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Lawn

All Lawn Content

Lawn covered with frost.

Lawns

Lush, green and healthy - that's what we all desire for our lawns, but it's not always an easy goal to achieve.

grass with field bindweed, a viny green weed with white flowers

Lawn Weed Control

Cultural weed control practices must be included in weed management programs to optimize control and inhibit re-infestation. A healthy, dense turf cover is the best overall defense against weed invasion. Some common cultural weed control practices include planting the most adapted turfgrass species for your environment (i.e. shade, full sun, or hot, dry conditions), maintaining a mowing height of 2.5–3.5 inches, watering deeply but less frequently, and proper soil maintenance including fertilization and core aerification.

A yellow dandelion growing among fall leaves in a yard.

Fall Lawn Weed Control

Fall is the time to control tough perennial broadleaf lawn weeds. The target weeds in the fall are dandelion, ground ivy, creeping bell flower, field bindweed and white clover.

Brown and green insect with clear wings that are folded over its body like a tent.

What’s Buzzing in the Trees?

Each summer we hear a droning buzz that comes from the trees. Many residents of South Dakota attribute this noise to locusts. But that isn’t what is making the buzzing sound! The insects responsible for the buzz are actually called cicadas

A large wasp on a pink flower.

Giant Wasps Are Invading My Yard! No, They Still Aren’t Murder Hornets.

Every year we receive multiple reports of giant wasps that seem to invade yards and gardens. These wasps aren’t the same as the so-called "murder hornets," but are actually cicada killer wasps.

Two-stripped grasshopper resting on a leaf in a garden. Courtesy: Ryan Hodnett (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Grasshoppers: When to Manage Them in a Yard and Garden

Grasshopper populations are elevated in Central South Dakota. Some of the concerns regarding these large grasshopper populations is that they are feeding on trees, gardens and almost everything in between.

Shiny green and bronze beetle on green dill plant.

What Are These Shiny Beetles in My Yard and Why Are They Eating Everything?

Japanese beetles are very bad news for anyone with a garden. They are polyphagous insect pests, which simply means they feed on many different host plants.

Small black fly on pale skin.

Monitor Livestock, Pets and Yourself for Eye Gnat Activity

While being outside this week, I noticed a lot of small gnats flying around my legs and really bothering my dogs. I caught a few and identified them as eye gnats. Although this pest is considered a nuisance in most cases, it is capable of transmitting diseases and pathogens.

Brown caterpillar with tan head capsule and 3, light-tan stripes running along its back.

Monitor Lawns and Gardens for Bronzed Cutworm Activity

Bronzed cutworms can be an issue for lawns and gardens in South Dakota. In grass, bronzed cutworms will feed and leave small brown circular patches. Large populations of bronzed cutworm can result in severe lawn injury.

Two dandelions side by side. The left has a bee foraging on it. The right has a hover fly foraging on it..

Why Those Dandelions in Your Yard Aren’t So Bad

While research has shown that pollinators, specifically honey bees, can’t survive on dandelion pollen alone, this doesn’t mean that the dandelions aren’t still important for pollinators.