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Re: E-M:/ Lawn Grub Response



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Enviro-Mich message from Barbara Jean Madsen <bjmadsen@biology.lsa.umich.edu>
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"Going native" is a great idea.  If you're not quite ready to deal with a
full-blown prairie in your yard, or if your community has "height-of-
vegetation" ordinances that would prohibit tall prairie grasses, consider
plantings other than expanses of grasses of any kinds.  Other native
flowering plants (black-eyed Susans, Liatris (blazing star), bee balm
(Monarda), etc. are native prairie flowers; even non-native perennials can
take less care and water than a lawn; you could even try rock gardens!  As
one letter-writer to the Ann Arbor News put it, "This is your big
opportunity to get rid of that boring lawn and try something else!"

	--Barb Madsen



On Wed, 17 May 2000, Alex J. Sagady & Associates wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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> 
> Forwarded bounced message....
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> 
> Wed, 17 May 2000 10:46:23 -0400
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> Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 10:32:28 -0400
> To: Sheinzman <sheinzman@prodigy.net>, enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
> From: Michelle Gesmundo <gesmundm@msue.msu.edu>
> Subject: Re: E-M:/ Lawn grubs
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> 
> All insects undergo natural highs and lows in their populations. The grub
> you are referring to that is currently in a natural population explotion is
> the European chafer grub (not the japenese beetle grub).
> 
> Turf lawns will have a hard time coming back after infestation of high
> populations. If one lets the lawn go dormant over the summer (do not water
> and let the grass turn brown as part of its natural summer dormancy to
> begin growing again in late summer), the grub population may move on to
> greener pastures. It is possible that all that stress may prove to be too
> much for the inferior turf grasses. Native prarie grasses will have a much
> higher chance of sustaining itself through the high grub populations due to
> the much deeper root systems and the overall hardiness of these native
> grasses.
> 
> One will do well to seriously consider converting their non-native, higher
> maintenence turf into a native planting with prarie grasses. This is the
> most environmentally friendly thing to do. After establishment this native
> environment will be a better filter of air and water, provide better
> habitat for wildlife and better aesthetic value, require less maintenence,
> and be a better deterrant of future pest problems.
> 
> Moving up the latter of risk, I've been told the best way to handle the
> grub situation when one will not plant natives is to number one water the
> lawn to reduce the immediate damage of the grubs. One could then try and
> let the grass go domant July and August, or: MSU research says that the
> populations here are not large enough to use the milky spores disease as a
> natural control; so, the next thing to do would be to apply GrubX. GrubX
> is a sythetic growth regulator to be applied in mid-July. It affects both
> kinds of grubs. It inhibits reproduction. I have been told by MSU
> Extension that it is non-persistant with no toxic effects. I'm not so
> convinced as to the benefits of adding another synthetic to the environment.
> 
> The worst thing for the environment to do is to take the advice of
> agrichemical companies and some of their lawn and garden center partners
> and apply diazinon which is another toxic synthetic chemical assaulting the
> environment.
> 
> So, the answer to your question would be to go native. If you need help,
> local Conservation Districts and Natural Resources Conservation Service
> offices have resources and personnel. A guide to natives and nurseries.
> There are also grants out their for such efforts. Helping people get ahold
> of this knowledge and the people who can show them what to do is what's
> needed.
> 
> Hope this inspires some action,
> 
> Michelle Timmerman
> Program Coordinator
> Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program
> 
> 
> 
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