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Fall armyworm larvae have a white inverted Y-shaped mark on the front of their dark head. They are smooth skinned and vary in color from light tan or green to nearly black, with three yellowish-white hairlines down the back. The larval stage lasts from three to four weeks and can be damaging to turfgrass and crops. (Photo by USDA Agricultural Research Service Photo Unit, Bugwood.org) CAES News
Fall armyworms
Over the past couple of weeks, I have received numerous calls from curious homeowners and frustrated farmers regarding the dreaded fall armyworm. Damage to established turf is most often aesthetic. However, newly planted sod or sprigs can be severely damaged or even killed by fall armyworm feeding.
Newly named University of Georgia turfgrass researcher David Jespersen was among the UGA experts who presented their research findings at the Turfgrass Research Field Day on Thursday, Aug. 4. Jespersen is shown sharing the results of a UGA research project that evaluated the drought tolerance of four turfgrass species. CAES News
2022 Turfgrass Field Day
Whether you're a golf course superintendent or a homeowner looking to grow the perfect lawn, there will be something for you at this year’s University of Georgia Turfgrass Field Day. “After four long years we are excited to bring back the UGA Turfgrass Research Field Day,” said UGA Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialist Clint Waltz.
Sod prices, such as for bermudagrasses like those developed by UGA turfgrass breeders, are higher this year for homeowners and industry. CAES News
Sod Prices Up
Low inventory of some varieties, combined with economic pressures exacerbated by supply chain and global issues, are pushing up the price of a meticulously manicured lawn this spring.
Large patch disease, pictured here, can infect all warm-season turfgrasses, but centipede, St. Augustine, and zoysia are particularly susceptible. CAES News
Large Patch
As warm-season turfgrasses continue to green up, diseases are rearing their ugly heads. The main culprit this time of year is a fungus, Rhizoctonia solani, that causes large patch disease in lawns. Large patch can infect all warm-season turfgrasses, but centipede, St. Augustine, and zoysia are particularly susceptible.
A layer of natural mulch around plants will help protect soil moisture from evaporation and provide organic material for your soils. CAES News
Water Conservation in the Landscape
You might be reaching for the watering can here in Georgia, considering recent hot and dry conditions over most of the state. And with World Environment Day coming up on June 5, home gardeners are considering what they can do to sustainably irrigate their plants and sustain soil moisture. There are actions you can take now to help conserve water in your landscape and keep your plants hydrated.
Growth of fairy ring fungi begin in the center of a ring and expand outward in a uniform, circular pattern over time. Mushrooms might only be visible during periods of wet weather, particularly in the fall. CAES News
Fairy Rings
Many residents have noticed mushrooms popping up in lawns and landscapes this season. When the “fungus among us” forms a circle or arc pattern, it’s commonly known as a fairy ring. According to medieval folklore, they were thought to appear after a band of fairies had danced in a circle. In some cases, fairy ring mushrooms can cause turfgrass discoloration or abnormal growth in lawns.
Symptoms of dollar spot include circular discolorations only a few inches in diameter. Spots may run together causing large, irregular patterns. CAES News
Lawn Maintenance
With the heat of summer bearing down on us, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialists recommend that residents stick to a schedule for healthy lawn maintenance.
Georgia turfgrasses are just beginning to "green up," a term used to describe the time when warm-season grasses like bermudagrass begin to turn green after the winter. Warm-season turf green-up is dependent on the soil temperature reaching 65 degrees Fahrenheit. CAES News
Spring Turf
As a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialist, I have recently received numerous calls and emails regarding grass selection and planting. This is likely a result of the recent warm, dry weather, which typically activates people to begin working in their landscape, and the increased number of people currently at home. 
Bob Westerfield, UGA Extension consumer horticulturist, demonstrates a pruning technique during a class held on the UGA campus in Griffin, Georgia. CAES News
Fall Gardening
As summer finally winds down, so do a lot of landscape plants. With a break from the 90-degree heat, it’s time to get ready for winter.
Insufficient production and storage of photosynthates during the fall transition into dormancy can translate to issues during spring green-up. Drought-stressed turfgrass in August 2016 (left) was able to recover prior to dormancy following appreciable rainfall in September (right). Much of Georgia's turfgrass is currently drought-stressed, and the transition to dormancy is quickly approaching. CAES News
Fall Lawns
Summer 2019 delivered hot, dry weather with sporadic rainfall. With fall approaching, now is the time to adjust your turfgrass management program to promote a smooth transition into dormancy and green-up next spring.