I’ve just purchased some nematodes from my local garden centre but someone has told me it’s too early to apply them? When can I do so as the raccoons are devastating our yard.
Now is a good time to apply nematodes as they require a soil temperatures of 10 degrees C or greater. Keep them refrigerated until ready to use. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package in particular to water before and after the application as the nematodes need moisture to make their way into the soil. It is also best to apply them on an overcast day or in the early evening to help keep the nematodes from drying out. Nematodes can also be applied late August/early September and you may need a second application if you have a significant grub infestation. Note that as your grub problem recedes so will the nematode population as their food source is dwindling.
Another alternative is to keep a healthy and thick lawn, by feeding it with top soil and seeding in the early spring. Also avoid cutting your lawn too short during the summer months and water deeply once a week.
Lastly, if the battle is too much, you may want to consider using lawn alternatives for your yard. See the following Garden guide by the Toronto Master Gardeners in collaboration with the City of Toronto: https://188.8.131.52/~torontom/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Lawn-Alternatives1.pdf