After experiencing cool-wet, spring weather what will we face this June; summer breeze or summer heat? If we could predict Mother Nature that would be impressive but we do have some tricks up our sleeves on how to enjoy your summer and not sweat about your lawn so much.
Applications of fertilizers and control products have been delayed this year. In spring when warm days came around dandelions popped out and then the next day when it was cold, they closed up like a turtle. Fertilizers did not green-up as fast as we thought they might and grass seed seemed to take forever to germinate. The grass seed did not germinate quickly due to the cool-wet weather since soil temperatures did not increase very quickly. Even perennial ryegrass, the fastest germinating grass, took a few weeks to grow since grass seed will only germinate when the conditions are right.
Well, since grass seed did not germinate quickly that means that crabgrass germination was delayed too. Remember, crabgrass does not “start” germinating until the soil temperatures reach about 55 degrees for a number of days. Notice we put quotes around “start” because crabgrass can germinate through June and July! If you had a hard time with crabgrass in the past you probably will this year too, what can you do? Consider making an application of Crabgrass Preventer plus Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer; it still can be effective up to the 3-leaf stage of crabgrass growth thanks to the Dimension in the product. Yes, early June is not too late to apply Dimension and get reasonable grassy weed control.
If summer breezes prevail great, your lawn will hold up quite nicely if you have fertilized at least once this year. If you have not fertilized yet now would be a good time before “potential” summer heat and drought moves into your neighborhood. Note that we put quotes around “potential” because we cannot predict Mother Nature, remember? However, what if summer heat and drought are going to come around this year, what can you do to prevent your lawn from going dormant brown or even dying? If you love your lawn, now is a great time to apply a biological stimulant to the soil. Use Jonathan Green Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil which contains humates, amino acids, molasses and micronutrients that can help feed the soil quality and spur microbes in the soil and nourish your grass without heavy top-growth. This product will help enhance root mass development and increase your lawn’s resistance to heat and drought stress. Also, apply a high quality organic lawn fertilizer like Jonathan Green Organic Lawn Fertilizer or Natural Beauty. These products are derived from plant and animal proteins such as feather meal, alfalfa meal, soybean meal, blood meal, fish meal and molasses. These ingredients help to increase the soils water holding capacity. The potential for lawn fungus attacks can also be reduced by following this plan.
Do you want to save money on watering? We hope you did not use your irrigation system much this spring, water was abundant. Fertilizing your lawn organically in June helps but following a proper watering regiment is also a key to success. Lawns require about one inch of water a week for healthy growth from both rainfall and/or supplemental irrigation. Be sure to water for longer periods of time 1-3 times a week to develop deep roots which can reach down deep for water supplies. Do not water for 15 minutes every day causing shallow root systems because your lawn will be unable to withstand much heat and drought stress due to these shortened roots. You can also reduce stress on your lawn by raising your mowing height to 3 inches or greater. This preserves water in the grass blade and reduces stress from mowing your lawn too short. Have you considered leaving your clippings on the lawn? Even if you do to have a mulching mower, mow your lawn regularly and do not mow off more than one-third of the grass blade height at a time. In the summer when grass grows slower you can preserve water by leaving your clippings on the ground for more drought resistance. You can even reduce your fertilizing requirements if you leave your grass clippings on your lawn all year. Happy summer!