University of Illinois Extension
Bruce Spangeberg

These articles are written to apply to the northeastern corner of Illinois. Problems and timing may not apply outside of this area.

Stateline Yard & Garden

Late Summer Lawn Update

September 4, 1997

Overall, the 1997 season has been a fairly quiet one as far as lawn problems go. That's not to say there have not been problems, or problems could still surface. Here's a review of some of the topics mentioned during the season and their current status.

White grub damage is usually a late summer concern. Adult beetles, which lay eggs that hatch into grubs, emerged later than normal this season. We typically think of grub damage starting in mid to late August, but it may not be until early September this year. Damage is most likely on lawns that were watered in late July when most of the area was dry.

So if irregular areas of your lawn start browning, carefully check the root zone by peeling back the grass on the edges of affected areas. Grubs will be present if they are in fact causing the grass to turn brown. Raccoons and skunks may also tear-up grass looking for grubs. If grubs are present, apply either trichlorfon (Dylox) or bendiocarb (Intercept) and thoroughly water into the soil.

Rust disease, a major problem of 1996, was just starting to show on some turf areas around August 1. Significant rainfall over most of the area starting in early August has helped lawns return to moderate to fast growth. Rust has not been a problem since it needs very slow growing grass to develop. If September turns very dry, we may still see rust, but probably not as severe as 1996.

Sod webworms have been appearing on some area lawns. The small, buff-colored moths lay eggs over the lawn, which hatch into caterpillars that feed on grass blades. The caterpillars are hard to find, but the damage appears as brown stubble areas in the lawn. Lots of birds on the lawn may also signal sod webworm populations are present. Significant lawn damage may be treated with triclorfon.

Finally, a reminder that now is the time for many lawn care activities, including seeding, renovation, and fertilizing.


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