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Blog Article Red Thread

Red Thread Fungus causing brown patches in your lawn by Tony Earls

Trinity Lawns guide to Red Thread Fungus ( a lawn disease that causes brown patches )

We have been very lucky in most of our area so far this year (June 2nd 2014) as red thread fungus has not really atacked many of the lawns yet. But my gut feeling is that it will start to appear now that the weather is warmer and it has just started to turn wet again.

What does it look like?

The effect on the lawn is that brown patches (about the size of a saucer) start to appear on the lawn. On closer inspection you will probably notice a coral coloured bead about 2mm in diameter or more rarely it forms the classic antler shape on the blade of the grass.

Red Thread

 

Is it serious?

No, you should not lose sleep over this fungus, it does not last for ever and the grass will recover from it. But if you have a great lawn looking very green its very unsightly till the fungus has run its course and the damage grows out.

What can you do about it?

Normally I try to talk my customers out of treating it as it will reoccur and it is an expensive treatment. But last year we had very good results by running a regular fungicide program on a few of our customers who are very serious about their lawns and were prepaired to commit to a program. The results with this new fungicide treatment were so good that I’m going to offer it to nearly all customers.

How much does it cost?

If you are not a regular customer we can treat it for a charge of £65 per 200 square metres.

How long does it work for?

This will protect a lawn from an attack of red thread for about seven to nine weeks, if the lawn is already damaged with red thread it helps it to recover quicker and stops it from spreading over the whole lawn.

The big plus about this product is that it actualy improves the look of the lawn.

Is it worth it?

That all depends on how much you value the appearance of the lawn and how much you are prepaired to spend on it. For the first time for many years I am going to treat my own lawn with this fungicide.

As you would expect I have to keep a very good looking lawn, but this is the first year that I have had confidence in the product.

Blog Article Mushrooms in Lawn

This weeks hot question has been about mushrooms in the lawn.

 LawnMushrooms1Web

I've got a few patches of these sprung up in last day or so.
Is there any way to treat?

Not really … they are turning up now because of the damp weather.
The mushrooms themselves are not a problem you can just mow through them but I don’t advise eating them at all.
They are the “fruiting bodies” of something under the soil which is rotting away, they often manifest as a “fairy ring” which can be a real problem.
In the good times a fairy ring makes the grass grow lush and darker green, but it also makes the soil go waxy, so then the water can’t get through then you get a bare patch.
From the sound of it you have only the mushrooms, so it doesn’t sound like a real problem.
If it turns into a fairy ring then the only way we can treat it is to spike it heavily and flood the area and then put down special fungicide wetting agents. It’s a big job with a high price tag.

fairy-ring2

This is a picture of the "Fairy Ring" micelium below the surface of the turf

We do have fungicide that we spray on lawns but it’s not for mushrooms, it’s for turf fungi such as “red thread” and “fusarium
I know this probably isn’t the answer you want, but I’ll get Chris to have a look at it when he’s next there.

 

 

Blog Article Chafer Grubs

Blog 30th May 2014

Chafer Grub is a serious Lawn Problem

If you suspect you have a chafer problem too you should give us a call quickly.

I do not wish to alarm you, these are not life threatening, just lawn threatening.

Do you have a chafer problem?
If your lawn is looking green and healthy without any dead patches you probably do not have a problem.

If there are sparse patches that have occurred since last year, you may have them.

If you have had a lot of birds pecking in the lawn then you probably do have them.

What do they do?
They eat the roots of the grass plant.

What do they look like?
In the grub stage the look like a large cream coloured maggot with three pairs of legs and an amber coloured head, but right now they have gone to the beetle stage and they are a green/brown colour.

At this time of year the chafer beetles are copulating in the shrubs and then they will be laying the eggs in the turf to start the cycle again.

How do we get rid of them?
We use a pesticide which is ideally put down before the eggs hatch which will be in June.

Can I treat them myself?
You can try treating them with nematodes with a varying amount of success or there is an amateur insecticide available called “Pravado Lawn Grub Killer”. There is lots of good info and pictures on the RHS website.

 All you need to know about Chafer Grub and how to stop them ruining the lawn:

 We will discuss various methods to control Chafer Grubs and the problems of each of the methods.

 The Chafer grub is the caterpillar stage of the chafer beetle and would not normally bother us except it’s very fond of eating the roots off our turf grasses. One or two chafer grubs are quite normal in a lawn and are nothing to worry about. Occasionally though we get an infestation and this is where the problems start, these blighters not only eat the roots from our grasses they are a very attractive food source to birds as well as foxes and badgers. So sometimes you notice the secondary problem of animals feasting on the grubs before you know there is a chafer problem.

 Although most literature on these grubs put the life cycle at one year we feel that they can live in the soil for up to three years. They emerge from the grub stage into beetles usually in May.

 You may notice them flying low a few centimetres above the grass, colours from brown to green.

 They mate above ground and the female lays the eggs back in the turf. It’s reckoned that the eggs hatch in a couple of weeks and the small grubs start to feed on the lawn. 

How to break the cycle:

There are a number of measures that are used against the chafer but none are “sure fire”.

Pesticide

The only pesticide which is permitted against chafer grubs is “Merrit Turf” which is only effective to kill the small grub stage in June to July. It is not cheap and conditions have to be right.  It must be dry when applied and ideally rained on soon after to wash it in.

Nematodes

Another method is to apply nematodes which feed on the larvae. These can only be purchased during the late spring season and has variable results perhaps this is a solution for the keen amateur who is prepared to keep the nematodes in the fridge.

Chafer Pheromone Trap

I consider this is the is a “must try” as its very cheap and will at least reduce the population of the male beetles. These are best purchased on line. Make sure the one you buy is Green in colour and has no yellow parts on it or it will attract more bees than chafers and every bee counts. You only really need to hang one trap and that should attract the chafer beetles within 100 metres.

Cover the lawn with a tarpaulin

This is a method used by green keepers before pesticide control were available. The method is to flood the soil in the evening and then cover with a tarpaulin till morning. Then remove the tarpaulin and the chafer should be on the surface ready for a tasty breakfast for the birds.

To sum up:

If you suspect chafers at all get yourself a Chafer Trap in spring. This will be supplied with a liquid pheromone lure which last about six weeks. Hang this at about half a meter above the ground or as directed on instructions.

A professional lawn care operator will be able to apply a pesticide but the timing has to be right.

Repeat the following years until you are sure the infestation is over.

Then keep placing a new lure in the trap each year to keep any return problems to the minimum.

What can be done to repair the damage?

 The area will have to be re seeded or re turfed to repair the damage. But don’t rush out to re turf the area just after the first infestation has been treated as there will be probably plenty more grubs in the soil ready to cause havoc again.

What is the cost to have a pesticide Treatment?

To treat 100 sqm of lawn costs £50.00

To treat 200 sqm of lawn costs £90.00

To Treat 400 sqm of lawn costs £120.00

Each 200 sqm thereafter costs and extra £60.00 to treat.

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