Lawns, Gardens & Trees

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Lawns, Gardens & Trees

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How to Grow Giant Onions

Giant plants make giant onion bulbs. Your onion plants need to be big when they begin to form their bulbs. Bulb formation begins in late April to early May in North Dakota.

OnionsDo you want to grow giant onions? 

Here’s the secret: Giant plants make giant onion bulbs. Your onion plants need to be big when they begin to form their bulbs. Bulb formation begins in late April to early May in North Dakota.

We want our onion plants to have as many leaves as possible in the spring. That’s because every leaf creates a ring of onion. An onion plant with lots of leaves will have lots of rings -- and a bigger bulb.

Variety. We grow long-day onions in North Dakota. These onions form bulbs when days are 14 to 16 hours long.

'Ailsa Craig' is famous for growing the biggest bulbs. Many seed companies offer it. If you want to win the blue ribbon at the county fair, grow ‘Ailsa Craig.’

Due to COVID-19, ordering seeds early is a good idea. Garden seeds are in high demand and shipping delays are common.

Seeds, Transplants or Sets? Either option can grow big onions. Seeds should be sown in flats in mid-February. Sow seeds thickly and later thin to about 1/2 inch apart. Clip the tops once they grow 5 inches tall.

If buying transplants, look for those that have a diameter the size of a pencil.

Sets are generally used for growing green onions, not giant onions. If buying sets for growing bulbs, look for sets with diameters of 0.5 inch or less

You may think a large set will lead to a large bulb. This is false. Compared with a small set, a large set is more likely to bloom, which leads to a small bulb.

Fertile soil. The soil should be well drained and loose. A sandy loam is ideal. Raised beds work well. Hard, compacted soil will restrict the growth of the bulb. Add an inch or two of peat moss, compost or other organic matter if needed.

A soil test will tell you the fertilizer you need. One general guide is to apply 1/2 cup of 10-20-10 per 10 feet of row before planting. One or two side dressings of urea (46–0–0) at a rate of 1/3 cup per 10 feet of row may be applied in early to midsummer. Fertilizations in late summer should be avoided because they lead to thick stalks and poor storage qualities.

Sunlight. Giant onions require full sun. Plants get their energy from the sun and we want our onions to get as much solar power as possible. Onions tolerate light frosts and typically are planted outdoors in late April.

Spacing. Giant bulbs need lots of space. Crowding the bulbs will limit their growth. Plants should be spaced 4 to 6 inches apart in rows spaced 12 to 18 inches apart. They may be planted in double rows or multiple rows per bed. If you plan to harvest some of the plants as green onions while young, space the plants 2 inches apart in the row and thin as needed.

Irrigation. Giant bulbs need irrigation. Onions have shallow roots and struggle in dry soil. The planting should receive 1 inch of water every week either from irrigation or rainfall. The availability of water is especially important while the plant is growing its bulb. Some gardeners increase watering to 1.5 inches every week during this stage.

Weed Control. Onion is one of the least competitive of all vegetable plants. You have to control weeds, which compete for water, nutrients and sunlight. Weeds also attract thrips and other pests that harm onions. 

In the fall, you will harvest the biggest onions you have ever seen. Enjoy slicing them for sandwiches or making giant onion rings. I can’t wait for the gardening season to begin. Good luck!

Written by , Extension Horticulturist. Photo courtesy of Couleur from Pixabay.

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A Forgotten Treasure

Balsam is a charming annual flower with delicate blooms. Bees love it and so will you.

Balsam
Balsam is a charming flower that is easy to grow.

It’s always fun to grow something different in the garden. This year you may want to try a flower from the past. Balsam is a charming, heirloom flower with delicate blooms. Bees love balsam and so will you!

Balsam (Impatiens balsamina) was treasured by gardeners in the early 1900s but seems to have been forgotten. You won’t find balsam plants at most garden centers this spring when you look among the marigolds, petunias and impatiens.

Even if a garden center offered balsam, you probably would not give it a second look. When it is young, all you see is a single stem covered from top to bottom with pointy leaves. There are no flowers to draw your attention. Perhaps its inconspicuous appearance as a young plant is why few gardeners have discovered balsam.

Balsam is an easy to grow annual. It adapts well to both sunny and partially shaded conditions. Balsam grows especially well in sunny sites that are out of the harsh afternoon sun.

Balsam may be planted in containers or in garden beds. Seeds may be started indoors or directly sown in the garden.

The plants are sturdy, upright and narrow, growing about 12 to 36 inches tall. Blooms come in shades of pink, red, white and light purple.

The flowers may be a little hard to see as they are nestled between the leaves along the stem. Some gardeners pick off a few of the leaves to reveal more of the flowers, but I prefer the natural look of balsam. Bees and hummingbirds have no problems seeing the flowers. They love balsam.

We tested two varieties of balsam, ‘Camellia-Flower Mix’ and ‘Bush Mix’, in the 2020 North Dakota Home Garden Variety Trials. Most of these gardeners had never heard of balsam before. Each variety received high scores and enthusiastic recommendations from gardeners. Comments included:

“This is my first-time growing balsam and I loved it! It was loaded with bees and hummingbirds! I will be adding this flower to my pollinator garden next year! … Both varieties were very healthy and bloomed like crazy!”

“Both varieties grew extremely well and were an amazing addition to the garden … Both made a very impressive floral display both in garden and as cut flowers. The absolute best part—the bees loved both varieties.”

“Both varieties were pretty. It made me think I was vacationing in Hawaii. This was my first try at planting balsam! It was fun planting something different!”

“I had never grown balsam and didn’t know what to expect. These plants performed beautifully. … None of the plants developed disease and they bushed out nicely and bloomed for a long period. Both had a nice variety of colors. I’m glad I tried balsam and would grow either variety again.”

“I had never heard of this flower. Very hardy, pretty flower. … They were the best flowers I had of all my tests.”

“Balsam was a hardy plant that was able to stand the winds in our area. … They were great for fillers in flowerpots and adding interest in the garden.”

“It had strong stems for a vase arrangement. I had not grown balsam before but will add it in the middle of my plantings.”

“This was my first experience with balsam. Despite the heat and dry summer, both varieties did very well. They were very colorful, 3-foot plants. The seed pods were interesting, and I saved a few to plant next spring. Balsam is a lovely addition to any garden!”  

These gardeners were surprised and enchanted by balsam. You may wish to give this heirloom a try yourself. Both you and the bees will be delighted.

Written by , NDSU Extension Horticulturist. Photo courtesy of Rameshng.

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Youth Gardening Grants

North Dakota State University Extension will make grants up to $750 available on a competitive basis to support youth gardening projects in North Dakota.

Girl with tomato
The North Dakota Junior Master Gardener Program provides hands-on activities that lead to healthy kids and strong communities.

North Dakota State University Extension will make grants up to $750 available on a competitive basis to support youth gardening projects in North Dakota. Approximately $22,500 is available and efforts will be made to support youth gardening programs in as many counties as possible.

Schools, 4-H clubs, community organizations, church groups and other youth organizations are encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is March 12, 2021.

Funds may be used to purchase gardening supplies (hand tools, soil, seeds, plants, containers, etc.), Junior Master Gardener and/or other gardening books, and other teaching supplies. Funds cannot be used for snacks or other food, transportation, labor or major equipment.

Any project related to youth and gardening is eligible. Examples of possible projects include:

  • The establishment of school gardens to promote the consumption of healthy foods.
  • Food security gardens that grow vegetables to be donated to local food pantries.
  • Construction projects such as building raised garden beds for the elderly.
  • Beautification projects at schools, day care centers, parks, museums or along streets.
  • Planting trees to establish small arboreta at schools or parks.

Selection criteria include (but are not limited to) the number of children involved, number of days of activity involved, location of  project, and the value of the project to the overall community.

Funds awarded in 2021 need to be used by June 5, 2021. Project coordinators must pay for project supplies and submit all receipts for reimbursements when their allocated funds are spent.

More information and application forms are available at the North Dakota Junior Master Gardener website. Reports from projects supported in the past are available at the site. 

Inquiries can be made to at dean.aakre@ndsu.edu, at tom.kalb@ndsu.edu or Carrie Knutson at .

Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University.

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The New Leader in Asparagus

‘Millennium’ has emerged as the top choice of asparagus varieties in the Midwest. It’s high yielding, long lived, cold hardy, and adaptable to a wide range of soils.

Asparagus spear
Asparagus spears are a delight to harvest in spring.

‘Millennium’ has emerged as the top choice of asparagus varieties in the Midwest.

For several years, University researchers have recommended the “all-male” hybrids from Rutgers, including ‘Jersey Giant’, ‘Jersey Knight’ and ‘Jersey Supreme’. Walker Brothers, the producer of ‘Jersey’ asparagus crowns, has stopped propagating them. Retailers may have a limited supply of ‘Jersey’ varieties in stock, but we need to find an alternative in the long run.

‘Millennium’ looks outstanding. It’s high yielding, long lived, cold hardy, and adaptable to a wide range of soils.

Bred in Ontario, ‘Millennium’ has been grown successfully in Minnesota for several years. Trials conducted in 2013 in northern Minnesota showed it produced 2,094 pounds per acre compared to 1,287 pounds for ‘Jersey Giant’ and 1,233 for ‘Jersey Knight’.

Research in Michigan found plantings of ‘Millennium’ were slower to attain high yields compared to ‘Jersey’ varieties, but they later showed superior and heavy yields over a 15-year lifespan. Plantings show greater vigor and survival.

The yield advantage of ‘Millennium’ may be in part because it has a higher proportion of male plants compared to the ‘Jersey’ varieties. Male plants are desired because their energies are more focused on producing spears. Female plants spend part of their energy forming seeds. These seeds later drop, causing the bed of asparagus to get overcrowded and the spears to get smaller.

Large scale plantings in Michigan indicates ‘Millennium’ is better adapted to cold climates compared to ‘Jersey Giant’ or ‘Jersey Supreme’. It goes dormant earlier in the fall and emerges later in spring, reducing the risk of frost damage. ‘Millennium’ is hardy throughout our state.

‘Millennium’ may be managed to reduce populations of asparagus beetles. Ferns that go dormant earlier in fall can be cut earlier, reducing the likelihood of asparagus beetles from overwintering in the debris.

‘Millennium’ has shown the ability to grow well in a wide range of soil types, including heavy soils.

‘Millennium’ shows intermediate resistance to rust, the most damaging disease in asparagus plantings.

Traditional open-pollinated lines such as ‘Mary Washington’, ‘Martha Washington’ and ‘Purple Passion’ are still available. These varieties have a much higher percentage of female plants. They are less productive, and their spears are less uniform in size compared to those of hybrids.

Hybrids developed in California do not have the hardiness and vigor we need in North Dakota.

Gardeners typically start asparagus plantings using 1-year-old roots. A light harvest is available in the second year, a larger harvest the third year, and a full harvest thereafter. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gardeners are encouraged to order early to ensure the availability of roots. 

Written by . Photo courtesy of Nelly

Sources:

Fritz, V.A., C.J. Rosen, W.D. Hutchinson, R.L. Becker, J. Beckerman, J.A. Wright, C.B.S. Tong and T. Nennich. 2013. Asparagus production guide. University of Minnesota.

University of Minnesota. 2021. Jersey asparagus varieties being discontinued – next steps.

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Invite Songbirds to Your Yard

Birds are wonderful to watch, especially in winter. Our feathered friends provide bright flashes of color, wonderful songs and curious movements. It’s a fun activity for everyone in the family. Learn how to set up a bird feeding station.

Goldfinch at feeder
Goldfinches and other songbirds may brighten your day with bright flashes of color, wonderful songs and curious movements.

Would you like to get closer to nature? Put up a bird feeder.

Birds are wonderful to watch, especially in winter. Our feathered friends provide bright flashes of color, wonderful songs and curious movements. It’s a fun activity for everyone in the family.

Now is the time to take action. The weather is getting cold outside and birds are looking for a place to stay warm. Here are a few tips:

Provide good food. This is the most critical factor. Birds won’t visit your station if they do not like the food you offer. Black-oil sunflower and white proso millet seeds are highly desired by most birds. These seeds are rich in calories, which birds need to stay warm, and provide the best value.

Cracked corn and safflowers are useful additions to a seed mix. Niger thistle is preferred by goldfinches and house finches. Blue jays love peanuts.

Avoid seed mixes with wheat, millet, oats and rice. Birds pick through these inexpensive mixes, making a mess on the ground below.

Feeding songbirds can get expensive. Make a commitment to feed birds all winter or don’t feed them at all. Birds are especially vulnerable to hunger in late winter, when food sources in nature are most lacking. Buy seed in bulk to save money.

Get a variety of feeder boxes. A traditional wooden feeder mounted on a pole (see photo) will attract most birds. This feeder typically has a wooden roof and a clear plastic hopper that sits upon a shelf used by hungry birds for perching. The seeds drop down to the birds by gravity. This popular feeder is the best feeder to select if you use only one.

You can attract a wider variety of birds by adding other feeders. Nylon-covered wire cages filled with suet will attract woodpeckers and chickadees. Hanging tube feeders will attract finches.

Keep it safe. Birds won’t come to your station if they feel it is a dangerous place. Mount your feeders at least 5 feet high to discourage cats and other predators. Some type of cover, such as trees or shrubs, should be within 5 feet. This cover will provide a place of sanctuary for birds when threatened by predators.

Get a front-row seat. Place the feeder near a window where you can comfortably sit and watch the birds.

Millions of birds die from flying into windows every year. Place the feeder within 3 feet of a window or more than 30 feet away from a window. Birds that strike a window from a short distance are less likely to get harmed.

Give them water. All creatures need water to survive. Choose a bath with a rough surface and gentle slope, and one that is no more than 2 to 3 inches deep. Add branches or stones that emerge from the water to let birds drink without getting wet. Keep the bath full. Thermostatically controlled heaters will keep water from freezing.

Invite songbirds to your yard this winter. You and the birds will feel warm and happy.

To learn more about establishing a successful bird feeding station, go to https://feederwatch.org.

Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, NDSU. Edited by Ellen Crawford, NDSU Agriculture Communication. Photo courtesy of Ian SaneSource: Bird feeding - Tips for beginners and veterans. University of Wisconsin: Madison. 

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Storing Your Harvest

You can extend the enjoyment of your harvest by storing your vegetables properly. Here's how to store beets and carrots, cabbage, onions, potatoes, pumpkins and winter squash.

Frosty weather has arrived and many of us are busy harvesting our vegetables. You can extend the enjoyment of your harvest by storing your vegetables properly.

Most vegetables will store best at around 32°F, but you can store most vegetables for 2–3 months at temps around 50°F and in high humidity. Most of us do not have a root cellar, but we likely have some space where we can keep our produce cool: an unheated garage, mud room or a cool area in the basement.

Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University.

Sources:

Jauron, R. and G. Wallace. 2014. Yard and Garden: Harvest, dry and store onions, garlic and shallots. Iowa State University: Ames.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Storage crops: Post-Harvest handling & storage guidelines. Accessed October 2020. Albion, Maine. 

Woodell, L., N. Olsen and J. Wilson. 2009. Options for storing potatoes at home. University of Idaho: Moscow. 

Photos were made available under Creative Commons licenses specified by the photographers: bluekdesign; arbyreedThad Zajdowicz; Ishikawa Ken; Alexas Fotos; and Nick Warner.

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Caring for Your Lawn in October

Winter is coming. It's time to prepare our lawns for the cold weather ahead of us. The following are some options for mowing, killing weeds, sowing seeds, and fertilizing our lawns in October.

Days are getting shorter. We all know that winter is coming. It's time to prepare our lawn for the cold weather ahead of us.

The best time to improve our lawn has passed. September was the month to focus on lawn improvement.

Here are some tips on caring for your lawn in October:

Mulch or Rake Leaves?

Shred leaves with your mulching mower. The lawn will not suffocate from the mulched leaves as long as you can see the grass blades after mowing.

Thick layers of leaves must be raked, or the lawn will get smothered and rot. These piles of leaves are often found below maples and other large-leaved trees. 

Final Mowing

A tall turf is bad over winter. It attracts voles (damage is shown) and becomes more susceptible to mold over winter. Cut your turf at a normal height or slightly lower (1.5–2.0 inches) the last time you mow.

Killing Weeds After Frost

Weeds can be sprayed after a frost if the leaves appear not to be damaged. The weeds must be active for the herbicide to be absorbed and move into the roots. Broadleaf herbicides with dicamba are effective. If you spray, do it ASAP.

Avoid spraying lawns that are suffering from significant drought stress. In this case, a spot spray of weeds is most appropriate.

Seeding

Don’t sow now; the seedlings won’t survive winter.

Wait to sow seed until November; these seeds will sprout next spring. Sow seed, lightly incorporate in soil, and irrigate once. This strategy is well known as "dormant seeding."

Fertilizing

Don't fertilize now. We do not want to encourage a burst of new, lush growth. Let's allow the lawn to harden itself and prepare for winter. 

Winter is coming. Take a few moments to prepare your lawn before winter arrives. Your healthy lawn will come out of winter ready to green up and grow vigorously next spring. 

Written by , Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Photos were made available under Creative Commons licenses specified by the photographers: Peggy Choucair from Pixabay; BlueRidgeKitties; David L. Clement, University of Maryland, Bugwood.org; *Jyl*.

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It's Apple Picking Time!

The apple harvest is underway. Learn how to harvest and store the leading fruit crop of North Dakota.

 

The sun is shining, the air is crisp and cool, and our apple trees are loaded with fruit. It’s a great time of the year!

Many cultivars are ready to be picked now. If you are not sure, an apple is ready for picking when its background skin color turns from green to yellow (middle photo). The fruit comes off easily when harvested.

Use an upward and twisting motion when harvesting fruit. Do not yank down on branches. This can tear off the knobby, branch spurs (shown near the fruit stem in middle photo), where next year’s fruits will come.

Apples on trees can tolerate temps approaching 26°F before frost damage occurs. If they freeze on the tree, wait for the fruits to thaw before harvesting. Frozen fruits should be used promptly.

Store fruits in a cool (34–40°F), humid (90% RH), dark place. A refrigerator is best, but a root cellar or unheated garage is acceptable.

complete list of recommended apple cultivars for North Dakota is available.

Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Photos courtesy of camknows, Michael E. and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Apples for North Dakota

Apple is the #1 fruit grown by gardeners in North Dakota. The following are some of the best cultivars for our state.

Apples on tree

When it comes to planting trees, there is an old proverb that goes: “Today is the second best day to plant a tree. The best day was yesterday!”

Don’t keep waiting. Apple is the #1 fruit grown by gardeners in North Dakota. Most apples in North Dakota take five or more years before they produce decent crops. That’s a long time!

Pick a sunny site that has good drainage and is sheltered from strong winds. Keep out of frost pockets.

An apple cultivar will reject its own pollen. Make sure there is another apple or crabapple cultivar within 100 feet if possible. 

Look for cultivars that are hardy, mature early and produce high-quality fruit. The earliest cultivars are generally good for fresh eating but do not store well. Later-ripening varieties store better, but they run the risk of never maturing before the snow flies.

Apple growers in Zone 4 should strongly consider a tree with a dwarfing rootstock, especially if snow cover is present during the winter. Trees with dwarfing rootstocks are easier to manage, bear earlier and are more productive. Staking is generally recommended to prevent dwarf trees from breaking at their graft unions.

Look for the hardiest rootstock available. Among the hardiest are Ottawa 3 and Bud 9, but these are not as commonly available as others. G30 from Cornell University is hardy and resists fire blight.

The introductions from Malling are most common in the marketplace, and M26 is the hardiest of this group. M7 has been widely planted in Midwest orchards for decades; it produces a freestanding tree. These rootstocks will create trees about 12 to 16 feet tall under normal growing conditions.

Dwarfing rootstocks are not hardy in Zone 3. These gardeners should grow “standard” trees with rootstocks of ‘Dolgo’ or ‘Antonovka’, and then prune aggressively to keep the trees 16 feet or lower in height.

The following are some of the best cultivars for North Dakota, listed in order of ripening. All are hardy in Zone 3 unless noted otherwise:

CULTIVAR

DESCRIPTION

Dakota Gold

Large, yellow apple. Good for fresh eating, sauce and pies. Very hardy. Annual bearer. Tolerates fire blight. Ripens in late August. From North Dakota.

Norkent

Orangish fruit with apple-pear taste similar to ‘Golden Delicious’. From Canada.

State Fair

‘Mantet’ x ‘Oriole’. Bright red apple with crisp, juicy white flesh. Fresh eating. From Minnesota.

Zestar!

Excellent early apple. Crisper and better storage life than other early apples. Striped red skin. Marginally hardy in Zone 3. From Minnesota.

Hazen

Large, dark red fruit. ‘Duchess’ × ‘Starking Delicious’ parentage. Natural semi-dwarf (10 to 15 foot) tree. Does well without spraying. Mild flavor for fresh eating and cooking. Short storage life. From North Dakota.

Duchess

Popular apple from Russia. Medium to large size; mildly tart taste good for pies and sauce. Shows resistance to scab, rust, and fire blight. Ripens in early September.

Wealthy

Striped red apple with tart flavor. Precocious bearer. Ripens mid-September. Stores well. Heirloom from Minnesota.

Goodland

Medium-large apple; creamy yellow with blush of red. Ripens in late September and stores well. Flesh is crisp, juicy and aromatic. For fresh eating and especially good in pies. From Manitoba.

Red Baron

Medium-sized apple. Productive tree bears at a young age and tolerates fire blight. From Minnesota.

Northern Lights

Red with striped color pattern. ‘Haralson’ × ‘McIntosh’ parentage. Excellent, slightly tart flavor good for eating and cooking. Short storage life. From North Dakota.

Prairie Magic

Yellow with red blush. ‘Goodland’ x Mantet’ parentage. Medium-large fruit is sweet and crisp. Vigorous tree. From Manitoba.

Wolf River

Very large apple. Yellow with red stripes. Used for cooking. Zone 4 only.

Sweet Sixteen

Medium-size, red apple with spicy-sweet, crisp, aromatic taste. Creamy yellow flesh. Good for fresh eating. Takes a long time to bear fruit after planting.

Honeycrisp

Most popular apple in Midwest. Sweet and balanced taste; very crisp texture. Exceptional for fresh eating. Large fruits ripen in late September to early October and store very well. Marginally hardy in Zone 3. From Minnesota.

SnowSweet

Bright white flesh that resists browning when sliced. Ideal for snacks. Shows some resistance to scab and fire blight. Zone 4.

Haralson

The standard for cooking apples in the Upper Midwest. Pleasantly tart flavor. Some resistance to fire blight. Easy to grow and stores well. From Minnesota.

Wodarz

Popular heirloom in North Dakota. Green, knobby “ugly” apple is very sweet and stores well. Shows some tolerance to fire blight. Late.

 

Source: Tom Kalb and Kathy Wiederholt of North Dakota State University Extension; Charles Elhard and Jamie Good of North Dakota Department of Agriculture. Reviewed 2019. Starting a Community Orchard in North Dakota.  Photo courtesy of DataHamster.

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Hunting for Grubs

Do you have mysterious holes appearing in your lawn? You might have hungry skunks or raccoons visiting you at night.

Do you have mysterious holes appearing in your lawn? You could have hungry skunks or raccoons visiting you at night. Once they find a grub-infested lawn, they will keep coming back for more.

You can stop the damage from skunks and raccoons by taking away their food. Kill the grubs with an insecticide, and the wildlife will hunt for grubs in someone else’s yard. Outdoor lighting or rags soaked with ammonia may help to repel skunks, too.  

Before treating with an insecticide, make sure grubs are in your lawn. Do the “tug test.” Grab a handful of damaged turf and tug it up. If it comes up easily, this is likely due to grubs, which gnaw on turf roots.

Peel back the damaged turf. The grubs, if present, will be right near the surface. They will curl into a C-shape and be the length of about 0.5 to 1.0 inch. 

It's common for grubs to be in a lawn. Three or more grubs per square foot near the soil surface are needed to warrant any chemical treatment. 

Don't treat if you do not see the grubs. You are wasting your money on killing a pest that is not there. You may also be introducing an insecticide to the environment that is harmful to bees and other beneficial insects. 

Among grub-killing chemicals, triclorfon and carbaryl act within days. These "curative" chemicals are applied when grub populations are severe and will persist only during the particular season they are applied (usually late spring or fall).

Imidacloprid and chlorantraniliprole are applied as a preventative in early summer to kill grubs in late summer and fall when many severe grub problems occur. They should not be applied now.

Make sure you mow your lawn before applying the insecticide. This will remove any weed flowers and protect bees from being harmed. Imadicloprid and carbaryl are particularly toxic to bees; chlorantraniliprole is not toxic to bees.

If you apply an insecticide, irrigate the chemical deeply to move it down to the grubs. Apply at least 0.5 inches of water as soon as possible after application.

The vast majority of lawns do not have harmful populations of grubs. A vigorous and healthy lawn can tolerate some grubs.

Milky disease spore (Bacillus popilliae) products are not effective at controlling grub species in our state.

Grub problems will begin to decline when the grubs start burrowing deeper to escape the winter cold. When the grubs go away, so will the skunks and raccoons.

Written by , Extension Horticulturist. North Dakota State University. Photos courtesy of g.h.vandoorn; Irene Graves; Steven Katovich, Bugwood.org. Contributing source: Smitley, D., T. Davis and E. Hotchkiss. 2020. How to choose and when to apply grub control products for your lawn. Michigan State University.

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