As we head into June, we at Green Sphere are happy with the way that your lawns have broken winter dormancy and begun to hit their stride on the doorstep of summer. We are however, concerned for the rest of the summer, particularly in terms of rainfall and the toll that it could take on your lawn.
For most of you, this round of applications is a double application of fertilizer and a preventative grub control. Weeds will also be treated when conditions allow. This insect control product needs to watered into the soil (not immediately, timely rainfall is usually sufficient) for optimal results. Tick and Mosquito and Tree and Shrub applications continue on schedule, and summer soil conditioning and compost applications will begin this month as well.
As per usual, during the spring to summer transition, you may have noticed some drying out in some areas of the lawn. This initial bout of drought stress is a typical reaction after lawns experience their first few hot days of the season. Turfgrasses usually recover with some water and cooler temperatures, but they are also acclimating to the sun position and the longer and stronger sunshine. Once recovery is complete and green color returns, the turfgrass is now more resistant to the next heat waves.
One of the most common questions that we get asked is “how long should I be watering my lawn?” The rule of thumb is 1 inch of water per week. The best watering practice is infrequent (every 3-4 days) heavy waterings that saturate the root zone. For the common 5,000-7,500 ft2 lawn, that means running your irrigation system for 30-45 mins per zone. Larger lawns may need 45-60 minutes of water per zone. “Deep soaking” your lawn with this irrigation schedule will help build a tougher, more drought resistant lawn. https://droughtmonitor.unl.
We are bracing ourselves for a dry summer. We are currently in moderate drought conditions, with a few towns already restricting water usages on lawns. Aside from discoloration, drought stressed lawns become susceptible to secondary stresses from insects, weeds and diseases that can also negatively impact the lawn. Moisture manager applications are highly recommended for everyone, especially those of you without irrigation systems. If you mow your own lawn, we strongly suggest raising the height of cut on your mower. Roots grow proportionally to the length of the grass blades: Taller grass = Longer roots = Improved drought tolerance.
A prolonged drought will also impact our fertilizer applications and weed control sprays. Drought stressed portions of lawns cannot handle herbicide applications like healthy areas. We will do our best to treat as many weeds as possible, but our technicians will skip a weed control treatment if it is in your lawn’s best interest.
As always, Mother Nature is keeping us on our toes. Hopefully she cooperates with us this summer!