Turf Agrifax – Week 25, 2000 (September 15, 2000)

Welcome to the “Turf Hotline” sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for the week of Sept. 15-22, 2000. This will be the last hotline message for the season. Things are winding down now and there is not much new to report from week to week.

The weather has been changeable over the last week with some hot sticky weather and now there is a definite touch of fall in the air. Things were getting a bit dry up until yesterday here at Guelph. With all the rain this season, it only takes a few days without rain for the first signs of drought stress to show up. The roots must be pretty shallow because they didn’t have to go deep this year to find moisture.

With the dry weather diseases have been minimal. Dollar spot seems to have slowed down now and no real sign of Fusarium patch yet. Over the fall it is best to keep Fusarium patch under control. This will reduce the inoculum load for pink snow mould later in the season when the snow cover comes. Time snow mould control just prior to permanent snow cover.

On the insect front, the European chafers grubs continue to develop. They are mainly in second instar now. Now is still a good time for curative control for European chafer grubs. For curative control for Japanese beetle grubs it might be wise to wait one more week. I have had quite a few calls about crane fly adults flying in a few different areas. One lawn care operator requested that I put more lifecycle information on the hotline as well as some control timing and products, so here it goes. Again, if you haven’t seen them before the adults look like big mosquitoes and they are landing on the turf now. The adults are also swarming on the sides of houses, buildings, etc. at the moment. The adults flights last a couple of weeks. During those flights the females will be laying their eggs. The eggs will hatch into larvae called leatherjackets that will start feeding on the turf crowns by the beginning of October and will feed until at least the middle of November. Thresholds for leatherjackets have been determined in Nova Scotia and they report that 15-25 per 0.1m 2 will cause damage. If there are large numbers of adults visible at the moment, it might be advisable to spray in mid-October to control the leatherjackets. The products that are labeled for leatherjacket control are diazinon, chlorpyrifos and carbaryl.

The fall fertilizing and fall seeding window has now passed as well as the window for aeration.

This is the peak time for all broadleaf weed control. These treatments can be made up until the first week in October, or as long as the weeds are actively growing. The late fall application of fertilizer should be applied when the turf is not growing anymore but also is not yet dormant. Here in the Guelph area, that is usually around the end of October to the beginning of November.

As mentioned, this is the final hotline message for the season. I look forward to trying to keep you informed about turf pests again next season. Until then enjoy the fall and see you at the winter meetings such as the Ontario Turfgrass Symposium which is Jan. 3-5, 2001. – See more at:

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