Winter is quickly approaching, bringing a whole new set of potential turf problems with it.
We have the old standbys:

Leaves. I love watching the leaves turn color and gracefully flutter down with the wind and rain. What I don’t like is seeing them accumulate on our client’s lawns. After only a few days, leaves left on your lawn start causing smothering damage, which leads to all kinds of problems besides bare spots. Moss development, infestation of opportunistic invasive grasses and weeds and, with evergreen needles ( fir, pine, cedar etc.) lowered soil ph, are all byproducts of leaves left on lawns. So do your lawn a favor, make it a point to, if at all possible, get those leaves off your lawn on a weekly basis.

Crane fly larvae. Last year’s warm, wet winter did little to naturally control crane fly larvae. This year it looks we are in for more of the same. We have been noting exceptionally high numbers of adult crane flies mating and laying eggs. This years crop of larvae are going to be causing significant damage to turf. If you’re already on our control program you will be fine. If not, your applicator will let you know if you have a problem. BUT, he only sees your lawn once every 6-8 weeks. If you aren’t on the control program and notice distinctive thinning and/or a lot of birds poking around your lawn, you probably have crane fly larvae. Call the office so we can determine the proper course of action.On the more exotic side: Pink Snow Mold. Interestingly, even with such a mild winter last year, we did see several cases of snow mold in client’s yards. In mid December we had several consecutive days with heavy morning frost which is conducive to snow mold formation. Although there is no practical preventive measure for control of snow mold, there are some simple, physical measures to minimize the long term damage. Most notably is using a leaf blower to fluff up the damaged areas. If you have this problem this winter, your applicator will let you know, or you can call the office.

Leaf Spot, Red Thread, and Rust. Although these are all very common fungal problems, we generally do not see extensive problems with them in the winter. But another mild, wet winter changes the game, creating conditions more conducive to these diseases. The good news is, we can generally control these diseases with proper, regular fertilization. This means it is vital not to skip any winter applications.

We are adjusting how we do things at Tuff Turf to keep up with the changes and challenges of landscape care in the Northwest. You can depend on us to continue to deliver the same outstanding service our clients expect.