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Archive for April, 2013

See no weevil

Sorry, but I just had to put that in the title line. Annual bluegrass weevil migration is on golf superintendents’ minds right now. It is early days still. We have not met the GDD requirement in the Guelph area yet for migration to start (28 GDD base 10 degrees C or 50 GDD base 50 degrees F).

The current thinking on the application of adulticides to control the annual bluegrass weevil adults as they migrate into the turf from their overwintering sites is to apply when the forsythia are half green/half gold. Forsythia have not even started to bloom yet. The problem with trying to target the adults is that there is often a bimodal migration (two different peaks at two different times) and that makes it hard to know when to apply against the adults. The second strategy is to target the early instar larva with a larvaecide. The products that can be used for this application in Ontario include clothianidin and chlorantraniliprole. They are systemic in the turf plant and more persistent than the adulticides so the timing is not as crucial.

The key thing at this point is to monitor for the adults. This can be done with a pitfall trap, a soap flush or a vaccuum. Knowing what the ABW’s are doing on your course and where they are is the best recipe for success.

There is a great webinar on the GCSAA website by Dr. Dan Peck that will explain all there is to know about the annual bluegrass weevil. It is worth investing an hour of your time. It can be found at http://www.gcsaa.tv/webinars/sponsored/view.php?id=196

Also, I will keep posting on the progress of annual bluegrass weevil over the next month to help you better target this pest.

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The 2013 supplement to Publication 384, Turfgrass Management Recommendations is now available at http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/pub384/pub384sup.pdf This supplement contains changes/additions/deletions to the 2009 edition of Publication 384, Turfgrass Management Recommendations. It replaces previous supplements, is available free of charge and will also be included with new orders for the book. Take the time now to download this supplement to make sure that you are up to date with pesticide recommendations for the 2013 season.

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European chafer grubs feeding close to surface now

European chafer grubs feeding close to surface now

Grubs are up and feeding now. There isn’t a lot of grub damage per se. The secondary pests such as raccoons, skunks and starlings are doing their usual spring damage to turf that is infested with grubs. As far as control goes, there is very little that can be done this time of year. Last spring Dr. Michael Brownbridge and I conducted a spring applied nematode trial and neither Hb or Steinernema glaseri were effective. To help recovery,rake the dead areas and plan to overseed in a couple of weeks. Whether it is home lawn turf where you are relying on insect parasitic nematodes or golf course turf where you are relying on traditional pesticide chemistry, now is not the time to control grubs. Make a note of the damaged areas and plan to apply grub control in the mid summer on golf courses or in August for home lawns.

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This blog has been mostly dormant this winter, like the turf, but that is about to change. Of course, this is much later than last year so golfers and superintendents are chomping at the bit to get the season underway. There are some warm temperatures coming later this week and this will jump start the annual bluegrass plants that have already come out of dormancy and will coax the more reticent species like creeping bentgrass to green up. Because the temperatures have been so changeable, many golf courses are now just brave enough to take the winter covers off. The next few weeks will require patience to let the soils warm up and the turf resume growth. Mother Nature is in control, not you. Apart from using covers at night to keep greens warm if temperatures drop, there is not much else you can do to hurry things along.

Dormant creeping bentgras on a golf green with annual bluegrass greening up

Annual bluegrass greening up


The word on the street or more accurately, on the golf courses, is that the turf has overwintered well. The layer of ice that formed at the end of January in most areas was not around long enough to cause any anoxia damage. The spring freeze/thaw cycles were mostly thaw cycles on frozen ground so the the water made its way off most areas. This is good news though. At least you won’t be going into a late starting season trying to recover from winter injury.

Any comments on how your course has over wintered are welcome! If I get comments, I will summarize them and post them on my next post.

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