Spring applications from Perficut

Hurry! Enroll in Our Spring Lawn Care & Tree Programs by May 1st!

Spring has sprung and the grass is greener, flowers are in bloom and trees are budding. Homeowners are ecstatic their lawns are coming back to life after the long winter months.

As a homeowner, you want your lawn to be lush and green, but that’s not always the easiest task. Did you know you can take steps now to ensure your lawn and trees look healthy through the remainder of the year?

At Perficut, we offer Spring Lawn Care & Tree Programs that will treat the lawn and trees in your yard and will keep your lawn the envy of the neighborhood.
Continue reading "Hurry! Enroll in Our Spring Lawn Care & Tree Programs by May 1st!"

image of dog on green grass

Six Spring Lawn Care Tips for New Homeowners to Celebrate National Lawn Care Month

Congratulations on becoming a homeowner! As you gear up for the first or second summertime in your house, you have a lot to look forward to as a homeowner. Washing cars in the driveway, sunbathing in the backyard and there might even be a barbecue or patio party already planned for the first nice weekend in spring. So, how does that lawn look?
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Japanese Beetle

July first marks the beginning of the emergence of the Japanese Beetle in our region. This service alert is designed to give you more information about this pest and a few tips on how to mitigate the damage.

Overview

The Japanese beetle is a serious pest of turf, trees and ornamental plants, and a difficult species to attack due to the complex nature of its lifecycle.

The Japanese beetle begins its destruction as a grub or larvae living 2-3 inches below the soil. Grubs feed on grass roots, reducing the ability of the grass plant to take up enough water and nutrients to withstand the stress of hot, dry weather. As a result, large dead patches of grass develop, which can be rolled back like a carpet to expose the destruction. Grub infestation may also be indicated where crows, moles, and skunks are found to be digging up the soil while feeding on grubs.

In early July, the grubs grow into adult Japanese beetles and begin to emerge from the soil to feed, mate and lay eggs. By the Fourth of July, adult beetles will begin to feed on trees, vines and other ornamental plants. This activity typically continues for 6-8 weeks, during which more than 60 eggs will be laid.

Japanese beetles feed in full sun at the top of plants, moving downward as the leaves are consumed. At dusk, the females fly to the turf to lay eggs, burrowing about 2-3 inches below the soil. Grubs hatch a few weeks later, growing quickly and eventually growing to about an inch by late September. Most beetles pass the winter about 2-6 inches below the surface, and then begin feeding in April or May when ground temperatures begin to rise.

Where You’ll Find Them

Around the Fourth of July, Japanese Beetles will begin emerging from the ground and feeding on the leaves of Linden, Birch, Maples and Crabapple trees, as well as rose bushes and other ornamental plants. The beetles will be found feeding between leaf veins, making the foliage look similar to lace. The insects prefer to feed on the outer portions of the foliage where the sun is strongest.

Control Methods

Treating Japanese beetles can be complex due to the nature of the pest’s life cycle and the distances travelled by adult beetles. An effective treatment program may require the application of insecticide to both the trees and turf.

Turf applications can be applied in the spring when the recently overwintered grubs start feeding. However, these grubs can be difficult to kill due to their large size and ground applications are generally more effective when applied in early fall.

If damage is found to trees and ornamental plants, treating adult Japanese beetles is recommended in July and August. The presence of beetles on a plant attracts more beetles. Therefore, by not allowing beetles to accumulate, the plants and trees will be less attractive to other beetles - benefitting the trees and ultimately the turf. In circumstances with advanced infestation, multiple treatments may be required.

Any tree treatment for Japanese beetles should be combined with a fall grub control program so that the life cycle does not repeat itself the following year.

SCHEDULE A FREE INSPECTION BY CLICKING HERE.

Ascochyta is Back

As temperatures are starting to rise and the summer solstice is upon us, our turf experts are noticing a rise in cases of Ascochyta in the region. Ascochyta is a grass fungus and form of leaf blight that impacts Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass and tall fescue. Damaged grass appears yellow or bleached, and is particularly noticeable in the mower track. Damage often seems to occur overnight and those unfamiliar with the problem often believe that their lawn has been damaged by a herbicide or similar chemical.

The Ascochyta fungus grows during wet conditions with lots of rain. During wet periods, the fungus spores spread throughout the lawn. Then as temperatures rise, the fungus quickly damages the stressed grass plant.

This year, our turf experts have been seeing damage for the last several weeks. Corporate sites with large, unshaded areas and uncovered athletic fields are particularly vulnerable. Residential sites are also being impacted but only in full sun areas.

The bad news is that there is no current treatment for Ascochyta. The good news is that impacted grasses typically recovers on theirown, with even severely damaged areas making a full recovery in three to four weeks. Raising the mower deck during your next mow may reduce the spread of the fungus while the grass plant works to recover.

For lawns that haven’t yet been impacted, continuing with a comprehensive turf health plan is the best prevention.  A lawn that has been properly watered (with about an inch of moisture per week) and properly fed (with a balanced lawn application program) will be less susceptible to stress and will give your grass plant the best opportunity to continue to thrive during the difficult summer months.

If you have any questions about the health of your residential lawn or commercial site, don’t hesitate to reach out to our turf professionals for a free inspection by clicking HERE.

Mission Possible

In the post Maytag-era, Kim Didier and the team at DMACC Business Resources are investing in the future through a creative approach to economic development.

STORY BY NICK TAYLOR  |  IMAGES BY PHILLIP HARDER AND CHARLIE WITTMACK

Kim Didier moved home to Iowa 17 years ago with an infant in arms, a husband in tow and a new masters degree framed and ready to hang.  The gig that prompted the move from Indianapolis was a leadership role with the City of Newton, supporting employment at the City’s biggest employer, Maytag.  As she and her husband drove west, back to the arms of friends and family, life was full of possibility. Continue reading "Mission Possible"

The Hall of Laureates

STORY BY EMMA LOCKWOOD | IMAGES BY NOLAN KRESNAK

By the mid-20th century, mass famine was imminent in certain regions of the world. In an effort to curb this pandemic, Iowan, Norman Borlaug, pioneered the introduction of a new variety of high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat. The increase in food production that resulted has been labeled the “Green Revolution” and Borlaug is often credited with saving a billion people from starvation.

Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply. He was subsequently also awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, becoming one of only three Americans to ever have received these three highest honors.

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