General Tips (Midwest US)
Living in the Midwest (states of MI, OH, KY, IN, IL, WI, MN, ND, SD, IA, MO, KS, NE) one can experience a wide variety of weather conditions. The region typically experiences extreme winter conditions and humid summers.
The region can be sub-divided into two zones. East of the Mississippi River more precipitation falls; 20-45 inches annually. West of the Mississippi River, less than 25 inches of rain falls annually, with it becoming more arid the farther West one goes.
In the Eastern part of the region the predominant turf types are Bluegrasses, Ryegrasses Fescues and Bentgrasses. In the Western portion of the region (more arid) the same turf types can be found. To maintain the highest quality turf, supplemental irrigation may be necessary. In the Southern portions of both the arid and humid regions (MO, KS, and KY) Turf type Tall Fescues, Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass may be employed for more heat and drought tolerance.
Much of the region experienced significant glaciation, resulting in various soil types. Loam, clay, sand and even gravel soils can be encountered.
It is not uncommon to encounter insect problems. Insect problems can be divided into surface feeders and sub-surface feeders. Sub-surface feeders include: Grubs (the larvae of various beetles), Billbugs and Sod Webworms. Surface feeding insects include: Chinch Bugs, and Mites. The Winter Grain Mite is observed predominantly West of the Mississippi River. Unchecked any of these insect pests can cause significant damage to turf.
Due to the frequently changing environmental conditions in the Midwest region turf diseases can adversely affect the health and appearance of lawns. Some turf diseases that affect lawns in this region include: Powdery Mildew, Leaf Spot, Dollar Spot, Rust , Patch diseases, Necrotic Ring Spot, Pythium Blight and others. Proper cultural practices such as Core aeration, proper watering, and proper mowing habits can go a long way to controlling the spread of turf diseases. Occasionally disease treatments are necessary.