Ask the Lawn Care Expert

The Spring-Green blog is your go-to resource for up-to-date, expert content, created and curated by our in-house professionals. Here you can find seasonal tips, myths and misconceptions, and answers to all your common lawn care questions. We also feature queries that come in from our readers, answered by Harold Enger, the Director of Education at Spring-Green.

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Southern Chinch Bugs

Southern Chinch bugs are a primary insect pest on St. Augustine lawns. They can be found in states such as Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina. This tiny insect pest, less than ¼ inch in length, is responsible for millions of dollars in damage to home lawns throughout the south where St. Augustine grows.  It is most active during the warm, humid periods of the year, but can be active even during the winter months, although at a much slower rate.  Once the weather begins to warm up, they will start feeding close to where […]

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Red Thread Lawn Disease

Red Thread Lawn Disease – A Serious Disease, But Not Too Serious One of my favorite diseases is Red Thread as it is one of the easiest disease to identify.  What makes it so is the pinkish-red color that is an indicator of its activity.  Upon careful examination, you may see a thin antler-like structure protruding through the tip of the leaf blade, which may resemble a tiny thread.  This is how the disease gets its one of its names – Red Thread.  There is a similar disease, Pink Patch, that develops masses […]

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Why Does My Lawn Have A Disease?

Sometimes it is difficult to predict lawn disease pressures, but understanding how a disease gets started is an important part of the process.  Disease spores are common in many lawns and can persist for years before conditions are right for the disease to become active. Just like there is a fire triangle that describes the elements that are required for a fire to start – oxygen, fuel and ignition – there is also a disease triangle of the three factors that need to be in place for a disease to develop.  First, […]

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The Dangers Of Fire Ants

If you live in the south or southeast of the United States, you have probably read about or seen Red Imported Fire Ants.  Since first being brought to the US as a freeloader on shipping containers arriving from South America in the early 20th century, this aggressive and highly adaptable pest has terrorized homeowners, hikers, picnickers and just about anyone else that unsuspectingly disturbs one of their nests. Although human deaths are rare, the painful bites and venomous stings of the Red Imported Fire Ant can endanger the lives of children and smaller pets if […]

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How Do I Control Virginia Buttonweed In My Lawn?

Virginia Buttonweed is a tough to control perennial weed found most often in home lawns in the South and Southeast. It is difficult to control due to an extensive rhizome root system, its ability to produce seeds both above and below ground and it also has the ability to reproduce from the stems that may be left behind from mowing, which can result in the plant being spread over a large area of your lawn. Virginia Buttonweed will sometimes turn chlorotic, or yellow, due to a common virus, which make […]

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Dandelions – the plant most people love to hate

Dandelions seem to be the weed that causes most concern to homeowners across the US. It is mainly a concern for the two weeks or so in spring when the flowers bloom and the seed head puffballs are seen as a sign of an ill-kept lawn. The flowers can arise in one day, last for a short time and the puffballs come out a day or so after that. Mowing them off does not seem to help as new flowers arise from the plant the next day. Dandelion Control – […]

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Lawn Vole Damage

Vole Damage In Your Lawn Voles, which are also called field or meadow mice, will burrow under the snow during the winter, leaving behind trails of chewed grass as they search for food. Voles are mostly vegetarian, but will eat just about anything they think they can, including roots, bulbs, seeds, tree bark and insects. The sight of these trails can cause a good deal of concern as it appears that a lawn has been seriously damaged. Patience is the keep, allowing the grass to grow back within the trails, […]

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Why Isn’t My Lawn Turning Green?

One of the common questions we receive is why one person’s lawn not as green as some of the neighbors’ lawns. Not all lawns will turn green at the same time. Different cultivars within the same species of turfgrass have different green-up rates. Sodded lawns almost always green-up slower than seeded lawns. It is still early, so don’t panic if your lawn is not turning green as quickly as your neighbor’s lawn. In cool-season turfgrass zones, it may take some time for the new grass to show through. This is […]

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European Sawfly

What is eating the needles off my Mugho Pine? What you are probably seeing on your pine trees are the larvae stage of European Sawfly. The eggs hatch into caterpillars in late April and feed on the previous year’s needles. Doing a search on Pine Sawfly will provide numerous pictures to verify the diagnosis. If you go out now, you may be able to see the small eggs on the needles. They are oval shaped and are usually laid in a row of five or six eggs along the length […]

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Pine Needles on Evergreens

Where did all the needles on my pine tree go? One of the first insects seen in the spring is the larvae of the European Pine Sawfly. The larvae look like caterpillars, but are actually the larvae of a wasp-like insect. They can be found feeding on the older needles of mugho pines, although will feed on several other species of pine trees. The current year’s growth are rarely touched, but severe infestations can leave a “bottle-brush” appearance to the shrub or tree once all the old needles are eaten. […]

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