Water, too much of a good thing?Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 11:34 am
Posted by Jonathan Green
Tags: Crabgrass , fall , fertilizing , water , fungus & reseeding
Water is critical to life here on earth. In the last few years we have experienced severe drought conditions, but this year we had excessive amounts of water including Hurricane Irene. Has this helped or hurt your lawn?
This spring we had a lot of rainy, cool weather and coupling this with your first fertilizer application and the grass grew like mad! While some water is good to bring many plants and lawns to life after their long winters nap, it caused havoc with mowing your lawn. Many weekends were too wet to mow and so the lawn grew too high between cuttings. This made it difficult to mow only the top third of the grass blade which is the recommended amount. Clumps of grass lay on the ground causing some grass to die and mowers were getting clogged requiring frequent clean outs of the mower housing. It also created excessive stress on the mower engine making it work extra hard to cut through the grass particularly if your blade was not sharp.
We were surprised that irrigation systems were turned on the same time each day as we drove to work no matter whether it rained a day earlier or even if it was raining at that moment! We do not live in the rainforest here in the USA so why are we still watering every day and wasting precious water? Usually when the lawn is under stress during hot, dry summer months, an established lawn only requires about one inch of water weekly either from rain or irrigation sources. Consider having a licensed irrigation professional install a rain gauge on your gutter to bypass a few cycles of irrigation when it rains.
Crabgrass was rampant this year, thanks to all of this rainfall! Many parts of the country experienced a lot of crabgrass compared to prior years even if crabgrass control was applied. The spring rains diluted the active control ingredient from the soil. The cool, wet weather pushed crabgrass germination off into May and June and by that time many controls were gone in the soil. Consider changing your lawn care approach next spring. The first time you begin cleaning your lawn and raking up the winter debris apply Jonathan Green grass seed. We also encourage you to fertilize your whole lawn at this same time with either Jonathan Green New Seeding Fertilizer or Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer. If you wish to go organic you could use Jonathan Green Organic Lawn Fertilizer. You should also apply Mag-i-cal which will balance your soil pH and create a strong foundation for the new grass to grow. Wait until mid-May to apply Crabgrass Preventer plus Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer. This product contains Dimension which will give you good pre-emergent control and early post-emergent control, up to the three leaf stage, of crabgrass plants. Apply Crabgrass Preventer after the new grass seed has established and has been mowed 2-3 times.
Lawn fungus appears on the grass when the proper conditions occur of air temperature, moisture and a fungal host. There were a lot of fungus outbreaks this year due to many rainfalls throughout the summer months. If you experienced fungus apply Jonathan Green Lawn Fungus Control. This product can be applied every three to four weeks. Read the label for complete directions, but we would suggest applying this product during summer months if you have experienced lawn fungus over the years.
There was also a lot of flooding of streets and streams, lakes and property this year. Many lawns were under water for many hours or days at a time before the water receded causing damage. Once the water was on your lawn for more than a few hours the oxygen level in the soil was depleted and the grass died. With the backup of rivers and streams along coastal areas salt water damage was also evident. If your lawn did not show signs of recovering after the first two weeks you will have to renovate and re-seed your lawn. We would suggest you reseed with Black Beauty Ultra which grows well in full sun or partial shade and clay or sandy soils. This would be a good time to take a soil test to correct any soil deficiencies prior to seeding. Jonathan Green Soil pH Test Kit is an easy and inexpensive way to test your soil pH. Apply Mag-i-cal calcium fertilizer to your lawn to balance your soil pH. We hope everyone who suffered real damage is recovering now.