Friday, February 22, 2013
Winter...it's not such a bad thing...
I'm not a big fan of the snow either- it only serves to insulate the soil- it's the cold that gets me giddy.
Yet, you have to admit, we've had it pretty easy the past few winters.
You might wonder with all the ill will toward sub-zero temperatures and massive accumulations of the white stuff why I'm so happy about it?
Simple...grubs. Grubs have totally destroyed lawns over the past few years and it's only going to get worse and I'll take the help where I can get it.
Nematodes, which are the only recourse the lawn industry has to combat this uninvited guest, do work, but...and it's a big but, there are many variables involved in a successful insertion of these microscopic worms that feast on grub larvae. Many of these conditions are out of my hands from the moment I drive off after I've completed an application.
And...forget applying until mid August anyway. By that time you may have precious little turf to worry about especially if there's a sellout to the hunger games in April/May. By that I mean more than 10 grubs per square foot when the warmer weather coaxes the little buggers from slumber.
Core aeration also helps alleviate the problem slightly, but let's be honest here, there are no effective, over-night killers on the market anymore, so we have to get help from Mother Nature.
Grubs over-winter by burrowing down into the soil after they've had their all-you-eat buffet at the root level of your turf in late summer. Compounding the issue are skunks and raccoons who love nice plump grubs to dine on when they can't get into your garbage.
This year we had calls about nocturnal destruction well into the twilight of November. This told me, because it wasn't cold enough the grubs were still close to the surface- between 2 and 8 inches. So welcome the frigid blast of winter my friends. The colder the better.
There is a good chance the grub population will be culled somewhat by it and the destruction this coming season less severe. *fingers crossed*
However, as with all predictions surrounding the weather, I'm only a genius if my forecast comes to fruition.