Puffers! My grandchildren love to find dandelions in their “puffer” stage and blow them all around my yard and neighborhood. Of course Pop-Pop can’t get mad at them for spreading these seeds, it’s a fun time for them, and I’ll take care of the dandelions later.
Later this month we have the first official day of summer, June 21st. Your lawn has finally woken up from its long winters nap and sunshine is abundant and warm weather is here providing the perfect climate for weeds to thrive and puffers to be found! Daytime temperatures are probably in the 70’s and on some days 80’s or 90’s. We have had plenty of rain this spring (but not as bad as last year). Remember, only a few months ago when your lawn was mostly brown from the winter and then weeds seemed to grow quicker and better than your lawn?
By now you should have mowed your lawn 10+ times and hopefully fed it once or twice producing a deep-green, thick carpet. If you have many “puffers” in your lawn now, what went wrong this spring with your lawn care program? Most homeowners have a great spring lawn and then their lawn sometimes fall apart with the ravages of summer’s heat, drought, bugs and disease.
Each year we hear the same questions over and over again from homeowners, “What do I do now?” Timing and what to apply seems to be confusing. A standard lawn care program with 1-2-3-4 steps does not always work for all lawn situations throughout the year. Lawn care is a problem-driven business. While Mother Nature is a constant changing force, there is a need to revisit some of my prior years’ articles.
Weeds thrive in areas when the good grass cannot compete. Did you test your soil pH? Is it below 6.0?
If so, you need to apply Mag-I-Cal to raise your soil pH to a desirable grass growing range between 6.2 and 7.0. If you have fed your lawn only once this year, please do so again this month before summer heat arrives. This will help to keep it strong heading into difficult summer weather. Consider using Organic Lawn Food for a slow, gentle feeding. Organic lawn foods work very well in warmer weather since they green up quicker and feed the grass slowly.
Have you noticed grubs in your lawn or in landscape beds as you rake them?
Now is a good time to apply a preventative grub treatment such as Grub and Insect Control. The same goes for fungus, if you have had repeated problems with fungus during summer months, consider using Lawn Fungus Control. Ticks are very prevalent and can be treated effectively now with Grub and Insect Control also.
Now that warm weather has arrived, consider fixing drainage problems or removing some tree branches to let more light and airflow get to your lawn for improved growth. What a difference some trimming can do for your lawn. This can also help to dry out spots where water sits and ultimately kills the grass.
By the beginning of July, be sure to raise your mowing height in order to preserve moisture in the grass blades. This helps your lawn survive drought conditions by increasing root mass and it also helps the grass reduce weed growth. What about watering? Do not allow the grass to stress out enough and have the blades turn a blue-ish color before providing some supplemental irrigation or sprinkler watering. Daily watering at short intervals (10-15 minutes) is just as bad for your lawn as it produces a shallow root system. Water 2-3 times a week providing about 1 inch of water to the lawn each week.
Well, it’s time to go out with the grandchildren and try to find some puffers. You should go to the beach, have a picnic, celebrate a graduation and live life!