We have just come through one of the coldest and wettest winters in 20 years.
Coupled with these unseasonably cold conditions, on the Lower Mainland, many lawns have been ravaged by the European Chafer beetle.
The grub of this beetle feeds on the roots of turf grasses and if this damage doesn’t kill off the lawn, the skunks, crows and racoons finish the job when they go after the grubs. Very frustrating!!
I would like to add at this stage that although these critters are making a mess of the turf, they are also removing a large part of the population and thereby reducing long term damage. Hard to turn a blind eye to them, but worth noting…
All of this has resulted in many lawns looking beat up
There are a few simple tips to start the recovery of your lawns:
- If the sod has been torn up and is uneven, press all lifted sod and grass back into place. After which a light rolling would bring most of the upturned areas level.
- With our high rainfalls which contribute to increased soil acidity, an application of dolomite lime, should lower the pH to more acceptable levels for optimum growth.
- It is at this time when you need to assess if you need to over-seed. It is rare that it would not be recommended. (over-seeding, chokes out weeds) Note: GardenWorks now carries a few new blends of turf grass that is more resilient to European Chafer Beetle damage due to its more aggressive root system. Ask one of our experts.
- If your soil is generally compacted from foot traffic or poor soil structure, this would be a great time to aerate with a hollow time aerator, For larger areas, use a motorised aerator. (Aerators essentially remove cores of soil that make it easier for water and nutrients to penetrate.)
- Apply GardenWorks Lawn and Top Dressing soil at this time: This blend of sand and peat will fill these cores with a material that will improve the upper few inches of soil where the grass roots inhabit. I highly recommend applying GardenWorks Premium Lawn Food 14-4-8 at this time.
- If you are struggling with moss this is another issue that I will be addressing soon.
For more information on Moss removal in lawns click HERE
TIP: If you have a European Chafer Beetle infestation, keep your lawn longer than usual (around 7.5cm) to decrease the chance of the beetle laying its eggs in your lawn. (Eggs are laid in June when the beetles are swarming)
For more information on the European Chafer Beetle, click HERE
By: Peter Fitzmaurice