How To Tell If Your Summer Lawn is dehydrated (and what to do about it).

Large Patch

In the heat of the summer, your lawn can suffer from dehydration under the sun’s oppressive glare. Not every brown spot, however, is dehydration. Knowing when your lawn is truly suffering from a lack of hydration and how to address the issue when it rears its ugly head is the challenge for many homeowners during the drier parts of the year when there is excessive sunlight and also when there are water restrictions in place. Your neighborhood lawn experts at Spring-Green are to help! We’ve compiled this mini-guide to help you: 

  • Tell if your grass is over or under-hydrated 
  • Gain an understanding of how to get your lawn back into shape if it has become dehydrated 
  • Learn watering best practices for your type of lawn 
  • And more! 

Of course, if you are not the DIY type or if you need to call in a group of pros to help you solve your lawn problems (or just take care of routine maintenance), Spring-Green is always just a phone call away. 

Everything You Need To Know About Your Dehydrated Lawn: 

  • Preventing lawn dehydration. The exception is the grass that is dehydrated due to irrigation problems that are limiting the water in a specific area. Always check that it is properly hydrated first. 
    • The Tug Test – The tug test as it is called is where dead blades are put more easily because they have lost their rooting.  
    • Patterns And Patches – Patchy spots of dormant and dead grass spread throughout the yard can be an indicator of dehydration as well. 
  • Knowing the signs of dehydration. Understanding the signs of dehydration is key to prevention. Here are a few to keep a close eye out for: 
    • Visible Footprints – Footprints should go away very shortly after the imprint is made. If you begin to notice that they don’t, it could be a sign of lawn dehydration.  
    • Soil Gaps – When your lawn experiences dehydration, the soil shrinks. If there’s a gap, your lawn is experiencing heat stress, indicating it is in need of water. 
    • Bed Edge Dryness – The edges around your landscape beds can serve as a great drought indicator. If you notice drying “light” colored soil on the edges, it is a clear indication of dehydration.  
    • Screwdriver Test – An easy way to determine push a six-inch screwdriver into your lawn and see if it goes in easily or not. The easy it goes in, the more your lawn is hydrated. If the opposite is true, it may be a sign of dehydration.  
  • What to do if your lawn is dehydrated. If you have read the signs and know your lawn is suffering from dehydration, you have some work to do. The good news is you can (possibly) reverse things. Here are some ideas on how to take care of your lawn’s dehydration: 
    • Rake up the dead grass up clearing space for the soil. 
    • Spread seed. 
    • Apply fertilizer to get things off to a good start. 
    • Water and mulch. 
    • Ensure proper sunlight and water.   

Spring-Green is here to help if your lawn is showing signs of distress such as dehydration. We have been America’s go-to lawn specialist since 1977! Our professional team of lawn care experts can help with everything from routine maintenance to hydration issues to complete landscaping projects. We are standing by to assist you with your lawn care needs today.  

Contact Spring-Green for a free consultation. 

The Forsythia Are Blooming! What Does That Mean For You?

Forsythia

There are a number of old sayings when it comes to gardening, such as “the corn should be knee high by the 4th of July” or “you have to add lime to sweeten the soil”.  However there are not too many old sayings when it comes to lawn care, but one that often gets thrown around at this time of year is “apply your crabgrass preventer when the forsythia bloom.” As we often find out, these old sayings are not usually based on scientific evidence and, for the most part, cause more confusion than necessary.

For the most part, the corn in my area is always taller than my knees by the 4th of July, with the exception of a severe drought. Lime should only be added to soil if the pH is well below 6.5, which is determined by a soil test. As much as lawn care companies try, there is no way that all of the lawns we service can have their crabgrass preventer applied by the time the forsythia bloom.

The crabgrass statement is not really based on any hard and fast rule. I am sure some turf professor was asked as to when the best time to apply a pre-emergent weed control product and he picked a plant that was popular and one that everyone knew the name and that bloomed early. It can be used as a reference point, but it is more important to understand that crabgrass will germinate when soil temperatures are greater than 55 to 60F degrees for 7-10 consecutive days. Depending on the year, this may not occur until mid-May in the Midwest.

For those in the south, your soil may never drop below 55 degrees, so crabgrass can be a problem for you from the fall until soil temperatures climb above 95 degrees, which is when crabgrass stops germinating.

It is similar to the mowing rule of not removing more than one-third of a grass blade when mowing. This is not based on any studies, but it was an observation made by a Department of Agriculture employee who thought the grass looked best after mowing if not more than one-third was removed.

We have all been faced with mowing grass that is very long because of rain or other outside commitments that prevented us from getting to that task. As long as the lawn is mowed tall, it will be fine.

One final word about crabgrass germination and mowing. Mowing high will help prevent crabgrass and many other weeds from germinating by shading the ground and prevent the sun from heating up the weed seeds that already exist in your lawn. Of all the cultural practices, mowing has the most impact on the health and quality of your lawn.

Do you have question about your lawn and how to best take care of it? Contact your local Spring-Green for more information.