme disease is concentrated in New England and the mid-Atlantic states and may cause chronic arthritis if left untreated. RMSF tends to occur in the Southeastern states and causes severe headache, tiredness and other ailments.
White Grubs-The larvae of certain beetles, grubs are the most notorious of all turf-damaging soil insects. In late summer, fall and next year’s spring, grubs live in the top few inches of soil, feeding on the roots of lawn grasses and destroying the turf above. In early summer, grubs transform into adult beetles that emerge from the soil. Some, like Japanese beetles, become leaf-feeding adults that damage roses, trees and other plants above ground.
Fire Ants*-Have infested over 275 million acres within the United States over the last 76 years. As they spread, the number of mounds reaches densities of up to 1,000/acre, with each containing several hundred thousand stinging ants.
Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer for Soil & Turf, which is available in granular and spray formulas, combines two unique Bayer active ingredients that work together to control both above ground and below ground pests. One ingredient is targeted to kill surface-feeding insects on contact while the other ingredient is systemically absorbed into plants and grass roots to control and prevent insect infestations underground for up to three months. Rain or water cannot wash off this protection!
*For fire ant control with Complete Insect Killer for Soil & Turf, only mound treatment is recommended.
To put the bite on destructive pests, make sure to treat your lawn for above- and below ground insects.
Did You Know?
To fight the many insect enemies that inhabit our lawn, many experts recommend Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer for Soil & Turf, which is available in granular and spray formulas. It combines two unique, active ingredients that work together to control both above ground and below ground pests. One ingredient is targeted to kill surface-feeding insects on contact while the other ingredient is systemically absorbed into plants and grass roots to control and prevent insect infestations underground for up to three months.
Time-strapped homeowners take heart-you can have an attractive lawn. Dedicating less than two hours a week to the average lawn can produce great results if you prioritize your tasks, says the nationally known “Yard Doctor,” Trey Rogers, Ph.D.
A recent survey revealed that consumers’ number one lawn care problem was finding enough time to care for their yards.
“Having a nice-looking yard is important to most homeowners,” explains Rogers, the Michigan State University turf scientist who has helped grow grass for the Olympic Games as well as for average homeowners. “But when busy schedules create a time crunch, you can prioritize your lawn care tasks and look for shortcuts that will still allow you to have a good-looking lawn.”
Explains everything one needs to know about planting grasses, watering, fertilizing, weeding, and mowing, plus advice on dealing with trees, lawn clippings, and leaves
Prepare before you sow
The best time to sow grass seed is between early April and early September, however you must firstly carry out some preparation. Ideally sometime between March and August you must burn off any unwanted growth. Achieve this by spraying all weedy soil areas on a dry day with a herbicide containing the active ingredient Glyphosate. Apply according to the manufacturers instructions and heed safety warnings.
Grading the site
A minimum of 1 month must elapse before you start to grade or level the site, this will allow the spray to reach the roots of weeds such as docks and dandelions. Ensure nothing but light rainfall occurs when you are carrying out soil movement and grading whether it be by hand or machine. This will prevent creating a pan in the soil (a layer of smeared soil or subsoil that water cannot drain through). You must grade the site to an acceptable level without bringing subsoil to the surface; subsoil on the surface has ruined many the new lawns by causing hungry looking brown patches. When grading your soil remove any half buried timber and old tree roots as they will lead to toad stools in the established lawn. Also remove any concrete blocks and large stones; basically remove any debris bigger than your fist.