Your lawn & your roses are saying Help!
It’s summer, it’s been hot and dry and now you may have dead patches in your lawn. To make things worse, there are beetles all over your rose bushes. Ugh! But wait, there’s more. I’m going to tell you that these two problems are related. Yes, Pete Moss here to help you with two problems for the price of one!
Let’s go back to winter. Over the winter, grubs may have been living in your lawn. In spring they woke up and began feeding. They fed on the roots of your grass. In spring and early summer, your grass is growing strong, it’s cooler and rainy and everything looks fine. Come mid-summer, and the hotter, dryer weather, your lawn may go into a mild state of shock, growing and reproducing roots slower. This means you don’t have to mow every three days, and you’re probably glad for that. But then you notice no matter how much you water, some patches just look dead.
Dig up a dinner plate sized slice of grass near the dead spots and see if there are little white, c-shaped grubs crawling around. If so, bingo, you’ve found your trouble. These grubs are down under, eating away your lawn’s potential to live. Get to your local Ace Hardware store, get some grub control granules, and get them on your lawn. You may want to repeat this application next spring, with a season-long grub control.
Those grubs are larvae of several possible insects. The adults fly from lawn to lawn, so it’s easy for them to find your grass attractive. You may see little white moths fly up out of your lawn, especially when you’re mowing. These are adult grubs, transformed and on their way to invade someone else’s lawn.
One possible adult is the Japanese Beetle. Colorado has seen an invasion of Japanese beetles starting in the Denver area and moving out from there. (In 1964 there was an invasion of English Beatles, but that was very different.) Japanese Beetles may infest your flower bushes, especially roses, and devour the leaves, which is, generally, not recommended care for roses. The Japanese Beetle is relatively new to Colorado. So how do you take care of them?
Simple, make another trip (if you’re like me, or if you’re more prepared, make one trip) to your local Ace Hardware store and get a Japanese Beetle trap. This is a simple device that hangs in your yard, catching the beetles in a bag. There’s an attractant in the trap that tricks the beetles. However, the beetles may confuse the attractant with your real flowers, so don’t hang the trap right near you roses. Hang it where you may be able to draw them away from the bushes.
There are rose insecticides that you can apply in spring to help control these beetles as well. Next spring apply season-long grub control and the rose control. Right now, apply grub control granules and get yourself a Japanese beetle trap. Your lawn & roses will then be saying we get by With a Little Help From my Friends! Whatever you do, don’t just Let It Be, or you may be the Fool On the Hill. (I know, you’re saying, “No Pete, wrong beetles!” Couldn’t resist!)