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Summer Getaway Winner

Congratulations to CMA Property Manager Nia Terry-Childs!  Nia won the $700 Air Tran Gift Certificate in NatureScapes' first Summer Getaway contest.

“I am extremely excited and very surprised to have won!  NatureScapes is a great company to work with.  Their quality of service is outstanding, and my boards are pleased with their level of responsiveness and proactive suggestions.  Thank you, NatureScapes, for all of your hard work and this fantastic prize!”- Nia Terry-Childs

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest!  It was such as a success, we've launched a new contest with more prizes.  To enter the Fall Getaway, or for more information, click here.

Pictured, from left, are NatureScapes Marietta Branch Manager Brandon Baxter, CMA Property Manager Nia Terry-Childs, and NatureScapes Lilburn Branch Manager Chris Walls.

Fall Armyworms in Turf
Will Hudson
Extension Entomologist, University of Georgia

In late summer, almost every year, caterpillars invade turfgrass throughout the state.  The damage to established turf is mostly aesthetic, but newly sodded or sprigged areas can be more severely damaged or even killed.  While there are several caterpillars that can damage turfgrass, in late summer most of the problems are from fall armyworms.  Their favorite turf to feed upon is Bermuda grass.

Adult armyworm moths are active at night and females lay eggs in masses of 50 to several hundred.  Eggs hatch in a few days, and the young larvae begin to feed on leaf tissue.  Damage from small larvae may at first look like skeletonizing, but as the worms grow, the entire leaf is consumed.  Armyworms are most active early and late in the day, spending the hotter hours down near the soil in the shade.  Larvae feed for two to three weeks before pupating in the soil.  Moths emerge 10-14 days later.  The entire life cycle from egg to adult moth takes about 28 days in the warm weather of August and September.  If there is any doubt about whether worms are present, pouring soapy water on the grass (1/2 oz. dishwashing soap/gallon water) will bring them up very quickly.

Control of armyworms and other turf caterpillars is relatively simple once the problem is identified.  The old standby carbaryl (Sevin, etc.) still works well, as do all the pyrethroids.  (Pyrethroids are those active ingredients that end in -thrin.)  If the worms are detected while they are still small, Bacillus thurengiensis (B.t.) based "biocontrols" like Dipel can provide good control.  

Armyworms are most active late in the day and at night, so applications should be made as late as practical for best results.  It is not necessary to water after application but an application rate of 20-25 gallons of solution per acre as a minimum will ensure good coverage.  Do not cut grass for one to three days after application.

If you suspect you have armyworms in your turf and NatureScapes has not already identified this problem for you,
please call NatureScapes at 770-923-7023.

Customer Spotlight:
Heritage Club

“Nature Scapes has always been a pleasure to work with.  They take pride in their properties and have always gone above and beyond for their clients.  Because of their hard work and dedication, Heritage Club is a beautiful place to live!”

- Elysia Bonner & Gerri Schwartz
Working Solutions, Inc.

Plant of the Month:  Fragrant Tea Olive

In the next few weeks, put your nose on high alert for the sweet smelling scent of Fragrant Tea Olive, an evergreen shrub that will call you outdoors in September and October.   Look for the creamy white flowers hidden in the foliage perfuming the air.

This low-maintenance shrub takes full sun to partial shade and has few pest problems.  It can grow to be quite large – 20 to 30 feet tall and wide – so be careful where you plant it.  While it is an excellent choice as a background plant or evergreen hedge, the Fragrant Tea Olive is striking enough to stand on its own.  The shrub also does a nice job of softening the corners of a building, but it is not recommended for use around doorways or low windows because of its size.  

Single-digit winters are unkind to the Fragrant Tea Olive, so if your property is further north, look for Fortune’s Tea Olive.  This variety has a better cold hardiness, yet smells just as divine.  Early spring is the best time to feed this shrub with a complete fertilizer containing slow-release nitrogen.