Ask the Lawn Care Expert

Nutsedge: Keep An Eye Out For This Intrusive Plant!

nutsedge growing in a lawn

I am very observant of what is growing in lawns and landscapes in the various regions where I travel and have noticed, that each year, Nutsedge is becoming more prevalent and an increasing challenge to control. Nutsedge is a perennial plant that increases in numbers every year. A single plant has the ability to produce several hundred tubers, or nutlets every year. These tubers remain viable for 3 years or more in the soil. Each plant also produces underground root structures called rhizomes, which allows the plant to spread each […]

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Tree Damage: Sometimes There Isn’t Anything You Can Do!

Tree recovery

Do any of your trees look under the weather?  In most cases, I can identify what problems are from pictures that I receive, but I admit that sometimes I am stumped. Sometimes there are pictures that show a problem and there just isn’t any hope for recovery. Such is the case with the picture below. As you can see, this tree has been severely damaged and unfortunately will most likely die. These could have been the causes of the tree damage: There was damage when it was moved to the place where it […]

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Does Your Maple Tree Have Blacks Spots On Its Leaves?

Tar Spot showing up on Maple tree leaves

I enjoy walking my dog every day since it is good exercise for both her and I as well as using that time to look for interesting or unusual plants or turf problems. There is a maple tree disease showing up on its leaves that has become more prevalent in the last few years. The disease is called Tar Spot. It has earned this name because the disease develops spots on the leaves that resemble, well, tar spots. The disease by itself rarely causes serious damage to the tree, but the spot can […]

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Dog-Day Cicada: Have You Seen Any This Year?

17 year old cicada

In the world of lawn and landscape care, summer is the time when we see lots of diseases, insects and weeds. One of the loudest of these insects that we hear throughout the day and early evening is the “song” of the Annual Cicada or Dog-Day Cicada. If you live in parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania, you have already had to deal with the 17-year Cicada, refer to the picture below, populations causing an almost unbearable racket along with a good deal of damage to the tender branch tips of […]

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Controlling Crabgrass: 10 Things You Should Know

crabgrass growing in your lawn

I am completing my 40th year in lawn care and have heard the question, “Why is there so much crabgrass this year?” for the last 39 years.  I had nothing to compare the amount of crabgrass that was evident during my first year, so I did not realize it was a problem. The point is, crabgrass will germinate every year, even if a preventer has been applied to the lawn. 10 Thing to Know When Dealing with Crabgrass: Pre-emergent materials will only prevent it from germinating if the correct amount is […]

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Why Do Weeds Grow Where They Grow?

Weeds growing along the street

Weeds are opportunistic plants and will grow just about anywhere they can find space to send down roots and send up their top growth. I am sure you have seen weeds growing in the cracks of sidewalks or along the seam between the street and the gutters.  You can even see weeds growing along expressways. The same is true when it comes to weeds growing in your lawn. They will grow best in the places that provide the best conditions for them to germinate. There are 100’s if not 1,000’s […]

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Slime Molds: Should You Be Concerned?

slime molds growing on a lawn

Many parts of the country are dealing with hot, humid weather and an abundance of rain. This type of weather is conducive to the development of a disease called slime molds that causes a great deal of concern, but is really nothing to worry about. They can occur anytime from spring through fall, but seem to be more active following heavy rains in the summer. They can develop on any grass plants, including grassy weeds. Slime molds are saprophytes, or primitive organisms that obtain their nutrients from dead or decaying […]

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Fairy Rings: Everything You Need To Know!

fairy rings

I subscribe to several university newsletters that are dedicated to lawns and landscapes. This year, Ohio State University changed the format of their monthly newsletter to short news flashes about many interesting topics. The university still publishes their Buckeye Yard & Garden online newsletter, but I do enjoy reading all the brief articles on interesting weeds, insects, diseases and other oddities of nature. They recently posted a news brief about one of my favorite diseases, Fairy Ring. I always like to learn something new about this annoying, but usually not […]

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Have You Seen Any Of These Insects This Year?

insect lawn

There are three major insect pests that are just ending their current life cycle, Bagworms, and two others that are just beginning to become active, Army Worms and several grub species. Bagworms Identification Bagworms are easily recognized by the case or bag that the larva, a caterpillar, creates and suspends from a branch. In severe infestations, the larva will find just about any suitable vertical surface on which to attach their bag, including the sides of buildings. The bag is made from bits of plant material along with silk that […]

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Why Are There So Many Weeds This Year?

dandelion field

Depending on where you live in the US, weeds are out of control because there has been so much rain this year. Rain equals weeds; that is just a fact of life in lawn care. It just so happens that the number one service call for any lawn care company has to do with weeds. Some weeds are easy to control, but others can be a real challenge. There are many ways that weeds can be controlled or eliminated, but why are some weeds more difficult than others?  Weed Control: 5 […]

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