Editor’s note: TURF magazine announces "T&0 Science Brief" a new quick-read featurette in each issue of the TURF enewsletter. Don’t miss "T&O Science Brief," which will offer great information on turf & ornamental care that you can share with your team.

If you maintain clients’ turf and ornamentals you’re well aware of the damage that diseases and certain insects can do to the lawns and valuable plants. You can, make your job easier, use less product and get better results by developing a pest control calendar, writes John Fech, in the January issue of Superintendent magazine.

As any experienced green pro knows, certain pest problems (insects, diseases or weeds) tend to show up every year if conditions are favorable. Often these problems manifest themselves in the same location or on specific plants or species of plants.

it’s a bad idea to guess when making applications in an attempt to control these pest outbreaks. Pesticide applications made a week too late or two early are often ineffective in controlling these pests, says Fech, an extension educator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Start this spring to maintain a record of pest breakouts on the properties that you maintain from year to year. You’ll start seeing  patterns that will be very helpful to you and to your technicians. Adopt the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. Knowing what you can expect in terms of pests and possible pest damage before it arrives is powerful information.

Also, take advantge of the great seasonal info available from your nearest land grant university.Cooperative extension specialists at these institutions track regional pest outbreaks and offer free updates on preventing or managing them. 

Click on Fech’s "Keeping Track Means Being Informed" to read the entire article that appeared in the January issue of  Superintendent magazine.