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LOOK OUT FOR SUMMER LAWN STRESS

Howdy Herd Members,

Your local lawn care experts at MowCow are here! Summer certainly crept up on us this year. Before you plan your family vacations and summer cookouts, check out the signs of summer lawn stress that you should be on the lookout for as the weather gets hotter.

Brown Patch

SUMMER LAWN STRESS 1: BROWN PATCH

Brown patch is a fungal disease that causes circular patches on your lawn that are brown, tan, or yellow in color. The spots can be as small as six inches across or as large as several feet in diameter.

What Causes Brown Patch

Brown Patch is caused by extended periods of moisture combined with heat and humidity. Turfgrass that is continuously wet for 10-12 hours at a time during a time of high heat and humidity is susceptible to Brown Patch fungus. Areas of the lawn that have low air flow are particularly vulnerable to Brown Patch.

Our weather here in the Northern Virginia region transitioned quickly from the rainy spring to the hot summer. That unseasonably warm weather has led to us already spotting Brown Patch in several yards this season.

HOW TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF BROWN PATCH

In order to prevent the spread of Brown Patch, there are some simple steps you should take.

  • Water the lawn early in the morning between 3 am and 10 am.
  • No evening watering
  • Mow high: 3.5-4.25 inches
  • Mow with a sharp blade
Grub

SUMMER LAWN STRESS 2: GRUBS

WHAT ARE GRUBS

Grubs are larva or the young life stages of many beetle species. These grubs feed on the roots of grass before emerging and becoming beetles.

HOW TO PREVENT GRUB INFESTATION

The best defense for your turfgrass from grubs is through a grub control treatment in June/July to ensure there is full control through the season. Grub infestations can cause patches of thinning turf and will increase in size as the grubs feed and grow. Before you know it, a grub infestation can destroy large patches of your yard.

GRUB CONTROL PROGRAM

To ensure your lawn stays looking great all season, we would suggest adding a grub control application to your lawn care program.

  • If you are on our complete care program, there is no need to worry. You are covered and we will be treating for grubs throughout the summer months.
  • If you are on our essentials or essentials plus program, grub control is not part of your regular service. We would love to keep your lawn looking its best this year just give us a call and we’ll give you an estimate to treat your lawn for this problematic disease.

SUMMER LAWN STRESS 3: DROUGHT STRESS

Like most plants, turfgrass requires proper hydration. The high temperatures and inconsistent rainfall in the summer can lead to lawn stress. The lack of water can lead to wilting, brown, and dying grass.

IDENTIFYING DROUGHT STRESS

Look For Early Signs

If your footprints remain visible on your grass after it has been walked on, if your lawn starts to look gray, if your grass losses its bright green color, or if your grass blades wilt or curl then your lawn could be in the early stages of drought stress.

CHECK YOUR ROOTS

Another way to check for drought stress is by pulling on the grass in the brown areas of the lawn. If the grass will not pull easily from the soil, it may be experiencing drought stress.

THE SCREWDRIVER TEST

To check the hydration level of your lawn, push a screwdriver or stiff rod into the soil in the brown and green areas of your lawn. If the screwdriver slips easily into the areas of your lawn that are green but does not penetrate the soil in the brown areas then your lawn could be experiencing uneven watering and drought stress.