Spring Ahead To Healthy Turf


If a field has to remain closed longer than anticipated, user groups get frustrated. Sometimes a problem arises (e.g., the turf turning yellow) and the cause cannot be determined. Monitoring all fields in a short period of time can be challenging, as it has to be completed after the snow has melted but before April, when maintenance begins. “Trying to keep user groups off the sports field, if it’s a dry spring, is a big challenge,” says Steffler. “There will always be eager beavers. Count on some damage being done.”

When it comes to pest control (insects, weeds, diseases and rodents), there are different options: beneficial insects, such as lady bugs, praying mantises and parasitic wasps. For Steffler, the biggest insect problem is grubs. However, they are not a problem if the fields don’t provide the ideal conditions for them, which is why a good IPM program is important. If a pest reaches a pre-determined threshold limit (a number given to a population of pests that will cause irreversible damage), pesticides can be used for control.

Regardless of challenges that may hinder an IPM program initially, the benefits of implementing a schedule and sticking to it will pay off during the most important season–playtime.

Tanya Steffler may be reached at 905-697-0570, stefflert@rogers..com or by mail at 22 Jane St., Bowmanville, ON L1C 1G1 Canada

Sheryl Noble is a freelance writer in Medina, Ohio. She can be reached via e-mail at s.noble@zoominternet.net

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