Ask the Lawn Care Expert

Is Your Lawn Mower Turning Orange? You May Have Lawn Rust Problems

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My lawn was doing great. We enjoyed a wetter-than-normal summer and the temperatures have been warm, but not blazing hot. About three weeks ago, that all changed and we shifted into a normal hot and dry summer. If you live in the Midwest and your lawn has perennial ryegrass in it, you may have noticed your lawn mower turning orange after you mow your lawn. Your shoes also seem to have taken on an orange-ish sheen. This is all happening due to a common turf disease that has been aggravated […]

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What You Need to Know About Bagworms

bagworm in tree

If you have junipers or arbor vitae in your landscape, you could have bagworms! To determine if you do have these little fellows in your plants, you can check for small, teardrop shaped bags or cases of tied-up plant material. These cases will be anywhere from ¼ to 1 inch in length. The larvae that are within the bags will emerge to feed on evergreens as well as deciduous trees and shrubs. The overwintering larvae hatch in June and climb to the top of the plant. There, the tiny larvae […]

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Don’t Let Mushrooms Take Over Your Lawn

Mushroom in lawn

First comes rain, then comes the mushrooms! Not only does an abundance of rain mean that your grass is going to be growing at an unstoppable pace, it means that you’ll probably start seeing some mushrooms peaking up through the green. Mushrooms are fungi and in many cases they are beneficial since they are the fruiting bodies the organisms that break down organic matter, like thatch, old roots, branches and other remnants of buried wood that may exist underground in your lawn. The mushroom cap that we see in our […]

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Get Smart with your Sprinkler System

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July is Smart Irrigation Month Did you know that July is Smart Irrigation Month? The Irrigation Association dedicated this month to smart practices for your sprinkler system, which makes sense since July tends to be the hottest month of the year due to scorching temperatures and high humidity. The initiative was started in 2005, focusing on providing consumers information on the value of water as well as increase awareness in water saving products, practices and services. Using water wisely and being efficient when watering, starts with have a properly working […]

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Controlling and Getting Rid of Grubs in the Lawn

lawn damage from skunk and raccoon

If you had a problem with grubs in your lawn last year, this is the time to apply a preventative grub control treatment to keep them from becoming a problem again this year. Waiting until activity is seen to start getting rid of the grubs in your lawn could mean you need a major lawn overhaul. In some cases, it is not as much from the grubs feeding on the root system of your lawn, but from raccoons, skunks, armadillos, or other foraging animals digging through your lawn, looking for […]

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Watering Trees and Shrubs: How to Care for Landscape Plants

shrub and tree watering tips

For much of the country, it has been very wet as of late. However, as summer begins, the likelihood of a prolonged dry spell seems probable. The recent rain has allowed trees and shrubs to grow well and produce lots of leaves. If the rain stops for an extended period of time, some plants may drop some of the extra leaves as the plants adjust to the drier weather. Depending on the extent of the dry weather, a few leaves dropping should not be too concerning. Keep an eye open […]

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How Grass Grows: Seed Heads, Flowers and Fertilizer

seeds on grass blades

I recently attend a training class on identifying grasses and grassy weeds led by Dr. Tom Voigt, Associate Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist from the University of Illinois. Even though I knew all the grasses and how to go about identifying them, I am usually always able to learn something new at these events—in this case, I took away valuable information on grass seed heads and flowers, as well as how grass grows. Flowering and Seed Heads All grasses produce flowers and a seed head. If you live in cool-season […]

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Smart Sprinkler Systems: Upgrade Today to Save Money and Water

watering your grass

Saving water should be everyone’s concern. Water is a limited resource and its availability is becoming a greater concern every year. Unfortunately, as homeowners, we don’t think about water usage as frequently as we should. We turn on the faucet and water comes out, we turn on our garden hose or sprinkler system and water our lawns and landscapes without hesitation – Everything is good! Being smart about how much water we use is going to become a greater issue in the future. This is especially true when it comes […]

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How to Control Mosquitoes by Reducing Standing Water

remove any standing water to help keep mosquitoes away

American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has designated June 21 to June 27, 2015 as National Mosquito Control Awareness Week. The AMCA is an international organization of nearly 2,000 public health professionals who are dedicated to protecting the public’s health and well-being through safe, environmentally sound mosquito control programs since 1935. The topic of how to control mosquitoes is always a popular one when summer arrives. Several municipalities have mosquito control spraying programs to help reduce mosquito populations within their boundaries. In the summer months, many homeowners contract mosquito control services […]

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Mosquitoes 101

where mosquitoes come from

Mosquitoes. They are the true pests of the summer months. Always ruining our outdoor activities with their buzzing and biting, our swatting and smacking, not to mention that smelly bug spray, gross! Why are they even around? Where do they come from and how do we get rid of them? Here’s the scoop on those irritating mosquitoes: Where do mosquitoes come from? Mosquitoes have been around for about 100 million years, surpassing humans by a landslide (we’ve only been around for 200,000 years). Mosquitoes serve as food for fish, birds, […]

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