Monday, July 24, 2017

Be Proactive - The Bad Worms Are Coming To Eat Your Grass

Horticulture Hotline 07/24/17
By Bill Lamson-Scribner

I have been writing this column since around 1989. Right after Hurricane Hugo, I started this column (with the help of many others from the Post and Courier family) to try to help people out with their landscape situations after “The Storm”.

With over 28 years of articles in the archives (over 1300 articles), it is easy to spot trends. I see (in my article’s crystal ball) that during the next two weeks’ army worms will be looking to add a little fiber to their diet in the form of your turf grass.

While mowing the grass during the heat of the day, I noticed a few moths in my grass. I have also noticed several moths flying around in my yard in the evening, and I have been told by many of my fellow moth watching friends that they are starting to see them as well. Moths fly around, lay eggs, then the hungry worm emerges and eats your grass. They eat a lot of grass very quickly. The spineless insects do not care that you worked all spring and summer on your lawn. They munch down on it quickly and weeds move in.  The worm then becomes a moth and the cycle begins again.

Many people will be taking vacation before school starts or dropping off that loved one to college. I’m going to get something out on my yard in the next few days, so I don’t come home to a munched on lawn. These worms do a lot of damage fast.

07-00-14 + Allectus (if you need a little fertilizer to get you through the summer), Bifen, or Sevin G would help prevent the grass munchers from eating the grass you have tried so hard to cultivate over the summer. EcoVia is an NOP (National Organics Program) compliant product that works great if you prefer to use organic products.

While driving around and looking at my own yard, the grass is looking a little “washed out” from the high temperatures and the lack of fertilizer. Most people’s spring fertilizer has been consumed by the plant and turned into clippings. 07-00-14 + Allectus and Perk are two good fertilizers to get you through until it is preemerge time again. If you are working from information derived from a soil test or custom program, stick with those recommendations.

While you are out there working in the yard, remember the sunscreen (sun cancer seems to be another way our reckless youth catches up with us), sun protection clothing, and water (rotate in a sport’s drink as well). Mosquitoes?

Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply. Possum’s has three locations 481 Long Point Rd in Mt. Pleasant (971-9601), 3325 Business Circle in North Charleston (760-2600), or 606 Dupont Rd, in Charleston (766-1511). Bring your questions to a Possum’s location, or visit us at You can also call in your questions to “ The Garden Clinic”, Saturdays from noon to 1:00, on 1250 WTMA  (The Big Talker).