- Author: Janet Hartin
- Posted by: Elaine Lander
Your customers want their lawns to be beautiful and functional (Figure 1) but dead patches or other problems sometimes occur. Figuring out the cause of turfgrass damage can be a challenge since many plant pathogens affect grasses as well as numerous abiotic (non-living) disorders. can impact the quality of lawns, playing fields, and other turf areas.
Keeping turfgrass healthy is essential for reducing damage due to both diseases and abiotic disorders. Following recommended practices regarding irrigation scheduling, integrated pest management, fertility, mowing height, soil aeration, and other measures is your customer's best line of defense.
Identify the cause of...
Keep your lawn healthy during summer and throughout the year by learning more about proper mowing, watering, pest control, and maintenance. To do this, refer to the UC Guide to Healthy Lawns, an online publication specifically about lawn care.
What's Your Grass Type?
Knowing what kind of turfgrass you have can help you determine the best way to take care of it since different grass species often have different needs or pest issues. Use the Turf Species guide for identification help. Common turfgrass species that are best adapted to California...
In mid-March, many people use clover-themed decorations in preparation for St. Patrick's Day. Many gardens and landscaped areas are “decorated” with clovers too, especially with recent rains and mild temperatures in much of California. For some people, clovers are considered weeds, but others enjoy the green color they bring!
Clovers begin to germinate in the fall and continue throughout winter and early spring. Their bright green leaves can blemish the look of lawns and may be unsightly when found in ornamental plantings.
Clovers growing in lawns or landscapes are often a sign of low soil nitrogen, so changing fertilization can help prevent their growth. Read the UC IPM publication
Weeds can be found in just about every lawn. Weeds are not only unattractive to some people, but they compete with turfgrass for water and nutrients. But did you know that weeds are seldom a problem in well-managed, vigorously growing lawns?
Why Does Your Lawn Have Weeds?
Most lawns fall prey to weeds due to poor maintenance practices that weaken it. The three main factors likely to weaken lawns are improper irrigation, fertilization, or mowing.
In order to know how to manage weeds correctly, you'll need to identify the weeds and understand their life cycle. Certain weeds are associated with conditions such as compacted soil, overwatering, and poor drainage.
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Spring is a good time to begin monitoring for any lawn insect pests. Pest examples include various root, crown and leaf-feeding caterpillars, grubs like masked chafers, billbugs and chinch bugs.
Although insects can be serious pests of lawns, lawn damage is more frequently due to lack of proper cultural care and/or improper grass species selection for your area. An unhealthy lawn is more easily attacked by insects, weeds and diseases.
Insects are sometimes are blamed for lawn damage when the culprit may actually be disease-causing pathogens, dog urine, or abiotic causes such as leaving an item on the lawn for some time and inappropriate use of garden chemicals such as fertilizers and herbicides.
It's important to...