Healthy lawns are less susceptible to pest damage. Good lawn care is highly recognized for managing pest. |
Inappropriate irrigation is the most common cause of lawn damage. Overwatering (shallow, frequent sprinkling) retards deep root growth and increases lawn susceptibility to stress. Poorly maintained sprinklers can apply too much water in certain spots while underwatering other areas. Brown spots from uneven water applications occur frequently and are often caused by improperly spaced irrigation heads, sunken or tilted heads, or unmatched heads that apply differing amounts of water. Correcting these physical problems with irrigation systems can decrease water waste by over 50%, decrease water bills, and most importantly, improve the health of your lawn. Lawns should be irrigated deeply and no more often than twice a week.
Appropriate fertilization encourages a dense, thick lawn that allows grass to tolerate some insect feeding. The appropriate timing and amount of fertilizer (primarily nitrogen) varies depending on factors including season, grass species, and local growing conditions. In general, most California grasses used for lawns require from 3 to 6 pounds of actual nitrogen over a 1,000-square-foot area annually during their active growing season.
Keep the blades on your lawn mower sharp and cut your turf at a mowing height appropriate for the type of lawn grass to minimize depletion of food reserves needed to outgrow insect injury. Mowing frequency and height depend on grass species, season, and the particular use of that lawn. Cool-season lawns have suggested mowing heights of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches, while warm-season lawns should be mowed to a height of 3/4 to 1 inch. No more than one-third of the grass height should be removed at one time.
Lawns also benefit from aeration. To increase water penetration and reduce soil compaction, periodically remove soil plugs using hollow tines. Thatch, which is the layer of undecomposed organic material on the soil surface, can build up and result in poor water, fertilizer, and air penetration. Thatch that is greater than 1/2 inch thick encourages caterpillar and chinch bug populations. Thatch also reduces insecticide efficacy because insecticides cannot penetrate to reach root-feeding insects. Prevent thatch by avoiding excess nitrogen application, irrigating deeply and infrequently, and minimizing the use of lawn pesticides that can reduce populations of microorganisms responsible for decomposing the thatch. If it is more than 1/2 inch thick, physically remove thatch with a garden rake, mechanical dethatcher, vertical mower, or power rake. Other methods include topdressing lawns by adding a thin layer (1/8–1/4 inch) of soil and raking or sweeping it into the thatch to encourage decomposer microorganisms. Core aerification also mixes soil into thatch, speeding decomposition.
Check your lawn regularly.
* Regular inspection of the lawn makes it possible to detect pests and other problems early.
Identification of the pest or problem:
Make sure pest problems are correctly identified.
* Plant damage may not be caused by pests. Plants can be injured by poor growing conditions, improper maintenance, road salt or dog urine. * Beneficial insects may be mistaken for pests. * Knowing about the pest and its life cycle will help you decide if and when to take action and how to prevent further problems.
Use of a variety of tactics as necessary to deal with pest problem:
Recurring pest problems are often a sign that lawn care practices need to change.
* These changes can include: o Correcting drainage or fertility problems o Adding lime o Increasing mowing height o Removing thatch
Evaluation of the results and adjustment to lawn care practices as needed.
For more helpful information on proper control, check out the main site below:
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