For Lawns with Chinch Bug problems- we at Turf King Hamilton have always recommended that lawns at risk for chinch bug infestations should be seeded or overseeded with turf-type perennial ryegrass varieties that repel insects. When we overseed lawns we always use a mix with this type of grass in the mix. As well, the small packages of grass seed that we may leave at your home does indeed contain this insect repelling grass seed.
See our Library Article on Grass Species for Lawns
At a retail store this week - I saw a bag of grass seed on the shelf. It is labelled as Lawn Insect Defense Grass Seed.
My assumption is that it does contain endophytic perennial ryegrass.
Seeding with this grass does not guarantee that chinch bugs will not damage your lawn. However, it is one of the tools that you can use to help reduce the devastation that chinch bugs can do to lawns. This is especially important if we get another hot, dry summer.
Lawn care technicians will be on your lawns soon.
Finally took a photo of a small clump of grass that I noticed while emptying our kitchen compost container into the garden compost bin.
Just beside the bin, I noticed a single clump of grass that was so green. We have had a few days when the thermometer hit 15 degrees Celsius. Not normal temperatures for February here in Hamilton, Ontario. This turf plant was just at the edge of our vegetable garden. So it is in a very sunny spot, and the dark soil nearby will warm up quicker than the soil that is insulated by a cover of grass plants.
Today, there were a few snowflakes - as the temperature has dropped to -5. But the grass plant doesn't mind a little snow or cool temperatures.
In the spring, lawns turn green as the soil warms up.
In the summer we continually admonish everyone to mow their lawns at a 3 inch mowing height. (During warm weather- a higher mowing height means the grass blade are longer and provide more shade to the soil. This keeps the soil temperatures lower and reduces moisture loss.)
In the spring, however, your lawn will shed its winter colour and turn green faster if the soil is warmer. It will turn green as the sap starts to flow but the signal to start the sap flowing is dependent on soil temperature.
What can you do to get your lawn to green up faster and shed the winter "blah" of brown and yellow?
If you had mowed the grass shorter at the last fall cut, you may have already done the first step. If the grass blades are shorter going through the winter, you will reduce some winter lawn diseases. And you will have less insulation in the spring- thus allowing the soil to warm up a bit faster.
So if you did not cut the lawn shorter last fall- as soon as you are able to mow- set the mower to about 2" instead of 3" and give the lawn a quick haircut. This removes some of the grass that is shading the soil. As the soil warms, the grass will turn green.
You can also give the lawn a good raking. Here instead of just removing the height of the grass blades, the raking will remove some of the dead grass blades (and maybe some of the green ones too.) This will thin the density and again allow the soil to warm quicker.
The raking will also stimulate some growth. It's like pruning a shrub. Pruning will stimulate the plant to produce side shoots and to thicken up.
Of course- there will be folks who wonder if the raking is a necessity or not.
I always say when asked- "the benefits of raking include fresh air, exercise and maybe even some sunshine." See this article "Do I need to rake my lawn in the spring?"
Otherwise if you have questions you can submit them at our Contact page
Or click here to Request a Quote
Here are a couple of places- to show what a Turf King Lawn Care Program with regular applications of high quality fertilizer and regular weed treatments with an iron product like Fiesta weed control can do.
Not that the lawns are perfect- but these photos show that there is a difference.
Keep dandelions and other weeds from taking over your lawn.
See this article on weeds- Avoid Unsightly Weeds with Fiesta