Dog Days of Summer: How is Your Landscape Weathering the Heat?
School’s out, beaches are crowded, and that giant fireball high in the sky is baking your landscapes. The golf course-esque front lawn and lush landscape plantings you enjoyed throughout the spring may be showing signs of stress due to higher temperatures. Just how we become uncomfortable on a 95-degree day scorching in the sun, our lawns and landscapes are no different. So let’s touch on three aspects that, if addressed, will keep your lawn and plantings growing beautifully into the fall.
The silent, creeping killer of lawns and shrub material which is most prevalent July-August. It thrives in hot and humid conditions overtaking the turf of suburbia. Fungus usually shows up as patches of brown, yellow, or white in the lawn seemingly overnight, and most homeowners are inclined to crank up their irrigation systems to bring back that beloved emerald green color. Unfortunately, water only adds fuel to the fire and causes the fungus to spread more rapidly. Once the onset of a fungal infection is identified in a lawn or plant, an appropriate fungicide should be applied. Treating it will halt the continued spread and allow for the regrowth of lawn blades and new leaves.
It also might be necessary to reseed the affected lawn areas if the fungus was there for an extended period as the root system may have also been compromised.
Considered by most to be public enemy #1 in the fight to maintain a manicured property. When lawns and landscape plants start to stress in the heat of the summer, it’s a weed’s time to shine. They will overtake any thin or bare areas of an untreated lawn or light mulch covering in landscape beds. The first defense to these unwanted guests is keeping healthy, lush grounds and properly mulched beds. Mulch layers should be a minimum of 2-3″ and bare lawn spots quickly patched with seed. If it’s too late and they have already set up residence, post-emergent selective herbicides will aid in the fight. As with all herbicides, read directions thoroughly and follow manufactures recommendations as there are many limitations to application.
The best practice is not to even give weeds the chance to germinate. Pre-emergents for turf and landscape beds are generally applied in the spring as they last for multiple months throughout the season.
Water is the essence of all life, and plants drink a lot of it, especially in the summer. Unfortunately, drought is commonplace in our area, where there could be little rain for weeks and temps 85 and above. Plants are trained to conserve water in times when lacking, but only to an extent. That is when we need to step in and provide that much-needed supplemental watering either with an excellent old-fashioned hose and watering pale or an automated irrigation system.
Irrigation systems can be programmed to provide water at different frequencies in spring, summer, and fall and gauge the amount of rainfall received to what is needed. In addition, wifi-capable control modules are becoming more commonplace, allowing complete control from the palm of your hand and communicating with local weather forecasts.
Summer is generally the time of family vacations, relaxing by the pool, and enjoying everything outside Mother Nature offers. And, a well-thought-out plan that addresses these necessary maintenance practices will allow more time to appreciate your landscape and not have to overwork at it.
You can also hire a professional! Give our award-winning team a call today at 856-753-1944.