Current Conditions Lawn Tips
What to expect as lawns begin to recover from drought conditions.
Now that we have had some good rain and temperatures have cooled a bit. The turf will begin to come out of dormancy and recover, provided we make it through the rest of summer without any further drought conditions.
The recovery process can take some time and you may notice some areas not recovering as well as others.
When the lawn goes in to a stressed dormant stage, several things can go undetected and cause damage.
Issues that may do damage during dormancy include: traffic on stressed turf, poor soil conditions, disease and insect damage.
Some grass varieties will fair better than others during drought conditions.
Here are a few examples of what you may see as things are recovering.
General Heat Stress Damage
Heat stress damage: any time we have more than 7-10 days with hot temperatures and no rain, some areas of turf can be damaged. It may be due to extra heat from nearby concrete, poor soil in areas, a weaker turf species, as well as other possible problem areas.
Surface feeding insects such as the chinch bug, blue grass bill bug, cut worm, army worm, and sod web worm are able to go undetected due to the grass being in a dormant state during our drought period.
Summer disease: Generally, summer diseases recover on their own and do not cause permanent damage. Although this year the conditions where favorable for disease right before our drought period hit. This prevented the turf from recovering before going into a distressed state.
What to do now
If the grass is still upright leave it alone as it should recover on its own.
Matted down areas: lightly rake the matted down, dead grass without pulling up the roots. This will create better air, water, and fertilizer penetration to promote new growth.
You may need to re-seed some of these areas, but wait for mother nature to help out first. Wait until mid to late September to see the final results of what areas will not recover on their own.
Fall is one of the best times to have your lawn aerated. More Information
We can also over-seed the lawn immediatly after an aeration to help improve thin turf and bare areas.