It’s that time again! Customers come into the garden center holding clumps of their precious grass in their hands like a balding guy holds his hair as it falls out of his head. Don’t worry, all is not lost. This is very easy to correct and much less painful then getting hair implants. Follow these easy steps to get your lawn back to health and rid yourselves of grubs for a healthy lawn that you can be proud of.
First, you need to know the basics. What is a grub and where does it come from. Simply put, they are the larvae (babies) of the Japanese beetle. They are C-shaped worms that can range in size from 1/8″ when newborn, up to 1″ when fully grown. Beetles from your garden or neighborhood will lay their eggs on nice irrigated lawns during the months of July and August. Within 10 days the eggs will have hatched and by Labor Day they have become grub worms that are just below the surface of your grass and feeding on the roots of your lawn. The bigger they are the more damage they do by shearing off the roots of your grass. If left unchecked, the grub will dig down into the soil as the cold weather approaches in the late fall. The grubs will live about 5-6 inches under the surface. As it warms the following spring, usually in April, the grubs will move back up and start feeding again. They emerge from the ground in June as beetles and the cycle begins all over again.
If grubs are present in your lawn you will notice large brown patches developing in August to early September. The grass will come up in easy to pull out clumps because the roots are gone. You can check for grubs by taking a spade and cutting small 1′ by 1′ squares then pull the grass up like a piece of carpet. You will see them just under the surface. If it is hot dry summer damage will always be worse, especially if you are inconsistent in how you irrigate your lawn.
Control of the grub worm is very easy. If the damage is extensive and you noticed more than one grub per square foot then you need to apply Bayer Grub Control with Dylox insecticide. After you spread the remedy, you need to apply a minimum of 2 – 3 inches of water over the course of two or three days after application. This will work the Dylox down to the grub zone and kill them. There are some steps you can take to help prevent your lawn from getting grubs. First always check your landscape for the presence of Japanese Beetles. You can either spray to control them so they cannot lay their eggs or you can hang a few Japanese beetle traps around your house. Another great way is to apply Milky Spore to your lawn. This is a bacterium that is swallowed by the grub during its natural pattern of feeding. The bacteria build within the grub and weaken it and eventually it dies. As the dead grub decomposes in the soil, more spores are released giving you even more protection.
If there has been significant lawn damage then renovation will need to be done. Rake over your entire lawn and clean up any dead grass. Water sufficiently as some grass is probably still alive and the roots will re-establish. Heavily damaged areas will need re-seeding. Jonathan Green Fall Magic Grass seed is a perfect blend of perennial grasses that will help repair your lawn and does well in a full sun to part shade area. After seeding apply Jonathan Green Winter Survival fall fertilizer or Scotts Winter Guard. This will help the new grass develop and also feed the existing lawn and help get it back to health.
Getting rid of grubs is easy as is lawn renovation. Wish I could say the same for baldness. Having the perfect lawn is a great way to overcompensate and definitely better than the comb over!