Are grubs destroying your lawn?

 

Many people are discovering that grubs, the larvae of some beetles, can destroy your lawn if not detected early and treated.

Although the most common destructive grub in Canada was originally from the native June bug, recent introductions of the Japanese beetle and the European chafer within the Niagara region have resulted in their migration further east and north in Ontario, causing havoc to lawns in eastern Ontario.

Adult June bugs are a shiny red-brown color, reaching up to 1 inch in length.  The Japanese beetle is much smaller, less than 1/2 inch long, with a metallic bronze and green color.  An adult European chafer is similar in size to the Japanese beetle, but tan or light brown in color.

All of these grubs have c-shaped bodies and six legs, however, the June bug larvae are white, while the larvae of the Japanese beetle and European chafer are a beige color. Upon hatching the grubs are tiny but reach a mature size of up to 1.5 inches.

 

 

 

Another major difference between the types of grubs is that the June bugs take 3 years to mature while the Japanese beetle and European chafer only take one year.  As a result, infestations of white grubs (June bugs larvae) happen every third year, while infestations of the other two types can happen annually.

 

Chafer calendar (1)

 

Although grubs prefer the fibrous roots of your lawn the best, they do feed on other plants, especially carrots and potatoes.  Ryegrasses and fescues tend to be more resistant to grubs in your lawn, while geraniums and larkspur are immune to grubs in your gardens.

So, how do you know if your lawn is being attacked from below by grubs?  These are a few signs:

  • patches of lawn turn brown and can easily be lifted in chunks
  • skunks and birds, mainly starlings and blackbirds, will tear up chunks of lawn to get to the grubs
  • patches of affected lawn often feel spongy and soft to walk on

 

The best ways to prevent grubs are:

  • keep your lawn healthy as adult beetles prefer weak, stressed lawns for laying their eggs
  • aerate and remove excessive thatch annually to break up compacted soil and ensure good drainage
  • do not cut your lawn too short as adult beetles prefer short, dry lawns to lay their eggs
  • leave lawn clippings on the lawn and use fertilizers with high potassium and nitrogen
  • water your lawn deeply but infrequently to encourage deep roots and promote drought tolerant lawns
  • hand pick adult beetles putting them in soapy water to kill them
  • attract natural predators like blackbirds and starlings with birdhouses
  • use a mixture of ryegrass and fescues lawn seeds

 

To treat grub infestations:

  • apply nematodes (microscopic, parasitic organisms) to attack the grubs. Be sure to read package instructions on when and how to apply them
  • water your lawn heavily to bring the grubs to the surface so birds can eat them
  • apply composted manure and grass seed to replace the destroyed lawn patches

 

Hopefully, you will not experience the damage these grubs can do!  If you do, I hope these tips help get rid of them quickly.

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Long sleeves and gloves necessities for garden work

In addition to gloves, I like to wear long sleeves to work in my gardens.  Most garden gloves do not protect much past the wrist area, and without long sleeves to protect my arms, I end up with scratches, scrapes and contact dermatitis…

 

My skin is extra sensitive, so I have kept some of my sons’ (outgrown) long sleeved, lightweight T-shirts and sweaters for this purpose:

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Now I just have to remember to quit pushing up the sleeves when I get warm!  That’s the problem I have when the weather warms up too quick in spring.  That seems to happen often here in Ottawa, Ontario.  I don’t get a chance to finish the spring cleanups in long sleeve weather.  It’s a tough problem to have, I know, but I do love the cooler weather for garden work.

 

Great weather for ducks (or for overseeding and fertilizing your lawn and trees)

This rainy weather is good for ducks (as my mother used to say) or for overseeding your lawn.  Weed and feed is also best applied in cool, wet weather, but not at the same time as the seed.

There are a few new products on the market to fix bare patches too, 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 mixtures of composed/amended soil, seed and fertilizer.  They do not contain a weed-killing ingredient…

If your lawn is patchy (bare spots and grassy spots with some weeds) try the mixed product on a raked lawn.  Although there are several “weed and feed” products out there, I prefer to feed first, then weed, otherwise I tend to feed the weeds,

 

Another garden job for cool, wet, spring weather is fertilizing your trees.  I have three evergreen trees I planted as tiny seedlings when each of my three sons was born.  They were planted in my backyard, but as they reached about four feet in height, I asked the man that owns the building behind us if I could plant them in his yard.  He agreed, so now I get the privacy, but still have space for a garden in my yard…

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To fertilize my trees I use spikes that get pounded into the ground around the tree’s dripline.  One spike for each 2 inch of tree diameter.   There are many varieties on the market, choose the proper spike for the tree(s) you want to feed…

 

As the weather here is going be cool and rainy for a few more days, too muddy for work in my clients’ gardens, I should be able to get these chores done at home.

Beavertails and poutine at Tangier Outlet Mall

 

Shopping with my son at Tangier Outlet Mall here in Kanata, Ontario recently, we just had to stop for a treat.  That’s me in the pink coat.

For those of you (non-Canadians) not familiar with beavertails, they are a delectable Canadian treat, in the form of a flat, donut-like concoction of pastry, available in many flavours.  Choose from cinnamon & sugar, killaloe sunrise (lemon & sugar),  chocolate hazelnut, maple butter, skor cheesecake, garlic butter & cheese, banana chocolate and more!

Unfortunately for me, there is no gluten-free version of the beavertail (yet), so I had to settle for poutine, another Canadian favourite.  The poutine here was not nearly as good as I have from other establishments, mainly because the gravy was goopy.

 

As we were waiting for our order, we had a good chuckle over this sign posted on the front of the food truck…

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I guess people do not like to wait in the cold for their food; some have been driving right up to the truck and ordering from the warmth of their cars!

If you are going to indulge in treats like Beavertails and poutine, you have to park your vehicle and walk a bit, come on!

 

Elgin Sports closing its doors

 

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Elgin Sports, an Ottawa landmark for sports enthusiasts, is closing its doors.  Located on Albert, between Bank and Kent Streets in downtown Ottawa, Elgin Sports has been in business for 70 years. Unfortunately,… Continue reading

Biased TV networks

How do TV networks get away with being so biased?   Although I am not talking about the recent American election coverage, that was pretty bad too.  This time I am referring to the sports channels….

Continue reading

Free admission for 2017 to Parks Canada

What a great idea! I grew up in Cornwall, Ontario very close to the Long Sault Parkway which is on the St Lawrence River.   My family spent lots of time at the beautiful campsites and beaches there….  There are thousands of parks along this river that separates Canada from the USA,  as well as throughout the rest of Canada. It is no wonder that Canada is recognized globally for its forests, lakes, and rivers.   Plan your summer vacations now!

Lifeology 101

Parks Canada Free Coupons, Parks Canada, Hiking Ontario, Places to Visit in Ontario, 2017 Ontario Attractions Coupons, Coupons Canada,In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary Parks Canada is giving everyone a present …. Free admission to Canadians and visitors from all around the world to all Parks Canada Locations from coast to coast to coast.

To order your 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass Click HERE.

For all of 2017 this pass gives you unlimited opportunities to enjoy National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites across the country!

Please note:

  • You only need to order one pass for your group or family if you are all travelling together. A 2017 Discovery Pass is valid for everyone arriving in the same vehicle at a national park, or arriving together at a marine conservation area or historic site.
  • The Discovery Pass is only accepted at national historic sites which are operated by Parks Canada.
  • Activities such as tours or parking that normally carry a separate fee may not…

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