ALERT: The cherry fruit fly has emerged from the soil and is here for the 1989 season. Spray all cherry trees every seven days to kill the fly before it lays the egg under the cherry skin
INSECTICIDE WAIT BEFORE HARVESTDiazinon 10 days
Methoxychlor 7 days
Malthion 3 days
Refer to my May 17 column for more complete spray information. That column had an INCORRECT NUMBER. In reference to the use of the single spray, FMC Dimethoate 267, the rate is 1 1/2 teaspoons per gallon. You must wait 21 days before harvest.
-THINK GREEN - It isn't the most impressive plant in the size category, but its location and use make grass the most universal plant grown in landscapes. Homes may not have many shrubs, trees and flowers, but very few lack a lawn to add beauty, serviceability and an air conditioning effect.
Air conditioning? Certainly. If you doubt it, compare the temperatures as you walk across the parking lot of your favorite mall to that found in a nearby park or ball field. And it isn't only the color and shape that provide the cooling. Artificial turf, even though it's short and green will be much warmer than a comparable natural grass football field.
Let's review some of the basics of lawn care so your soil-covering, home-enhancing setting will be green, not brown.
Now that the warm days of summer are here, there's nothing more important than water. Let's emphasize properly placed water. Grass roots in a natural stand may go as deep as 2-4 feet. When we crowd plants together and keep them mowed short, they seldom root below a 6-inch depth. An irrigation should replenish the moisture in that root zone. Water, in excess is wasted and carries away expensive plant nutrients.
A loamy soil will require about 1 inch of water to go into the soil 6 inches. It will take only 1/2 inch with a sandy type. Use soup or other cans to catch the water under the sprinkler pattern. It may surprise you how unevenly they accumulate water. Measure the amount in the can with a ruler to determine how much you've applied.
Use a shovel or trowel to determine the depth of the roots and whether that area is adequately wet. You'll see that a long screwdriver, once you're oriented, can be pushed into moist soil but not into dry.
Don't water again until the blue-green color of the grass on a warm afternoon indicates a slight amount of stress. Lawns do not need water every day, yet timers allow us to waste water because they're easily set.
Irrigate in the morning when it's cool, wind is less of a factor and more of the water will enter the root zone. Aeration will promote more efficient water use, especially on slopes, compacted areas when there's a heavy thatch. You can aerate at any time during the growing season.
An adequate fertilizer program can save water by keeping the green color you desire. Grass needs a high nitrogen (first number in the formula) fertilizer applied in moderate amounts throughout the summer. On a sandy soil, I use fertilizer on about a 4-5 week interval. Judge the timing by color and growth rate. Many lawns took an extra application to wake them up from the winter deep freeze.
Here's a guideline chart:
Nitrogen Pounds per
content 1,000 sq. ft.
38-46 2 1/2
Seed heads that appear in the spring are common. It's a response to temperature and day-length by our bluegrass lawns. Apply a fertilizer at the above rate. Mow 1 inch shorter for a time or two. You ought to set the mower at 2-2 1/2 inches for a summer height.
Fairy rings seem to be appearing earlier than usual. They are the yellow to tan circle, or part of a circle, that increase in size each year. There's often a darker green ring associated with them. That's due to the fungus decomposing organic material which releases nitrogen that's absorbed by plant roots. The fungus then creates such a thick layer that water and nutrients cannot penetrate so plants lose their green color.
There's no chemical control. Aerate thoroughly. I like to use the hose-end aerator that injects water to the roots as it drills a hole (one trade name; Greenie). Growth response is quite rapid. Then fertilize the entire lawn so it's as green as the green ring to camouflage the malady.
It's difficult to grow grass in the shade. The shadow of a structure or fence reduces bluegrass vigor so it is less able to withstand wear. When tree roots compete for water and nutrients in addition to lack of light, perhaps you should consider a ground cover, bark or gravel to cover the soil.
Some annual plants can be planted in shady spots. Begonia and impatiens provide a lot of color, but i don't recommend them under trees. The digging, fertilizing and extra water is detrimental to a healthy shade or fruit tree.
FACT SHEETS MAY HELP
-Prevent wormy cherries
Stop by our USU Extension Office or send 10 cents for each to 2001 South State Street, Room S-1200, Salt Lake City, UT 84190-3350. Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope for up to four fact sheets.