FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. WHY IS MOSS GROWING IN MY LAWN AND HOW DO I GET RID OF IT? - Moss is a common occurrence in home lawns. Most often it becomes a problem in lawns that have low turf density. It appears when growing conditions favor the growth of moss more than the turf. Moss does not kill grass but rather moves into lawn areas that are weak and thin. Mosses produce numerous spores that are spread readily by wind and rain. If moss is a problem in your lawn, evaluate the site conditions and consider your turf care practices. Moss is caused by one or more of the following:
Low soil fertility • Acidic soil • Dense shade from trees and shrubs • Areas of poor drainage • Soil compaction • Excessive irrigation • Poor air circulation • General poor lawn care practices • Inappropriate choice of turf species or cultivars for site conditions
In Pittsburgh, it is normally a combination of too much shade and poor drainage that causes moss issues. After multiple wet seasons in a row, moss has become more widespread. While you can rake out moss and reseed the areas, unless the underlying conditions are remedied, the turf will thin out again and moss will take its place.
2. WHY DO I HAVE BROWNS SPOTS FORMING IN MY LAWN? A lawn fungus is the main cause of brown spots forming in lawn from May through August. Red thread and Dollar Spot fungus begin in May, followed by leaf spot, brown patch and summer patch beginning in June. The fungal spores blow into a lawn over the course of the year and develop into a fungus once the environmental conditions are ideal for growth. This includes THE grass staying wet overnight, higher humidity, and warmer night temperatures. While some fungi will grow out on their own, others should be treated with a fungicide for quicker remediation. ** 2022 SPECIAL - BUY 2 FUNGICIDE APPLICATIONS AND GET 1 FREE **
3. WHEN SHOULD I WATER MY LAWN? Water your lawn anytime from early morning through mid-afternoon –
** DO NOT WATER YOUR LAWN AFTER 5 PM IN THE SUMMER AS THIS WILL ALLOW GRASS TO STAY WET OVERNIGHT AND PROMOTE FUNGUS GROWTH**.
4. WHEN CAN I CUT MY GRASS AFTER A TREATMENT? You can cut your grass the day following the application. This is only so the weeds have additional time to absorb in the herbicide. However, don’t worry if the grass is cut on the same day after we treat the lawn. We use a low volume droplet that will cover even the area of the weed below where it is cut off. Also, it is a common false belief that the fertilizer particles can be vacuumed up by a mower. This is not true for a commercial mower let alone a residential mower.
5. DO I NEED A GRUB APPLICATION ON A YEARLY BASIS? The simple answer is yes. A grub preventative application is good for one season once applied. There is no scientific answer as to why Japanese beetles lay their eggs in one yard versus another in any given year. The grub preventative is basically an insurance application to prevent damage if the beetles lay their eggs in your lawn.
5. WHAT ARE BAGWORMS AND HOW DO I ADDRESS THEM? The bagworm caterpillar lives its entire life inside a tough protective case made of silk and camouflaging bits of foliage. Each caterpillar makes its own bag that it carries around as it feeds with the head and legs sticking out the open, top end of the bag. As the caterpillar eats and grows the bag is enlarged until by the end of the summer, what started as tiny pods only one-quarter inch long will have grown to almost 2 inches in length.
In the end of the summer the bagworm caterpillars stop feeding and seal each bag shut after securely tying it to a twig, stem or even nearby structure. Inside the bag the caterpillar transforms to the moth stage. The adult female moth does not leave the bag the caterpillar created. She remains inside while the winged, male moth does emerge to fly about the infested tree to locate the waiting female. After mating the female produces 500 to 1000 eggs within her body and then she dies. The eggs remain in the bags on the trees until the following spring and hatch about mid-June to start the cycle over. The bags hanging on the trees in the fall and winter contain the eggs for the next generation (they will hatch the following year). These can be removed from small trees by hand and discarded anytime before June. Caterpillars emerge from overwintering eggs within the bag in June and create small bags as they begin to feed. It is important to watch for the tiny caterpillars and treat only when caterpillars are present. We can apply an insect application form late May through early July to kill the newly hatched caterpillars as they begin to feed.