lawn care questions/problems

roorezzi(Poconos)April 29, 2007

Hi - I am in the Poconos (Stroudsburg Area) and have some questions about lawn care. We moved into this house last year in March and the lawn was pretty good. There was crabgrass and some weeds but it wasn;t bad. In the fall/early (warm) winter - the dog had torn up the grass when running.

This year we were turning the dirt a little with a bow rake to seed and I started to notice grubs. the grass last year never turned brown like I normally see with grubs. And after reading some of the forums they say that they are from Japanese Beetles. We didn't have a beetle problem last year.

We are not sure what to do?? We were going to try to seed a little and use a starte rfertilizer - but don;t know what to do about the grubs. Is it too late? Do I have to wait til the beetles emerge? Can I seed now and then do grub-ex like stuff after they emerge?

Please help a new homeowner!! I have already told my husband that it is suggested to resedd in fall and he is insisting on doing it now.

How can i control these grubs?? and get a healthy looking lawn??

Thanks in Advance!


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westhighlandblue(z6 PA)
    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 6:49AM
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earthlydelights(6 pushing 7)

ruth, i buy a bag of grub-ex and spread it on the lawn. my problem is somewhat under control, although every so often i see some when i am digging.

what we did was not only out lawn, but the neighboring lawns as well (well, gave them the spreader and the grub-ex) so that we wouldn't be visited by the ones possibly on their lawns.

i've done the application each season. i have no clue what the bag reads, but it was my precaution. i never heard they were caused by the beetles, i'll have to check on that.

i did notice last season not so many grubs, but more stink bugs! go figure, get rid of one, gain another.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 11:25AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

The grub-ex should work great, it will definately kill the grubs, but I would suggest waiting a year and seeing what happens after fertilizing and seeding. Like you already said, the grass wasn't turning brown so to me I would take that to mean that the grubs aren't so bad that they are killing it. I have grubs in my lawn but I also have birds and stuff eating the grubs enough so they don't get to be too bad.
They might not all be jap. beetles. They might be june beetles which do just as much damage as grubs but don't bother me as beetles... they just clutter up the pool filter when they land in there.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 9:46PM
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Are june bug "grubs" like regular grubs on steroids? I found some massive creepy grubby things and thought "they can't be good".


    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 5:58AM
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westhighlandblue(z6 PA)

The bottom line is that if you poison the grubs you will poison the birds that eat them. And you run the risk of exposing your children, yourself, you pets, and every wild critter that passes across your lawn to pesticides, some of which have been known to cause cancer. The better way to go is to make you lawn as healthy as possible, seed it, give it organic fertilizers, later in the season when your grass seed has fully germinated, prevent weeds with an application of corn meal, and know that all bugs, even grubs, have a beneficial place in an balanced ecosystem.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 7:30AM
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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

I have a pretty nice lawn, yet I find grubs any time I dig into the grass. A lawn in reasonable health can support a lot of grubs without showing any ill effects, and the grubs in turn support birds, etc. Keep in mind that insecticides can be pretty toxic not just to grubs but also to more beneficial insects, birds, and even people. Why use an insecticide that isn't needed? Instead I would recommend that you fertilize. Each spring I apply a standard lawn fertilizer without any herbicides or pesticides (weed 'n' feed and similar products contain herbicides, insecticides, etc.) and the lawn stays pretty nice. Despite my very poor soil, the grass usually outgrows the weeds. This approach gives me a lawn that looks nive, covers the ground, and contains no harmful chemicals (except the fertilizer, which is used sparingly). I do occasionally pull a few weeds, or you could spot-treat the weeds as needed with a selective herbicide. This would get the job done while using a lot less chemical. Similarly, if you find you really have a grub problem, treat only the problem areas and see how that works. I think the goal should be to create a sterile lawn that supports only grass, but instead to have a nice looking lawn that still supports insects, birds, and maybe even a weed or two (as long as they aren't too conspicuous) without using excess chemicals. The world is already way too polluted with chemicals; I try not to make it any worse though blanket application of chemicals that aren't really needed.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 9:09AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Jeanne, the june bugs I was thinking of are small like regular grubs. I know what you're thinking of though. Did you find them in rotten wood or an old leaf pile? They turn into these big beetles that are really cool. Differenrt kinds are black or green.

The best thing I did to improve the health of my lawn was to stop bagging the clippings. Even better was when I mow the fall leaves into the lawn. The leaf mulch covers the crabgrass seed so that it doesn't sprout in the spring... then when the leaf mulch decays during the summer it acts as a slow release fertilizer.
But the leaf mulch does take up nitrogen in the spring when it decays... and as a result the grass will not have that totally lush look. TO get around this I usually put on a little cheap lawn fertilizer to jump start the process.
Horse manure would be even better for this but I'm too lazy to spread it and it's much easier to toss around some fertilizer granules.

Did I already mention not bothering with the grub control? Only if sections of the lawn turn brown in summer would I bother worrying about it... even then I would just water a bit more and reseed in the fall rather than spread some grub killer, but that's me.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 10:14AM
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Thanks for all the advice. We decided against the grub-ex for now. We want to see what happens in the next year. We started thatching the lawn a little to get it ready for seed and fertilizer. And since the grass was in terrible shape already we exposed a lot of dirt. The birds have been eating the grubs, and I do not want to end up poisoning them.

Once we get the whole lawn more thatched then we'll be able to throw the seed down. We were considering renting a power rake type thing - it took us about 2 hours to do such a small section last weekend. UGH..

Thanks Again!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 8:50PM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

Good decision, Ruth!

You might want to look at the Gardens Alive website for "environmentally responsible" fertilizer, etc. I've never tried any of their lawn products (because honestly I'm too lazy to worry about the grass) but their orchard products were good.

Here is a link that might be useful: less-toxic alternatives

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 10:11AM
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