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September 2023 News From Fairway Green

A successful fall start here

1. Why Do I Have To Seed My Cool-Season Lawn in the Fall and Not Spring?

Have you ever heard that parts of NC and SC are in the transitional zone? Essentially, because our weather transitions from cool winters to hot summers, neither warm- nor cool-season grasses are an exact fit for our states. For this reason, even with a versatile grass-like cool-season fescue, successful seeding is heavily dependent on the time of year it’s done. This is due to the potential for heat/dry periods, shade, disease damage and more in the spring. You can learn more from this Fescue blog (many of the points apply to all cool-season lawns).

Core Aeration Seeding

Core aeration seeding is a common practice for cool-season lawns in the fall, which Fairway Green is happy to offer. This process involves creating small holes in soil (done by removing thatch and soil) reducing compaction and helping prepare the seeding bed. This ensures the best seed-to-soil contact, which is crucial for good germination and lawn establishment.

Core aeration will also:

  • Improve natural soil aeration (this is especially beneficial for clay soil).
  • Improve water and nutrient uptake.
  • Improve root and turf health.
  • Improve turf density and help aid turf recovery

PLEASE NOTE: Due to factors beyond our control (watering, soil and climate conditions, adverse weather conditions, etc.) we cannot guarantee a stand of turf after seeding. We can guarantee, however, that Fairway Green will do the seeding job properly and use the best seed available on the market. If you have any concerns about services performed by us, you MUST contact us within three business days of when they were done.

Otherwise, success is in your hands! Watering is the key, but if you cannot water, just be patient. The seed will still germinate but it will take much longer.

2. Large Patch Fungus on Warm-Season Turf

Large patch fungus is a harmful disease for zoysia, Bermuda, centipede and St. Augustine turfs in the fall and early spring. It’s similar to brown patch fungus on Fescue. Fairway Green is seeing more cases of this disease every year in our area. Damage occurs before you can even be aware of it and will not be visible until green-up in the spring.

Controlling large patch fungus requires two applications of preventative fungicide in fall and early spring (when ground temperatures are between 50 and 70 degrees). This is the only real way to handle the disease.

3. Two Prevalent Insects This Season

3a. Fall Armyworm Alert

We have seen several cases in the past two weeks of fall armyworms laying eggs on structures like homes, trees and shrubs. Eggs hatch as larvae, drop to the ground and start feeding heavily on healthy, actively growing turf for about two to three weeks (which can go into October and even November). For information on controlling them, read our blog.

3b. Identifying & Controlling White Grubs


We are now in the midst of the fall grub cycle—when white grubs can cause major damage if not caught early. All turf types are susceptible to grub feeding and damage.

What Are White Grubs?

White grubs are the larvae of scarab beetles, including southern and northern chafer beetles. Grubs are identifiable by their off-white colored bodies and off-brown hinds and heads. Grubs have six legs and measure from ¼ to 1½ inches. They are often seen in their C-shaped position in the soil.

How Do They Cause Damage?

White grubs damage turf by eating through root systems. This is usually observed in late spring or fall as an off-color, wilting appearance in one’s lawn. As it’s commonly misdiagnosed as disease, heat or dry stress, you can confirm you’re dealing with white grub damage by:

  • Checking if your lawn has a spongy, almost loose feel to its soil.
  • Seeing if your turf rolls up when tugged.
  • Looking out for an increase in birds, raccoons, skunks and moles near your home.

To determine the extent of your grub activity and the need for control, you will need to use a spade to remove the upper 3 inches of soil in a 12” x 12” area. Then, cut back the turf sample to count the number of grubs and inspect root damage. If you see nine or more grubs, take immediate action utilizing proper products. We can also help develop a custom control plan.