Make sure you are cutting off your irrigation system during these rain-filled weeks. Excessive amounts of water cause fungus problems.
We deal with brown patch fungus, dollar spot fungus, large patch fungus, and grey leaf spot. Fungicide applications will help control the fungus outbreaks. Most fungicides require two applications approximately 14 to 28 days apart. Read the label and follow the recommendations.
We also will start seeing in our lawns the white moths that lay the eggs that hatch into army worms and sod webworms. The moths fly across the turf and drop eggs that hatch into the caterpillars that feed on your turf. An insecticide application will help prevent these caterpillars.
We are also seeing more than normal chinch bug damage in St. Augustine lawns this summer, due to the hot and dry weather we had in May and June. Chinch bugs normally start in the sunny areas of the lawn, near the pavement where it is the hottest.
Signs of chinch bugs present is when the grass turns yellow, then brown. Chinch bugs inject a toxin into the grass blade which causes it to die. Recovery from chinch bugs can take months, so apply an insecticide to help prevent damage in your St. Augustine lawn.
If your shrubs need pruning, now is the time to cut back your ornamentals before fall arrives. Some of your ornamentals will start putting on buds this fall which produces the beautiful flowers we see in the spring. Make sure your final pruning is done before October arrives.
Insects on your ornamentals can also be an issue this time of year. We deal with aphids on crape myrtles; lace bugs on azaleas and lantana; and mealy bugs, scale, and spider mites – just to name a few. Apply an insecticide and miticide to help prevent any of these insects on your plantings.
Applying a late summer fertilization to your lawn will help it resist any insect damage and keep it vigorous going into the fall season. Use a fertilizer with an insecticide to help prevent the insect damage.
Monitor the amount of rain you receive with a rain gauge. Your lawn needs 1½ to 2 inches of water each week this time of year.
Mark Deloach is the owner of Lawn Doctor of Beaufort County.