It’s time to start our rain dance! We’ve been waiting for the rain to come for almost a solid month now. We’ve been blessed with a bit of rain here and there. All rain is welcome but the weather conditions between the rains are what matters to the health of your grass.
It’s hard for a lot of folks to water their lawns for many reasons. Whatever your reason is, here are a few things you should consider when watching the lawn that you had this spring dwindle to the lawn you are seeing now.
If the grass is still growing, mow higher to encourage roots to go deeper. The deeper your roots are, the more moisture they can reach. This is what we try to tell all of our customers. MOW HIGH! Regardless of the time of year. When you mow should be dictated by the growth rate of your lawn, NOT THE CALENDAR! Stretch the time between your irrigations to the maximum; water efficiently, wasting no water to runoff, and water thoroughly. This means when you water you should water so the soil is drenched to a depth of 4 – 6 inches. When you are dealing with established turfgrass the frequency of watering should be reduced to 2 or 3 times per week. When you water you should water slowly but for a long period of time. Think of a light mist being applied to your lawn for a few hours to put it in perspective. We’re not saying you should go buy a bunch of misters, just keep in mind that long light watering is better than short fast waterings, 2 – 3 times per week. You don’t want a flood of water running across the top of your turfgrass. You want it to slowly be absorbed by the soil.
If you can’t water you should let the lawn go brown. This is basically allowing your turf grass to shut down and go into dormancy. Much like it does over the winter. There is a risk in doing this, especially if your lawn has had small amounts of fungus growing within it. Before the drought and during this year, we have seen large patches of leaf blight, leaf spot & melting out disease. The chances of turfgrass recovering from a fungus attack and a drought are slim. However, if you are able to water and have the desire to do so you must keep after it. If your lawn has started to go dormant for a few weeks now and you want to revive it, that’s a good thing. However, if you do this for a week or so and we do not get substantial rain anytime soon you’ll need to keep on top of your watering regimen. If you do not your grass plants will use all the food storage they have created and die quickly.
We are holding back on our fall fertilizer treatments until we regain a bit of moisture in the soil. However, not fertilizing your lawn when in a drought isn’t necessarily advisable. It is absolutely vital that there be nutrients in the soil, so when your lawn is awakened by any bit of moisture it can begin to grow vigorously. Fall time is the best time to grow root systems and turf grass in general due to the cooler temperatures and higher moisture levels. Unfortunately, this year has been especially dry and normal lawn recovery is not what we’ll be looking at this fall.
Rest assured, if you are already on one of our lawn care programs, we’ll apply the nutrients at the right time. Please educate yourself on watering and mowing techniques. Whether or not you lose turf grass this fall depends upon you mowing and watering properly. Just simply applying fertilizers and controls to protect your lawn are only 1/2 the battle. We can provide the expertise and diagnosis for you as well as making your life much easier but you must be steadfast in caring for your lawn with proper maintenance. This means: Sharp mower blades, mowing at the right time, applying the right amount of water, ensuring your lawn is well fed and invaders are kept to a minimum. If at any time you feel something is out of the norm, please call us and we’ll schedule a service call to visit your property and discuss your concerns.