Everything You Need to Know about Armyworms
- Adult armyworm moths are most active at night. Female armyworms lay a minimum of 50 eggs and can lay as many as a few hundred. Within several days these eggs hatch and the larvae feed on the best leaves available: your lawn.
- Larvae feed for 2 to three weeks before pupating, during which time they consume huge swatches of grass.
- Heat drives off armyworms. They’re most active in late summer and early fall, resting during the day and becoming active in early mornings and evenings. Cooler weather causes armyworms to become more active during the day.
- According to some UGA Cooperative Extension agents, this summer may bring the worst armyworm infestation in 25 years.
- The best way to spot armyworm damage is to pay close attention to the lawn. Young armyworms often eat leaves in areas that aren’t immediately apparent, causing significant lawn damage before they’re found. It’s especially easy to overlook armyworms in thick, healthy grass.
- Watch out for grubs. They go after your plants’ tender root systems in early summer.
- Adjust your mower blades to 3 inches and mow frequently.
- Manually remove any weeds that have slipped past your pre-emergent herbicides.
- Water deeply and infrequently to allow water to reach your lawn’s roots. Healthy lawns need about 1 inch of water per week. Water early in the morning or at sunset to minimize evaporation.
- Look for pooling water after summer storms. These indicate irrigation issues you’ll need to address in the future.
- Clean underneath your lawn mower once a month to prevent diseases from spreading.
- Patch any dead or bare areas in the yard.
- Keep the yard clear of debris.
- Aerate and overseed the lawn if you didn’t do so in the spring.
- Only fertilize the lawn early in the season. Fertilizing in late autumn jumpstarts growth just as the grass enters dormancy, which increases the risk of winter injury.
- Keep the lawn clean of debris.
- Minimize lawn traffic, which damages dormant grass.
- Don’t forget to water your lawn in the winter. It needs less moisture than it does in the summer, but the grass still needs adequate hydration.
- Sharpen mower blades. Dull blades will tear the grass, opening it up to further damage and disease.
- Tune your mower to ensure it runs smoothly all summer. Check your spark plug and air filter.
- Refill the gas. First drain old gas, which can get watered down and damage your mower’s engine.
- Clean up winter debris. This will help your lawn grow without dead patches.
- Apply pre-emergent herbicides to stop weeds before they sprout.
- Fertilize your lawn just before the start of growing season.
- Aerate and overseed your grass to keep it in peak health.
WateringWatering seems straight forward, but you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of the water you give your grass. Avoid watering during peak sun hours. Watering early in the day and before it gets too hot allows the water to get down into the soil and root system. If you have an irrigation system with a timer, make sure you set the start time between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and let it run for 30 minutes.
MowingMowing is an essential part of keeping your grass healthy, but it can also be mildly stressful for your lawn. Mowing during the hours of peak heat can compound the stress and effect the overall health of your lawn. It’s also important to make sure you don’t cut your grass too short. St. Augustine grass and other similar species commonly found in Georgia should never be cut lower than 3-4 inches. Your best bet is to set your mower blade to the highest possible setting and mow your grass once a week at most.
InsecticideInsects kill more lawns than possibly anything else. And while insecticides are an important factor in keeping your yard green, there are a lot of different options to choose from. At Alternative Environments, we can help you find the perfect solution for your yard, whether you want an organic method, eco-friendly sprays, or pellets. For more information on how to keep your grass vibrant and beautiful all year long, give us a call today!
Summer is finally here! The temperature is going up, which can make it harder to cool down–for you or your yard. You want your yard to be at it’s best, so you can continue to reap the benefits, so here are some simple tips you can implement this summer to keep your yard healthy while the heat is on.
- Plant power: Not all plants are created equal. Some trees and shrubs are better at navigating the hot, dry months of summer than others. We can help you get set up with drought-resistant plants that are better equipped to handle Georgia summers.
- Maintain upkeep: Pruning is necessary for plants to grow their strongest. Getting rid of the old branches to help the plant focus on growing new, healthy limbs is an essential part of landscape maintenance, no matter what season it is.
- Check the soil: Healthy soil is necessary for healthy plants. Avoid potential problems by making sure you are using the right soil for your plants. With the right soil, trees and shrubs are protected against disease, pests, and other stressors.
- Water well: All plants are unique, and they all need water to survive. Making sure they have enough water (but not too much) is crucial to plant care. Here are some tips for watering trees and shrubs to help them flourish.
- Patrol for pests: Plant pests can be a pain! Be on the lookout for any unusual signs of pest activity on your trees and shrubs so you can prevent any issues before they happen.
At Alternative Environments, we are committed to making the customer happy by keeping your yard in it’s best health. Request an estimate today and see how Alternate Environments can support you and your lawn this summer.