Freeze Damage, Flood Damage, Drought Damage… Oh My!

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Freeze Damage

We received several inquiries about lawns with irregular bleached patches. They only show up on some lawns and only in some areas. These types of patches are not normally seen in mid-May, but it can happen. The discoloration comes from freezing temperatures, freezing the new lush blades of grass. Fortunately it did not seem to affect ornamentals the same as it did grass blades.

Freeze damage

The symptoms look just like fertilizer burn – white grass blades from the tip down. If you look down towards the base of the plant, you will see the green tissue is still intact. These spots will disappear after the lawn is mowed two or three times. The other variable that seemed to increase the likelihood of this occurring was on lawns that had been mowed during the day before the freeze occurred. Turf is an amazing plant and it will recover; it just may take two or three weeks.

Flood Damage

Our Franchises in the Houston and Dallas, TX area have received record amounts of rain this year. Therefore many of the lawns are flooded. The question that many people ask is, “how long can grass stayed submerged under water?”  If your yard is submerged for three or four days, it will probably be okay. Any longer than that, it will most likely need to be replaced. Trees and shrubs on the other hand can survive a longer time when submerged, as their roots generally grow deeper into the soil. They will still be able to get enough oxygen to survive. The same cannot be said for small perennials or annual plants. They will succumb due to the flooding.

Due to all of the rain, weeds are out of control and it has been difficult to treat them as it always seems to be raining. If flooding wasn’t bad enough, all the flooding has forced lots of snakes out of their dens to escape the flooding. Below are a couple of King Snakes in the backyard of a customer with a bumper crop of weeds. Dealing with weeds is bad enough without worrying about snakes.

snake

Drought Damage

Travel east from Houston a couple of states and you will reach Alabama. One of the Field Service Professionals from our office in the Auburn area sent in some pictures of lawns that are showing drought stress.

Many customers have sprinkler systems, but they will go out of alignment or require adjusting. These problems show up when things dry out. Refer to the image below. Some of the heads do not seem to be working properly, so large sections of the lawn are not receiving adequate water.

drought damage

Having your sprinkler system checked by a professional company is a wise practice at least once each year. This will help prevent this type of blotchy lawn appearance.

You know it is dry when the Bermuda grass goes dormant. As you can see in the picture below, this lawn is going dormant, which is actually a defense mechanism of the plant to help keep the crown alive. During dry periods, plants will shut down non-essential parts to keep the crown alive. Bermuda grass can survive the entire summer without water, but it will turn brown.

drought

Once the lawn receives adequate water, it will start greening up again. It has been Spring-Green’s experience that lawns that continued to be serviced during drought periods recovered faster than those lawns that skipped those applications.

Summer has just begun and the weather is topsy turvey once again. These things will always be constant in lawn care; the weather will be unpredictable, weeds will grow, insects will hatch and disease will develop. To get help with your lawn contact a local Spring-Green office to find out how we can help with damage to your lawn.