Ask the Expert – Japanese Beetles

I’ve noticed a ton of Japanese Beetles in my yard. Should I be concerned?

You may have spotted Japanese beetles in recent weeks. If you have the beetles in your yard, you already know how destructive they can be to your yard, trees and plants. The beetle measures about half an inch and is recognizable by its metallic head and copper back.

japanese-beetle

There is no preventative treatment for Japanese beetles, which are relatively new to this area, having arrived within the last five years. When an insect is new to a geographic area, the population typically soars within the first few years, but steadily declines after reaching its peak.

There are many misconceptions about the best options for getting rid of the Japanese beetle, and unfortunately there is no option to eliminate them completely. Japanese beetles lay eggs in the summer months, which overwinter as larvae. Completely eliminating the larvae, which appear as a white grub, is an unrealistic goal. However, the grubs can be controlled to the point that they don’t destroy the turf in your yard.

japanese beetle life cycle

Controlling the Japanese beetle after you see an adult population is more realistic, but takes time and diligence. An adult female Japanese beetle emits an odor that attracts males, who can fly in from as far as 6 miles away. Eliminating the beetles in your yard is a temporary fix as more are likely to continue to arrive. Using traps with synthetic hormones to attract and capture the beetle is ineffective as they generally only capture about 10% of the beetles in the vicinity, and may actually attract more beetles to your yard.

japanese beetle trap

The most effective treatment is to spray your plants and trees with a registered insecticide. You can spray smaller plants and shrubs with a hand sprayer, but multiple applications within a period of a few weeks will be necessary to reduce the population. If you have larger trees such as a birch or linden, which are favorites of the Japanese beetle, you will need the help of a professional, and multiple applications will be necessary.

Japanese beetles attack plants in groups, and can be extremely destructive to turf, trees, crops and plants, particularly those in the rose species. But with diligence you can control them to the point where they are no longer destructive. And there is more good news. Within the next few weeks, the Japanese beetles will lay their eggs and die soon after. Of course, the egg-larva-pupa-adult cycle will perpetuate, but you will be free of destructive pest for the remainder of the summer!

Call the Turf Care team to help eliminate the Japanese beetles in your large trees today!

Ask the Expert – Emerald Ash Borer

Ask Jay, The Lawn Care Expert

I’ve heard a lot about the Emerald Ash Borer—should I be concerned?

Experts have been warning the community about an infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer insect making its way to the Omaha area, and the insects have in fact been found in trees around the metro. The leaves are back on the trees, so now is a good time to consider the best treatment option for your tree.

Look for signs of infection, such as die-back from the top, or tiny exit holes in the trunk, which can be difficult to see. These are signs that your tree may be infected and it should be evaluated by a professional.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Once a branch has been infected, it may be too late to save the branch, but not necessarily too late to save the rest of the tree.
  • If the vascular system of the tree has been infected, it will be difficult to save the tree.
  • A soil drench is a possible treatment. This is where the soil is drenched with the treatment, and the chemical travel up the vascular system of the tree. This is may not be effective now that the insects are in the area.
  • The most effective treatment for the emerald ash borer is annual injections done by a professional.

Injections have been effective in saving some trees in other cities that have been infested with the emerald ash borer insect, but there is no guarantee that it will work on all trees. Here are some things to consider before choosing this form of treatment:

  • Injections are effective at providing protection from the bore and preventing them from spreading to other trees.
  • Annual injections are needed in order for this form of treatment to be effective.
  • Cost should be a consideration. Cost of removal as well as cost of the treatment. Also consider the relative value of the tree. Consider removing a young or an old tree, but middle-aged and healthy trees are good candidates for injection treatments.

The window for treatment is relatively wide as long as it is treated annually. So don’t rush into any decisions. The professionals at Turf Care can evaluate and treat your tree if treatment is warranted. Call our office!

Enjoy a mosquito free 4th

We all know how much fun it is to host a cookout on the 4th of July. We take great pride in making sure your outdoor space is enjoyable. As family and friends gather to celebrate, we want to make sure your yard is in tip-top shape for your guests. This often goes beyond typical grass treatment—we can also help keep your yard bug free.

With longer breeding seasons, mosquito populations are on the rise—but we are here to help.

Our team can come and apply a mosquito treatment that will help keep your guests bite-free. Treatments typically last at least a few weeks—excessive rain can shorten the long-term effectiveness. This means you and your family can not only enjoy a bug-free-4th, but can also enjoy a mosquito free lawn in the following weeks.

We do our best to make sure you can enjoy every ounce of Green Season.  Call our office today and ask about our mosquito treatment options.

 

 

Looking for work? Drop us a line

TCO-FacebookAdHiring

Our summer months generally see an uptick in need, so once again we are looking to add the best of the best to our team.

Turf Care is one of Omaha’s premier provider of lawn care services. Since 1982 we have been treating Nebraska lawns as if they were our own. We believe every yard deserves a Golf Course Green lawn.

We need to fill a Certified Lawn Technician position, applicant needs past experience in a field related to turf, landscaping and/or as an applicator.

We are looking for general laborers; grass cutting, edging, aeration and other basic lawn maintenance work.

Valid driver’s license, a great attitude and self-motivation is required.

If you think you qualify, send us your resume—
info@turfcareomaha.com

Ask the Expert

Ask Jay, The Lawn Care Expert

With every change in season and temperatures, our office receives a flurry of calls from homeowners who are concerned about their changing lawn. Most of the changes causing concerns for homeowners are normal for lawns in our region. We hope to answer your questions and alleviate these concerns with a new blog series we are launching– Ask Jay, The Lawn Care Expert.

My grass looks like wheat on the end, with a rough, thick stalk? Is my lawn full of weeds?

In early Spring, your lawn goes through many changes. When the tops of your lawn look like wheat, it is in the seeding process, and what you are seeing are seed heads. This is a natural part of the seasonal growing pattern for grass. Different varieties of grass may seed at different times during a season, but every lawn is an ecosystem and it will undergo various changes throughout the season, depending on the environment. The seeding process can occur over a few weeks, surging and waning, depending on temperatures and moisture.

The grass will form a thick, rigid stalk to support the seed head, and the stalk may turn brown after mowing. This is due to the stalk decomposing, and it is normal. The grass will green up again. It is not uncommon for a lawn to look blotchy, because the grass may not seed at the same time. We recommend normal watering and mowing at this stage. Don’t cut your lawn too close, and water when the soil appears dry.

With regular maintenance, watering and mowing, your lawn should stay healthy and beautiful through the season.

How often should I be watering and mowing my lawn right now?

This is a question we get often in the Spring, and the answer depends on the weather! Mother Nature typically takes care of the watering for us in April and May, and this year has been no exception. We have had a healthy amount of rain in recent weeks and your lawn is likely conditioned to the cooler, moist weather. As dryer weather moves in, your grass will need to harden off. When we have temperature swings of 60’s one day, to 90’s the next, the grass is not allowed to harden off, and it will become distressed. This does not necessarily mean that the lawn needs to be watered, so hold off on the sprinkler until the soil appears dry. The grass will eventually harden off as the temperatures gradually rise.

Regular mowing at this time of year is important for the long-term health of your lawn. Mowing a wet lawn is not ideal, but it is better than not mowing at all and letting it grow too long, which is hard on the plant. We recommend taking no more than a third of the blade with each mowing, so it is OK to set the mower height a little higher now, and mow about once a week.

Do I need a fungicidal treatment?

This is the time of year to treat your lawn with a fungicide if it has been a chronic problem for your lawn. We are treating lawns now as a preventative measure because once the lawn is infected, it is impossible to bring it back without seeding and a lot of time and care. It is much easier to prevent than to cure, so if you have concerns about fungus, don’t delay treatment. Call us today with questions.

Call us today if you would like the Turf Care team to help keep your lawn healthy and beautiful all season.

Need Mulch?

With summer creeping up, its time to address your beds. At this time of year, we recommend homeowners consider adding mulch to your beds. You might ask why? Well, mulch helps your beds in a number of ways.

Mulch helps control weeds.
And for many homeowners, this is reason enough to get the mulch down.

Mulch helps control water usage. Some mulch, counterintuitively, can act as a sponge and absorb high quantities of water, which can help keep your plants safe and cool in warmer conditions. Holding more water means you have to water your bed’s less.

Mulch replenishes nutrients. Fresh organic material helps keep soil happy and healthy.

Mulch gives a polished look. Adding mulch to your beds helps give your yard a nice polished look.

The pro’s at Turf Care are happy to deliver mulch to your yard. For a limited time get $35/per yard for regular, or $50/per yard for dyed delivered to your home. 2 yard minimum.

Omaha Lawn Care

Finally, after months of dreary, cold-weather, lawns are coming back to life. It might be an over-statement, but we love this time of year. And, it is not only because headquarters is bustling with excitement every morning. We at Turf Care have a unique perspective on the work we do—we help people, individuals and families, kids and pets, enjoy the outdoors. We believe there is something magical and reassuring about seeing a well-kept, green lawn everyday.

And we want our customers to enjoy that sensation every time they pull up to their house, or every time they look out the window.

Knowing that you have Turf Care on your side can help ease your mind — you don’t have to worry about taking care of your lawn. You can spend your time with other things.

It is easy to tell that our customers appreciate all we do. We’ve won Best of Omaha 6 years in a row, and have been voted best of Sarpy County multiple times.

We encourage you to take a look at our services. We offer a variety of lawn programs. If you aren’t sure what you need, give us a call. We are always happy to take a look at your property and let you know our thoughts.

Our People

All of our success, and the effort it takes to make your lawn look its best, is based on the hard work of our employees.  Enjoy the profiles of some of our employees.

Meet Rick

Rick has been an Applicator on the Turf Care team since 2010.

Rick’s days are busy and start early when he the first to arrive at the office in the morning. He gets the crew ready for their day, ensuring their products are in order and they are prepared for the day. He is also in the field every day, managing larger properties before returning to the office to check the team back in, and completing paperwork and call-aheads for the next day. Before leaving for the day, Rick ensures the fleet is restocked and ready for the next day.

Rick’s favorite time of year is Spring, when people are excited to get their lawns going after a long winter. He enjoys the fresh growth and the moderate temperatures, which make people eager to get outside and enjoy their lawns.

“I am a people person, and I love that I can be outside and talk to people every day,” said Rick. “One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is when homeowners follow our advice on proper watering and cutting heights, and seeing their yard transformed into a beautiful lawn as a result.”

Turf Care constantly strives to learn, improve and be efficient, and to provide the best quality lawn care in Omaha. Rick enjoys being a part of the Turf Care team and is committed to providing excellent customer service to each client.

Seeing patches that haven’t greened up yet?

Seeing patches that haven’t greened up? Don’t worry. You can get lost in the possible reasons why—but it is important to know that different varietals (cultivars) of grass need different conditions to come back to life.

In general all grasses green up in the spring. But why do some patches green up faster? Zoysia grass and Buffalo grass are warm season grasses and obvious green up slower. Fescue and Blue are two cultivars of cool season grass so they should green up at the same rate correct? No! The truth is that within each cultivar there can be multiple genetic strains that all react different. These differences become most obvious as the plant goes in and out of dormancy.

It is also important to remember that not all soils warm at the same rate. Cement edges warm faster, southern exposures warm faster. Heat isn’t the only soil factor—the makeup of the soil also can affect the greening process. How much sand or gravel, clay, organic matter, compaction all can effect how fast the soil warms up.

At the end of the day, patience is key.

Rarely will winter desiccation kill grass plants, however it is possible. Typically, a large number of dead spots is more than likely due to family pets. These spots will also recover with time, depending on the severity. Seed or sod is the only option for any dead spot. Seeding is best done in the fall and sod can be expensive.

Once again be patient and you may save some money. We can cut it out and replace with new sod tomorrow, but it’ll cost you, and you are probably better off waiting a few more weeks to see what happens.

We do recommend mowing early. Taking off the brown tips can help make your lawn look greener. Recent information indicates a set it and forget is an okay approach to mowing height. Our clients typically want a better looking lawn, and the set it and forget it approach to mowing doesn’t always yield great results. When it is cooler you can cut shorter, gradually increasing the height as temperatures increase.

You should always cut at a height where it looks good. If you are taking the color out of the lawn by mowing you may be cutting too short or too infrequently. You should also note that the cultivar and genetic strain will also effect mowing height.

As always, we are just a phone call away.

Our Favorite Time of Year is Here

TCO-GreenSeason-Web

Okay, we get it. Sometimes Omaha grants us a few final snow storms as we head into spring. But that shouldn’t dissuade us, or you, from getting excited about spring. Green Season means warmer weather, more sunshine, and plenty of green grass to enjoy.

To get ready for Green Season, the team at Turf Care has come up with some great offers to get your lawn ready for the spring and summer months. Planning your yard care now can help ensure you spend the warmer days enjoying the sunshine.

With the purchase of a year-long yard care plan you can choose one of the following options:

1. $10 Off your first your first application.

2. $25 Off your prepayment.

3. $50 Off tree and shrub fertilization.

Our customers think we offer great service and they are more than happy to give their personal endorsements. See what they have to say about us.

They say the early bird gets the worm. We don’t know about all that, but we do know you can take advantage of these early-bird specials. Don’t wait. Plan Today.

This offer expires 04/30/2017.