WHY DOES MY LAWN LOOK SO BAD?

Funky looking brown spots? Uneven growth? Lawn looks bad even with extra watering? Tis the season for leaf spot fungus in the dreaded melting out phase. And our applicators are starting to see this bad boy in lawns from Camas-Washougal, into Vancouver and out into the surrounding areas of Ridgefield, Woodland and all points in between.

Leaf spot is a very common turf disease, found in our Clark County lawns year round. Normally it can be easily controlled with proper fertilization. However, when conditions are right, leaf spot progresses to the very destructive melting out phase.

Our cooler, wetter stretch of weather in mid June, followed by temperatures climbing into the 80s has created optimum condition for this menace to your lawn.

If you notice irregularly shaped, discolored patches in your lawn with small areas of green healthy grass in them (frog-eye), check your soil. Just dig in a couple inches with a knife or screw driver and see if the soil is moist. 

If the soil is moist, it is highly probable you have this disease.Stop watering and get the proper fungicide to stop any further damage.

Or better yet, call us and let Tuff Turf take care of the problem for you!

Check out our cool photos of this nasty disease

lawnspots

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Pink Snow Mold affects Vancouver, WA Lawns

Are you seeing matted, discolored “dead spots” in your lawn?

 Our applicators have been noting various degrees of damage in our client’s lawns throughout Clark County, north into La Center, Ridgefield and Woodland and south into Portland. We are finding matted, circular areas, 3 to 6 inches in diameter with grayish or pinkish edges. In many cases, grayish white mold is also present.

This damage is Pink Snow Mold (Microdochium Nivale) that has been caused by the unusually high number of heavy frost days we have experienced this winter. The good news is there is no need to apply fungicide to stop this disease. The bad news is the damage has been done.

So what now? The single most important thing you can do to aid in your lawns recovery is to use a blower or lawn rake to “fluff up” the damaged areas. This promotes air movement and improves turf appearance. 

And while you’re out there, it’s a great time to remove as much lawn debris (leaves, displaced bark or mulch and limbs and twigs) as possible. By regularly removing this debris you will prevent smothering damage to your turf.

Mowing, if the turf is dry, can also aid in recovery. But be sure you are not leaving heavy clippings on the lawn that can hinder air movement and cause smothering problems as well. 

Having your lawn aerated this spring is highly advisable. This helps relieve soil compaction, aids drainage and can stimulate new grass growth. In the more severely damaged lawns, over-seeding may also be necessary.

PinkSnowMold

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FALL FERTILIZER

Proper fertilization of trees & shrubs is the most overlooked, and yet one of the most important aspects of a total plant health care program. The benefits of feeding your trees & shrubs in the fall include: increased root development, greater resistance to damage from severe cold and frost, greater ability to withstand storm damage and overallincreased hardiness.

We custom blend our fall fertilizer for our specific area, creating the ideal balance of nitrogen and micro-nutrients to provide your trees & shrubs with optimum nutrition for up to six months.

This custom blend is injected into the soil around your trees & shrubs by our highly trained applicators, making it readily available to the feeder roots of your plants.

Over the years, we have noticed a big difference in landscapes that are fertilized and those that are not. The general health, beauty and vigor of a properly fertilized landscape is easily discernible, it just looks better!

If you aren’t taking advantage of this important service, take a moment to call our office and get a quote.  Most of the time we can give you the price over the phone.

Give your trees & shrubs the feeding they need to remain healthy and beautiful all through the winter months.

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The return of Fall AND the Crane Fly!

Now that the rain is here, it is a reminder that it’s fall. In the Vancouver, WA area (including Washougal, Camas, Fisher’s Landing, Cascade Park, The Heights, Downtown, Minnehaha, Hazel Dell, Felida, Salmon Creek, Ridgefield, La Center, Woodland, Amboy, Yacolt, Battle Ground, Brush Prairie, Orchards and all other parts of Clark County), that means the adult Crane Fly are actively laying eggs in the lawns.

So what does an adult Crane Fly look like? Very simply put, they look like a “giant mosquito.”  You may notice them on the side of your house or flying around in the lawn. They generally prefer more shaded, well-irrigated turf, but can be found in almost any lawn.

The adults do not damage your lawn. But they are laying eggs now, and the resultant larvae that hatch in the winter, feed on the roots of your grass. These larvae can cause significant damage (distinctive thinning of the turf), and in large numbers, severe damage, or destroy the turf.

We have seen instances of unchecked Crane Fly larvae leaving nothing but dirt and tufts of undesirable native grasses where a nice, healthy lawn was before.

What can you do to protect your lawn? If you are already on our two-spray Crane Fly Control Program, then no worries! We will apply the proper pesticide at the proper time to control these larvae. If you are seeing large numbers of these adults now, just let us know and we can get your lawn on the Crane Fly Control Program as well.

If you are unsure if you are already on the crane fly control program, you can check online or call the office. Remember, Tuff Turf is here as a resource and a partner to you for all your landscape needs and concerns. Answering questions and providing solutions is what we are all about.

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Summer Watering Recommendations for your Vancouver, WA Lawn!

WATERING RECOMMENDATIONS
** Water deeply to encourage deep root growth **

~ Irrigation sprinkler system: 15-25 minutes per section every other day.

~ Manual sprinklers: 30-45 minutes per section 3 days per week.

These instructions are just a guideline. Your lawn may need more or less water depending on weather, soil conditions/type, wind conditions, shade, type of irrigation, etc.

Water early in the morning between 5am and 9am is ideal. Watering in the evening makes your lawn susceptible to diseases. Irrigation sprinkler heads need periodic adjustments and/or repairs, it’s a good idea to check once a month to be sure they providing good coverage.

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Double Trouble for Lawns in Clark County, Washington

PUAANNUAThis spring has brought two problems for our client’s lawns. Clark County has been invaded by Poa Annua, a native, highly invasive grass, and leaf spot, a common fungal disease.

Poa Annua is an annual blue grass, easily identified by the small, white seeds it prodigiously produces throughout the spring and early summer (see picture right). Poa will produce seed at any mowed height, but will usually stop seed production by mid-July, making it much less noticeable.

These seeds germinate in the fall, when soil temperatures drop below 70 degrees and can remain viable for several years, germinating when conditions are favorable.

In practical terms, it is not economically feasible to control Poa. This grass will out-compete any other type of grass in our unique, northwest climate, and has quickly invaded almost every lawn we service. If it is found in small patches, it can be treated with Glyphosate (Round Up) and the areas reseed or resodded.

Because Poa is so wide spread and persistent, managing it, i.e. blending it into your lawn, may be your best solution. It is usually most noticeable in your turf for a 6-8 week period in the spring, when it is producing heavy seed populations. The majority of the year, other than a “patchy” effect, Poa blends well (compared to most other invasive grasses) in most turf settings.

LEAFSPOT2 LEAFSPOTLeaf spot is a common fungal disease that can be found year round, in almost all of the lawns in Clark County. However, when conditions are favorable; the disease pathogen is present, coupled with temperatures 75 degrees and above and available moisture, leaf spot can progress to the destructive melting out phase. (see photos right and left).

This disease first appears as light green or purplish, unevenly growing areas in the turf. These patches will, over the course of a few days, fade to a tan color and then straw color. As the disease progresses, it forms irregularly shaped dead spots with circular spots of healthy, green grass. This “frog eye” effect is highly characteristic of the disease.

If your applicator sees this condition in your lawn during your regularly scheduled service, he will leave a green, informational sheet will your invoice with more detailed information and a quote for a fungicide application, which will stop the disease. If you suspect this disease may be present in your lawn between visits, you should call our office.

Because fungicide applications can be expensive, we also want to offer our valued clients the option of treating this disease themselves. Immunox, a ready to use fungicide concentrate can be purchased at Home Depot. As with all pesticides, it is very important to carefully read and follow the label to achieve safe, effective results.

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