Drastic Temp Changes Wreak Havoc on Transition Zone
We have gone from winter to summer with a week or so of spring. Temperatures have been consistently in the 80s. Reports of pythium have already shown up at universities. The soil temperatures are consistently above 550F. Crabgrass is starting in open thin areas.
Pre-Emergent Control is a Must!
Most everyone has their pre-emergents down. If you have not, it would be recommended that you use Dithiopyr. Dithiopyr 2L will still provide pre-emergent control, but also can provide post-emergent control of the young 3-5 leaf crabgrass plant. If the plant gets larger than that, a true post-emergent herbicide such as Quinclorac will be required.
Time For a Nematode Check
If you have had weak areas in the past on greens, it is recommended that you check for nematodes. This is a very simple inexpensive test to determine if this could be the cause of weak turf. Once soil temps are above 55oF, soil nematodes start to feed on the roots of the turf. It is recommended for turf managers to stick with one lab for analysis of their soils. Switching labs may give erroneous numbers.
You may be seeing grubs in the soil, but most species are not feeding in the spring. A full description will be in next month’s write up.