Current Conditions Lawn Tips
Summer Diseases can develop this time of year
Summer Patch, Brown Patch, Dollar Spot, Leaf Spot, etc... Are fungal diseases caused by hot and humid conditions, especially muggy nights. When the turf stays moist all night long it creates prime conditions for fungal growth. It will typically start with small somewhat round spots and can grow through your whole lawn if left untreated and conditions stay favorable.
What to do now - These areas can recover on their own once cooler temps, lower humidity, and continued rain or watering. But don't overwater that can make things worse. Keeping the lawn fertilized regularly will help aid in regrowth and the recovery process. You may want to consider a fungicide treatment. Fungicide treatments will stop the fungus from getting any worse and spreading throughout your lawn as well as help aid in the recovery a single fungicide application will give you protection for 30-40 days. To be clear, the lawn still has to regenerate in those areas and the appearance of a fully recovered lawn does take time.
Mowing: Keep your mower height at 3" or taller, keep the blades nice and sharp, and don't mow if it doesn't need it.
Watering: You want to water infrequently but yet deeply, 2-3 days a week for 30 - 40 min in each area, adjusting for any rainfall. Avoid watering with less than 2 hrs. of daylight left in the day and do not water at night.
Once the humidity settles down that will greatly decrease the chances of spreading or new infection.
Down the road - Having your lawn aerated every year or two will help reduce your chances of disease and fungus. It reduces soil compaction and your thatch layer, allows better water penetration, and air circulation.
Rust - Once things dry back out and growth slows, we may see some rust appearing.
Rust: Is a harmless (other than the 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. 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.
Ascochyta Leaf Blight
Leaf Blight is different from most other lawn diseases and is generally less damaging. This particular fungus enters the leaf blade through the cut end (when you mow or other traffic areas). It causes the blade to quickly turn a straw color and appear dead. Why the fungus happens or how it works is not well understood by researchers. It does seem to coincide with seasonal changes from cooler wet, to hot, humid, and dry periods. Mowing during the heat of the day, mowing off more than 1/3 of the grass blade, and dull mower blades seem to intensify the damage. You might notice straw-colored wheel track patterns from mowers or other equipment or areas of heavy foot traffic to be more noticeable than other areas. The good news - Ascochyta leaf blight does not typically affect the crown and roots. Therefore, with a little time, patience, and regular watering (hopefully some natural precipitation) the lawn should recover to its former state as the season progresses.
Watering is a key element in the hot summer months. If we continue to get mid 80's & higher temperatures without rain, be sure to at least deeply soak your lawn every 4-5 days for 1 hour in each area to prevent root damage, or for optimal color and vigor water 2-3 days a week for 40 min in each area. Early morning is the best time to water; try to avoid late evening watering as this may invite fungal growth and further damage to the lawn.
Our fertilizers will not burn your lawn if it is not watered. They have a poly coating, which inhibits it from breaking down or releasing the nutrients until it has been water-activated.
So does it have to be watered in? NO
Will it help activate and give you better results if you do? Yes
Mowing: During hot conditions avoid mowing as long as possible, continued mowing in these conditions can severely hinder the health of your lawn. Most lawns should be mowed at 3 1/2" or higher. Your lawn will benefit by mowing at the highest setting possible. With shorter mowing, you not only risk severe damage to your lawn, but you will also raise the soil temperature and your lawn will have a difficult time recovering from the heat. Avoid mowing off more than 1/3 of the grass blade. Mowing off more than 1/3 of the blade can put your lawn into shock causing poor color, and may induce summer diseases. Mowing immediately after this application will not harm results. The materials in this application are dense and not normally picked up by mowing.
Weeds - With the unseasonably wet summer we have had, weeds have been more populous than normal.
We always spray any and all weeds we see on every visit, but please keep in mind weed control is a killer, not a preventer. Weeds need to be actively growing in order to spray and kill them.
If things get crazy between visits, let us know and we can stop by and address the issue.