Current Conditions Lawn Tips
Mushrooms have been popping up recently.
Mushrooms are caused by the right mixture of rain/moisture, cloudy days or shade, and rich organic material in the soil.
On the bright side: Mushrooms indicate that your yard has a good amount of beneficial organic material in the soil. Mushrooms help break down the organic material and make your soil more productive.
What to do: There is no treatment to rid the lawn of mushrooms. However, new growth will cease once things dry out and the weather pattern changes. The best thing to do is to pick the mushrooms and discard them in the trash. This will help reduce any spreading.
With our recent rains followed by warmer temperatures, the conditions are ideal for Red Thread.
Red Thread: Does not cause permanent damage. It is a fungus caused by excessive wet conditions along with warmer temps and it often has a pink or reddish color to infected areas in the early stages. A fungicide application is NOT necessary, keeping the lawn fertilized along with drier weather and steady temps, the lawn will recover on its own.
Rust may appear if the conditions change to hot & dry.
Rust: Is a harmless (other than cosmetic appearance) mold that is caused by heavy dew overnight along with slowed growth, normally due to hot & dry conditions. Fungicide applications are not recommended for rust, as the turf will recover on its own with improved weather conditions. Also, fungicide treatments do not cure molds, they just prevent spreading. Keeping the lawn regularly fertilized and watered are the best remedies to help get rust out of your lawn. Also bagging the clippings and washing off your mower after each mowing will help eliminate spreading the mold.
Time to start watering
Your lawn needs 2-3" of rain or watering every week. Closer to 3" when temps are mid 80's and higher.
Water deep & infrequent.
2-3 times a week, for 45 min- 1 hr in each area. About 1" in each area, per watering.
Early morning is the best time.
Avoid watering past 7:30 P.M. Doing so will invite fungus and disease as the grass blades would not have a chance to dry out overnight.
DO NOT water shallow and infrequent. Watering daily for 10-15 min in each area will be worse for your lawn than not watering at all.
Irrigation Systems - Be sure it is set to water deep & infrequent, a lot of irrigation companies will set it up for daily quick waterings. This is NOT the proper watering for our climate and grass types.
Our Summer guard fertilizer is specially formulated to not cause harm or burning if not watered in right away. The granules are encased in a poly coating that inhibits breaking down or releasing of nutrients until it has been water activated.
Does it have to be watered in? NO
Will it help activate and give you better results if you do? Yes
For more accurate watering, use a rain gauge.
Set a rain gauge in the middle of your sprinkler coverage area, this will let you know how much you are watering. You can find them at most box stores, home improvement stores, and garden centers. Here is a link to an inexpensive one on Amazon.
A hose timer can make watering easier.
Not interested in watering on a regular basis? Try to at least water once a week when temps are in the mid 80's and higher, for about one hour in each area. This will at least keep the blood flowing so to speak and reduce the chances of damage from prolonged dry periods.
Mow High 3.5 to 4" Especially in the Summer months
Keeping the grass taller, helps shade the soil from the sun, keeping it cooler. The taller you keep the grass the deeper the roots will go, helping it cope with the heat and other stresses.
Adjusting your mower height
Don't go by the numbers or letters on your mower. Set the mower on level ground and measure from the ground to the bottom of the mower blade. This will give you an accurate measurement of your actual mowing height.
Try not to mow on a set day every week, mow when the lawn needs it. In the Spring this might be every 4-5 days. In the Summer it could be every 10-14 days.
Avoid cutting off more than 1/3 of the grass blade
Doing so puts added stress on the entire plant, we want to avoid this if at all possible, especially in the Summer.
Avoid leaving clumps
It is better to mulch than bag, however if mulching is going to leave clumps you may need to bag this time or rake out the clumps.
Keep Your Mower Blades Sharp
Dull Mower Blade Damage:
Now that we have gotten through the heavy and wet spring mowing season, you should consider having your blades sharpened again to get you through the rest of the season.
Issues caused by dull mower blades: As you can see in the photo, the grass blades on the right are what they should look like and the ones on the left are from a dull mower blade. This can cause several problems that you want to avoid.
*It gives the lawn almost a brown cast over the whole lawn and will not look as green as it should. You should be able to tell that something is wrong.
*It will lead to water loss and increased disease susceptibility.
*If the condition persists into the hot summer months your lawn will have a much more difficult time coping with heat stress and could lead to severe damage.
Just a reminder - Weed Control is a killer, not a preventer.
Weeds need to be actively growing in order to spray and kill them. We spray any and all weeds we see on every visit, aside from the first application. Your first application includes fertilizer and crabgrass preventative, as it is generally too cold for weeds to be actively growing and be able to be killed.