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Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Grasses

European Chafer Beetle or Rizotrogus majalis if you prefer the scientific name, is an introduced species that wreaks havoc on lawns. The grub itself likes to eat the roots of grasses but what often causes the most alarm in folks is the fact that Crows and Raccoons will tear apart what remains of your lawn in order to feast on this delicacy. Don’t panic. There is hope.

Rmajalislarvae

Rhizotrogus majalis1

What is a European Chafer Beetle

European Chafer Beetle is a coppery tan coloured little beetle just a little over 1 cm long. The adult grubs are twice as long, white with a brown head and 6 legs. They are curved into a “C” shape. They would make an excellent monster in a scary movie actually if they were a lot bigger. The grubs feed in fall and spring. The adult beetles mate in the evenings in May and the females lay 40-50 eggs each which hatch in July. An excellent way to determine if you have an infestation before the crows, raccoons and moles clue you in is to peel back a square foot of sod and examine the soil underneath. If you count 5-10 grubs in one square foot of lawn area, you have a problem. The grubs preferred food is grasses, if there is not enough available they will move to other fibrous rooted plants.

Prevention

Healthy lawns are better able to withstand some damage from small amounts of grubs. Irrigate deeply 2 to 3 times a week. Raise your mowing height. The female beetles prefer shorter, dryer lawns to lay their eggs in.

European Chafer Beetle Damage - city of Burnaby
Photo Attribution: City of Burnaby
http://www.burnaby.ca/City-Services/Policies--Projects---Initiatives/Environment/Green-Initiatives-and-Public-Education/European-Chafer-Turf-Pest.html

Recommended Control

If the crows, raccoons and moles have begun the control methods (aka ripping apart your lawn), let them finish feeding before you begin alternative methods of control. They are messy but effective and will knock down a huge percent of the population. Your next step is to apply Nematodes in July.

Specifically, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. Nematodes are a naturally occurring organism. The Hererorhabditis bacteriophora is a nematode which moves through the soil. They are not harmful to humans, pets or other animals including bees and earthworms. They specifically target grubs. They infect grubs 48 hours after application and will kill them 2 weeks after infecting them. They must be applied to a wet lawn on a cloudy evening. Application on dry lawn or in full sun conditions will kill them. The water will keep the grubs toward the surface of the soil and will enable the nematodes to move more freely. You must keep your lawn moist for about a week after application. You may need to obtain a watering permit from your municipality.

To Order Nematodes:

  • Call us at 604.882.1201 to order/reserve Nematodes
  • or use our online Plant/Product Request Form (under the Contact Us menu item)

 

Chemical Control

There are also chemical methods to control the grubs. Chemical control will affect all soil organisms including earthworms and native bees and will also affect the animals that consume them. Check with your municipality BEFORE using a chemical control as many municipalities have banned the use of pesticides.

If your municipality allows chemical control of grubs and you are going to ignore the written equivalent of my deeply frowning face, you can apply pesticides such as Grub Out to your lawn according to directions, in the evening when there are no pollinators present. There are more than 400 species of native bees in BC and 70 percent of them live in the soil.

Please be careful of our pollinators and yourself if applying pesticides.

Once you have decreased the grub population to an acceptable amount, consider decreasing the lawn area with trees, shrubs or even an alternative ground cover such as micro clover or an eco-mix seed that contains some grass, low yarrow and clover. Our horticulturalists and designers are here to help. It may not be possible to maintain a golf green lawn, but it will be possible to come up with a solution that is good looking, healthy and one we can all live with.

More European Chafer Information Links


Monday, August 11, 2014

Are You Looking At My Grass?

12 Of Our Favourite Ornamental Grasses

Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Grasses

In the age of instant gratification, high-tech and time poor, homeowners everywhere have cried out for gardens that look good, but need no work. While we can't promise 'no work', ornamental grasses can deliver low maintenance and easy care.  With hundreds to choose from and multiple seasons of interest, grasses are a great utilitarian addition to any garden. They can also deliver a head-turning experience. On a recent trip to Crescent Beach (near White Rock), we even saw one house with the ENTIRE landscape done with ornamental grasses. So when somebody asks, hey are you looking at my grass? The answer may be yes... :)

Here are 12 of some of our favourite ornamental grasses for the garden. Some are cool season, meaning they look best in the spring and fall. These types tend to be evergreen. Other ornamental grasses are warm-season. These ones are best during the heat of the summer and early fall. Then they die back to re-appear next year.

Mexican Feather Grass

Mexican Feather Grass

Stipa tenuissima

This summer-time favourite grass has needle thin, flexible foliage that grow 1.5ft tall and as wide. It is a fine textured grass that produces feathery spikes in early summer which resemble a blonde mane of hair. Very showy in the landscape and great when planted in groups. It is native to the rocky slopes of the southwestern US and Mexico. To grow this grass, choose a fertile, well drained location in the full to part sun. It tolerates most soil conditions but dislikes ‘wet feet’.

Japanese Blood Grass

Japanese Blood Grass

Imperata cylindrical ‘Red Baron’

This colourful warm season, spreading grass has green blades with tips that turn translucent red with age. Awesome when planted in groups or in containers. Spreads via rhizomatous roots in warm, moist conditions. Clumps are easily divided in spring. Easy to grow! Will reach 24 inches in height and 12 inches across. Best when planted in full sun to part shade. Hardy to zone 6.

Karl Foerster Feather Grass

Karl Foerster Feather Grass

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

This landscaper’s favourite is a tall, deciduous, clumping grass with an upright narrow form. Shiny, deep green leaves give way to tall spikes of feathery flowers that start white with a hint of purple then fade to yellow and buff. Best in full to part sun and drought tolerant once established. Grows to 6ft in height and 4ft wide. Excellent in boulevards, containers, gardens and even commercial installations or mass plantings. Hardy to zone 4.

Ivory Feathers Pampas Grass

Ivory Feathers Pampas Grass

Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’

Ivory Feathers is a dwarf form of the traditional pampas grass that is well suited for small gardens or used as a specimen. Handsome summer and fall flowers made of long stalks of white plumes are held above the foliage. It has a clumping growth habit and is drought tolerant once established. It’s also good in coastal or seaside locations. Best when planted in full sun. Grows 3-5ft in height and 4-6ft wide. Hardy in to Zone 7.

Porcupine Grass

Porcupine Grass

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Strictus’

This upright, summer-time grass has a more upright form as opposed to the more normal relaxed vase shaped habits of other Miscanthus. Green foliage is highlighted by dramatic horizontal golden bands. Reddish bronze plumes appear above the foliage in summer. A suitable specimen for planting in groups. Dies back in winter to reappear in the late spring. Grows to 8ft tall and 3ft wide. Best when planted in full sun. Hardy in zones 5-9.

Aureola Japanese Forest Grass

Aureola Japanese Forest Grass

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’

This low growing, mound forming, shade-loving grass produces bamboo like foliage with gold streaked with green. Foliage in weeping and can turn intense pinkish red in the fall. Wonderful accent for containers, edging and oriental gardens. Best when planted in the shade to part shade in fertile, moist but well drained soil. Grows 12-18 inches tall and up to 30 inches wide.

Black Mondo Grass

Black Mondo Grass

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’

This outstanding evergreen grass-like perennial forms a dense clump of smooth-textured black leaves topped with spikes of pale pink flowers which are followed by black, pearl-sheened berries in fall. Deer resistant and fairly drought tolerant once established. Excellent specimen or accent plant for both containers and gardens. Best when planted in part shade to full sun in moist, but well drained soil. Grows to 6 inches high and slowly spreads in width. Hardy in zones 6-9.

Evergold Sedge

Evergold Sedge

Carex hachijoensis ‘Evergold’

This evergreen, clump forming sedge has attractive narrow, arching variegated cream and dark green leaves. Excellent for adding colour all year round in both gardens and containers. Trim as desired to keep neat and tidy in the winter. Best when planted in part shade and grows to 12 inches high and 18 inches wide. Hardy to zone 5.

Orange Grass

Orange New Zealand Sedge

Carex testacea

Another grass-like plant, the Orange Sedge is an evergreen clumping perennial with narrow coppery brown leaves that acquire orange tints in the winter. Awesome in fall and winter containers, rock gardens or mass plantings. Self-seeds with adequate moisture. Best in full to part sun. Grows to 15 inches high and wide. Hardy to zone 6.

Purple Fountain Grass

Purple Fountain Grass

Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’

This spectacular warm-season grass has narrow, upright, arching, burgundy-purple leaves with elegantly long, fluffy foxtail-like flower spikes that are purple-pink with a silver sheen. Flowers dance in the wind and turn buff as they mature. Makes lovely cut flower and is deer resistant. While it is unmatchable in the summer, it unfortunately, is not hardy in our area and in most cases will not survive the winter. Best when planted in full sun in moist, but well drained soils. Grows to 24 inches in height and 24 inches wide. Hardy to zone 9.

Beyond Blue Fescue

Beyond Blue Fescue

Festuca glauca ‘Beyond Blue’

This hardy, cool season evergreen perennial forms a tufts of intense, powder blue, thread-like leaves. Wheat-like blue-green flowers rise on slender stems and mature to a tan-gold. Beyond Blue Fescue is both salt and deer resistant and also drought tolerant once established. Excellent for adding winter interest too! Best when planted in full sun in light, well-drained soil. Grows to 12 inches high and 18 inches wide. Super hardy to zone 3.

River Mist Northern Sea Oats

River Mist Northern Sea Oats

Chasmanthium latifolium ‘River Mist’

This spectacular warm season perennial grass forms a loose tuft of lovely, arching, green and white variegated foliage and clusters of unique sparkling white seed heads that arch elegantly above. Makes a wonderful cut flower and provides winter interest in the garden. Best when planted in full sun to part shade in moist, fertile, well-drained soil. Will grow to 30 inches high and 36 inches wide. Hardy to zone 5.

If you've been considering adding ornamental grasses into our garden or containers, drop by Art's Nursery and have a look at these and many other options. We'd be happy to show you the options and make recommendations. As always, call ahead to confirm availability as our selection is always changing.


Sunday, April 13, 2014
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Grasses

In the spring Dave gets tons of questions about lawns. We thought we’d share…with Dave’s ok of course, some of his tips, tricks and timing to help you have a glorious lawn this year:

lawn care tips

Know thine soil…alright, those weren’t exactly Dave’s words but the idea is sound. It is important to know what type of soil your have, whether it is clay, sand, loam etc. You get the picture. Each soil type will have a different water and nutrient holding capacity. Dave especially recommends a PH test and be sure to take the soil sample around the 2 inch mark so you have an accurate reading around the root zone of your lawn.

Generally in the Pacific Northwest, we get a lot of rainfall which tends to leach the nutrients and often results in a low PH or Acidic soil. Optimal PH for lawn is around 6.5-7.0 (which is slightly acidic to neutral). If your lawn is either too acidic or too alkaline, it isn’t able to take up the nutrients as well…kind of like putting a kink in a straw when you are trying to drink. Once you know what you are dealing with here are Dave’s steps:

  • Apply Dolopril Lime - (optional if your PH is optimum…yes, I AM a bit jealous).
  • Wait, yes, wait for 2-3 weeks. When dealing with lawns, patience is key to avoid compaction, stress (for you and the lawn) and wasting your money by applying fertilizer/moss killer etc. before your lawn can absorb it!
  • Apply a good quality, slow release starter fertilizer. We are really proud of our Triple 17+Iron and the Scotts products are pretty good too.
  • Wait at least 1 week.
  • Apply Moss Control – (optional if you don’t have moss…probably the same guy that has the perfect PH!). Read the label on the moss control, the optimum temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius and for most products you need it to be dry for 2 days after application!
  • Aerate / Topdress / Overseed. You don’t have to do this every year if your lawn is satisfactory but if you do wish to do it, it is more effective when the ground is well drained and the night time temperatures are warmer.
  • Notice Dave didn’t say dethatch. If you have thatch, see Step 6. Aerating, topdressing is far more effective at breaking through the thatch layer. Though dethatching looks dramatic, your friendly neighbourhood aerator is your best bet for your money.
  • Second application of a good quality, slow release fertilizer in late spring, early summer.
  • Weed control – either manual treatment, there are some great back saving tools out there or spot application if desired. Notice we didn’t say weed and feed, weed and feed doesn’t do a particularly good job of either. (FYI Weed & Feed is no longer available in our market.)
  • Apply a good quality slow release Fall fertilizer, one that has a low nitrogen number and no you cannot use spring fertilizer for this step. This is one of Dave’s favorite things even if you only get to it every second year, it really gives your lawn a strong boost when the air temp is cooler but the ground is still warm and the grass roots are growing.

This should help to clarify some of the steps and timing intervals that may have mystified you in the past…they certainly mystified me! If you have more questions about your lawn or about when to start fresh, come in and see Dave, if he’s not up to his eyebrows in mud or using his secret Ninja tractor repair skills (and especially if he IS up to his eyebrows in mud) he would be glad to answer your questions!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Grasses

I must admit, ornamental grasses are one of my favourite summer-time plants. If you're time starved as much as I am, then the low maintenance, easy care nature of these ornamental grasses is for you. They look fantastic when planted solo in a pot or when massed in a garden. If you forget to water, their usually ok with it. When the end of the season comes, some will die out for you, while others can just be trimmed back until next season.

Grasses and grass-like plants are generally divided into cool season and warm season varieties. Cool season types look best in spring and fall when temperatures are lower. Warm season grasses are at their best when the temperatures are warm in summer but generally die back or aren't that attractive at other times of the year.

While there are hundreds of species and varieties, a few remain popular year after year. These are some of my favourite summertime grasses:

Purple Fountain Grass

Purple Fountain Grass

Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’

This extremely popular drought-tolerant, warm season grass is a favourite amongst many gardeners. Purple fountain grass forms upright, arching clumps of purplish-maroon blades topped by long, fluffy, rose-red flower spikes from summer through fall. Flowers turn buff as they mature. Beautiful as a landscape specimen or when massed in groups. Provides quick annual colour in our climate. Yes, this means it will not survive our winters even though it is perennial in warmer climates. Best when planted in full sun and once established needs only occasional water. Grows to 2-4ft tall and wide. Hardy in zones 8-11

Mexican Feather Grass

Mexican Feather Grass

Stipa tenuissima

Also known as Nassella tenuissima, Mexican Feather grass forms a graceful clump of finely textured green foliage. No other grass is able to dance in the wind as can this one. The entire plant turns golden in autumn. Feathery golden flowers appear from June through September. Grows 18-24 inches tall and 12-18 inches wide. Excellent in mass plantings, borders, rock gardens or containers. Easy care and low maintenance. Best when planted in full sun in any well drained soil. Hardy to zone 7.

Japanese Blood Grass

Japanese Blood Grass

Imperata cylindrical ‘Red Baron’

This warm season perennial grass forms loose tufts of strikingly coloured foliage. Blades begin emerald-green and with increasing become tipped with garnet red. Foliage eventually becomes solid, fiery ruby red. Rarely seen flowers are fluffy and white when they appear in May and June. This plant is stunning when back-lit. Deer resistant. A great plant in gardens and containers. Grows up to 16 inches in height and 12 inches in width. Best when grown in full sun in fertile, moist soils. Mass plant for great effect.

Black Mondo Grass

Black Mondo Grass

Ophiopogon nigrescens

Black Mondo grass is a landscapers favourite. Foliage starts green but quickly turns a dark black colour. Pinkish white blooms appear in late summer followed by shiny, black, inedible fruit. Excellent in gardens, containers and even as a specimen or accent in the garden. As they say, everything looks good with black. Best when grown in full sun or part shade. Will reach up to 12 inches in height and width. Hardy in zones 6-9.

Carex Evergold

Evergold Sedge

Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’

This popular grass-like evergreen plant is renowned for its ability to brighten up gardens and containers with its variegated yellow leaves. Can also be used to edge a space or in a rock garden. Generally prefers to be planted in part sun to part shade in moist, rich soil. ‘Evergold’ is a well behaved, clumping plant that is ideal for low maintenance and easy care gardens. Grows 6-8 inches in height and 8-12 inches in spread. Hardy in zones 6-9.

Fireworks Fountain Grass

Fireworks Fountain Grass

Pennisetum x advena ‘Fireworks’

This relatively new, spectacular warm season grass has narrow, upright, arching leaves that are a kaleidoscope of hot pink, green, white and dark burgundy. Fluffy bottlebrush flowers are a deep burgundy and sway in the wind. Deer resistant, drought tolerant once established and makes a nice cut flower. Although stunning, this plant is a tender perennial (hard in zones 7-9) and odds are it won’t survive our winters. Most gardeners treat it like an annual; expecting to replace it each year. It is truly striking in containers and in the garden. Best when planted in full sun in moist, but well drained soil. Grows to 24 inches in height and spread.

Belindas Find Hook Sedge

Belindas Find Hook Sedge

Uncinia rubra ‘Belinda’s Find’

This showy New Zealand native perennial grass forms a clump of elegantly arching, shiny dark red-bronze leaves that have a bright cherry red margins. Flower stalks appear in June and July. Well suited for borders, containers, edging, woodland and shade gardens. Loves moist areas. Tolerates full sun or shade. Grows up to 12 inches high and wide. Hardy in zones 8-9. Provide some winter protection in cool areas.

 

Other notable summer grasses include:

  • Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)
  • Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa)
  • Maiden Grass / Silver Grass (Miscanthus)
  • Blue Oat Grass (Helictotrichon)
  • Blue Fescue (Festuca)
  • Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)

Art's Nursery carries a large and diverse selection of ornamental grasses year round. As always, please call ahead to confirm availability as the stock on hand changes regularly. Please feel free to call us at 604.882.1201 or visit us in person and we'd be happy to show you some beautiful summertime grasses.


Monday, October 22, 2012
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Grasses

As you may or may not know, grasses and grass-like plants are divided into two main groups, warm season varieties that look good and perform well when the sun shines and warms the air in summer, and the tougher, hardier, no-nonsense cool season grasses that like our cool spring, autumn and winter.

Cool season grasses tend to be evergreen making them ideal for fall and winter interest, holiday containers and garden fillers when everything else has packed it in for the season. Grasses are also particularly attractive when frosted in the early mornings. Very photogenic!

For the botanical purists, there are grasses and grass-like plants. The genus Carex is not technically a grass, but rather a Sedge. However, for our purposes, we'll lump them together.

While there are dozens of varieties available, this hand picked selection are what we consider tried and true survivors. They look great in a variety of locations, including gardens and containers. They look particularly good when mass planted in a certain area. They are also a great compliment to fill layered bulb bots over the cool season. Give this bunch a try this season.

carex firefox

Firefox Leatherleaf Sedge

Carex buchananii 'Firefox'

A cool season evergreen perennial grass like plant that forms a clump of splendid, fine-textured, deep copper-bronze leaves that curl attractively at the ends. Flowers are subtle, drying to brown seedheads. It's striking in the winter and as a contrast plant.Can also be used in borders, containers and rock gardens. Best grown in full sun to part shade in moist, but well drained soil. Grows 1-2ft in height and spread. Hardy in zones 5-9.

carex ice dance

Ice Dance Sedge

Carex morrowii 'Ice Dance'

This is one you'll either love or hate. Tough large bladed foliage with creamy white edges are the hallmarks of this bold cool season evergreen grass. Ice Dance forms tick, dense clumps of gracefully arching leaves, subtle green flowers and lacy white filaments that dry to brown seedheads. It's slow spreading and easy to grow. Ice Dance Sedge is a brigh addition to borders, containers, woodlands, shade gardens or even on walls and slopes. Best when planted in full sun to part shade and fertile moist soils. Grows to 18 inches in height and spread. Hardy in zones 5-9.

carex evergold

Evergold Weeping Sedge

Carex oshimensis 'Evergold'

Evergold is a beautiful delicate grass ideal for containers, rock gardens and other locations. It forms a striking and versatile, cascading, cool season evergreen grass that forms mounds of crisp yellow leaves banded with dark green borders. FLowers appear in April to May and are earth-toned, with delicate, fuzzy white filaments. Evergold tolerated dry conditions and cascades nicely over edges. Prefers full sun to part shade in fertile, moist, but well drained soil. Grows to a 12 inches in height and twice as wide in spread. Hardy in zones 5-9.

black mondo grass

Black Mondo Grass

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'

Black Mondo Grass is a one of a kind plant ideal for the halloween season! Midnight black grass blades topped with spikes of pale pink flowers followed by pearl-sheened non-edible berries in fall. Best when planted in full sun to part shade. Moist but well drained soils are preferred. Keeps its foliage in normal west coast winters. Slow growing - ideal for containers. Looks really sharp when planted en masse on accented by anything yellow or lime green. Hardy in zones 6-9.

blue oat grass

Blue Oat Grass

Helictotrichon sempervirens

Blue Out Grass is a striking accent in the garden or containers. It is a very hardy, cool season evergreen perennial grass that forms a mounded clump of tightly rolled blue-grey blades. Similarly coloured, tall-stemmed, wheat-like flowers mature to an attractive buff and last until fall. Blue Oat Grass is also deer resistant and drought tolerant once established. This is an excellent plant for borders, containers, mass plantings, rock gardens and water-wise environments. Best when planted in full sun to part shade in fertile well drained soils. Grows 16 inches in height and 1-2ft across. Hardy in zones 3-9.

carex frosty curls

Frosty Curls Sedge

Carex comans 'Frosty Curls'

This cool season evergreen perennial grass has a shimmering, fine-textured, silvery-green leavesthat curl attractively at the tip and cascade from the centre of the clump. Its a great cool season near-equivalent to the warm season mexican feather grass. Subtle green flowers dry to light brown. Frosty curls trails attractively over walls and planters. It is also perfect in borders, mass plantings, hanging baskets, containers abd woodland gardens. Can also be used in part shade. It's drought resistant once established. Deer resistant. Frosty Curls Sedge is best grown in full to part sun and sandy, well drained soils. Grows to 1ft in height and 1-2 ft across. Hardy in zones 7-9.

These grasses and many other plants like them are available at Art's Nursery year round. As our huge selection is always changing, and if you are making a special trip, please call 604.882.1201 in advance to confirm availability.


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.

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