There are some things to do now to keep your lawn healthy during the long, hot summer. The temperatures are beginning to rise but we don’t know how much rain to expect in July. If we don’t get at least an inch of rain per week, or if you don’t irrigate your lawn, it will turn brown and appear dead.
Summer dormancy is nature’s way of protecting your lawn. When the rains return and the temperature moderates in late August and early September, your grass will green up again. How much it greens up depends on how healthy the turf was before going dormant.
Before animals like bears hibernate, they binge eat to store the energy they need to sustain them through their hibernation period. Grass plants also need to store energy in their roots to sustain them through their dormancy. If you haven’t fertilized your lawn yet this year, it should be done very soon to give the plants enough time to absorb the nutrients from the soil and make the food they need.
Weeds, insects and diseases are adventitious organisms. That means they take advantage of weak plants and attack them, rather than get rebuffed by healthy plants. You can reduce the risk of weeds taking advantage of summer dormancy to claim the space now occupied by your weak turfgrass. A broadleaf weed treatment, in combination with fertilization, will reduce this risk.
And then there are the grubs that seem to enjoy our climate. If you are experiencing big, brown insects flying around and banging into your windows, European chafer or Japanese beetle adult grubs (many call these June bugs) are flying around looking for mates. Once they lay their eggs in your turf, the next generation of grubs will begin eating the roots, unless the roots are tough and strong.
I’ll remind you in a couple of months when it’s time to check your turf for grubs. Now it’s prevention time, which can be done by making sure your turf is tough.
You don’t have to worry about turfgrass diseases at this time, unless we have a summer of torrential downpours, which is unlikely.
If you don’t want to be bothered with the responsibility of making sure your turfgrass is healthy all year long, you can still sign up for a Birchcrest lawn care program. We’ll start treating immediately, before summer dormancy sets in. And, we’ll adjust the cost to reflect those early season treatments that were missed.