Lawn Problems – This could have been avoided

May 30, 2024

Don't Make this COSTLY LAWN MISTAKE!  5 easy steps to diagnose and fix ugly lawn problems

Top Summer Lawn Care Concerns and How to Resolve Them

Summer can be tough on your lawn. High temperatures, inconsistent watering, and pests all contribute to common lawn care concerns. In this post, we’ll explore the most frequent issues—drought stress, sprinkler coverage, turf insects, and turf fungus—and provide practical solutions for each. Your lawn will thank you!

Drought Stress – What’s wrong with my lawn?

Identifying Drought Stress: Drought stress is a significant concern during summer, as high temperatures and reduced rainfall can quickly dry out your lawn. You can spot drought stress by looking for wilted, discolored grass blades that don’t bounce back after being stepped on.  Also, if you have areas of your lawn with a significant slope, then you need to adjust your watering schedule to minimize runoff, as sloped lawns struggle with drought stress the most.

Solution: To combat drought stress, water your lawn deeply but infrequently. This encourages roots to grow deeper, making your lawn more drought-resistant. Aim to water early in the morning to reduce evaporation. For more tips on watering during drought conditions, check out this article from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources.  For a sloped lawn, create additional start times for those stations.  Be sure to shorten the watering times for the sloped areas to 7-10 minutes.  Then space out the next watering start time for that stations by a minimum of 30 minutes.  Watering for short bursts 2-3 times per night, instead of for 20-30 minutes straight, will prevent runoff and increase saturation deeper into the sloped soil.

Sprinkler Coverage – Summer Lawn Care Concerns

Identifying Sprinkler Issues: Uneven sprinkler coverage can lead to patches of dry, brown grass, even if you’re watering regularly. This problem often stems from clogged or misaligned sprinkler heads.

Solution: Regularly check your sprinkler system for clogs and alignment issues. Adjust sprinkler heads to ensure even coverage across your lawn. Consider installing a smart irrigation system that adjusts watering based on weather conditions and soil moisture. For more detailed guidance, the Irrigation Association offers a wealth of resources.

Turf Insects

Identifying Turf Insect Damage: Insects such as grubs, chinch bugs, and sod webworms can wreak havoc on your lawn, causing brown patches and thinning grass. You might notice birds pecking at your lawn, which can be a sign of insect activity.

Solution: To address turf insects, start with proper lawn maintenance. Healthy lawns are less susceptible to pests. If you notice signs of insect damage, identify the pest and choose an appropriate treatment. Biological controls like beneficial nematodes or chemical insecticides can be effective. For more information on managing turf insects, visit the University of Florida’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.

Turf Fungus

Identifying Turf Fungus: Turf fungi thrive in hot, humid conditions, causing issues such as dollar spot, brown patch, and rust. Look for discolored, irregular patches, or a white, powdery substance on the grass blades.

Solution: Prevent turf fungus by following good lawn care practices: mow regularly, water in the morning, and avoid over-fertilizing. If fungus appears, apply a fungicide suitable for the specific type of fungus affecting your lawn. For more detailed advice on preventing and treating turf fungus, check out this article from the Penn State Extension.

Conclusion

Summer lawn care requires vigilance and proactive measures to keep your grass healthy and vibrant. By addressing drought stress, ensuring proper sprinkler coverage, managing turf insects, and preventing turf fungus, you can maintain a beautiful lawn all season long. For further reading and expert advice, explore the linked resources and stay ahead of these common summer lawn care challenges. Your lush, green lawn is within reach!