Saturday, November 04, 2006

Turf Damage in the Pre -wet Season!

Recently we installed a new turf area using Empire zoysia. This is a very good turf, well suited to tropical Australia.

All the normal agronomic practices were carried out and the turf laid, fertiliser added, and all went well for about 4 weeks. Then disaster..........the client freaked out, and when we saw it we did too........The culprit? Army worm and sod web worm damage, and was it massive. Over half the area - 40sq m - seriously damaged in less than a week.

However, a quick investigation found the little grubs, and there were a lot!!!!! Spraying had to be done, to institute rapid control, and yes it all did work out, with the lawn now, a week later, showing good recovery.

It is a while since the damage caused was so great on any area we manage - switching to slow release nitrogen fertiliser is a prudent move to help manage this problem. All our clients have this practice recommended as part of our management protocols supplied with a new turf area. But in this case, readily available nitrogen was used, as part of the starter fertiliser NPK mix. And it seems as if it was part of the problem.

Moral - take care of the turf NOW when lawn grubs can be present; and act quickly to spray them with a suitable insecticide - and remember too with lawn grubs, it is best to spray in the evening when they are active.

This photo was what it looked like before the lawngrubs invaded.

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