Friday, July 6, 2012
Wow! What a roller coaster ride this spring and summer has been for the lawn business. First an extremely mild and snow free winter followed by a spring drought, I have never seen a real noticeable spring drought. What did this do to your lawn?
When fertilizers were first applied this spring they barely turned the yellow winter grass any shade of green. The weather was unusually warm too which got us out on our lawns early, but the lack of moisture prevented fertilizer from greening for many weeks. Is there something wrong with my lawn? Grass seed that was applied took forever to germinate due to the lack of rainfall too even though we had record high temperatures in March. Is it too late to apply my pre-emergence crabgrass control if the forsythia has already bloomed? Not if you applied Jonathan Green Crabgrass Preventer plus Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer. This product contains Dimension herbicide and can control crabgrass until late spring and the three leaf stage.
Once April rains arrived dandelions went wild and appeared everywhere. As April cooled off the bright yellow flowers quickly shriveled up and went away and the puff balls appeared. Then a large crop of white clover emerged. The excessive moisture we received in April and May created ideal conditions for white clover to establish. We even saw 3-4 year old sod lawns where some white clover broke through. This clover did not come with the sod the seeds were already dormant and present in the soil from perhaps many years ago. Clover is an extremely difficult broadleaf weed to control. It may not be completely killed off with your first weed control application. If clover still persists after 30 days reapply either Jonathan Green Weed and Feed or Lawn Weed Control. Follow all label directions for best control and safety. Remember do not apply fertilizer to your lawn on excessively hot days or high humidity.
Most irrigation systems were turned on in spring but did not have to be used. Then on Memorial Day the 90+ degree temperatures and high humidity hit us and red thread fungus appeared! Overnight small patches in the lawn appeared with the stringy red thread look on the grass blades. Jonathan Green Lawn Fungus Control was selling like hot cakes. Fortunately this awful weather changed back to normal in a few days, whew!
At this time of year be conscious of your watering of the lawn. Do not allow the lawn to suffer to a wilted stage before you irrigate. In the absence of rainfall watering 2-3 times a week should be sufficient unless the heat and drought stress goes out of control. If you see definitive foot prints in the lawn after you walk over it, it probably needs a watering. A healthy growing lawn requires about one inch of rainfall or irrigation a week to look its best. Do not over water your lawn. You know how good it feels to take a plunge in the ocean or pool when it’s really hot, give your lawn a watering, it will appreciate it.
Provided there is enough heat and drought we may experience a bumper crop of insects and weeds this summer due to the mild winter. Remember to determine if your lawn is “brown” due to heat and drought stress, insect damage or fungus damage before you treat it for an unknown reason with some chemicals. Using an organic fertilizer like Jonathan Green Organic Lawn Fertilizer or Natural Beauty Organic Fertilizer can be beneficial during summer months provided it is not over 90 degrees or 90% humidity. A healthy growing lawn can withstand quite a bid of heat, drought and insect stress.
It seems like Mother Nature keeps on hitting our lawns with a little bit of this… a little bit of that during the growing season. We love Mother Nature but now take control and show her who the boss on your lawn is. Enjoy the summer!