Spring Push Key to Gaining Ground on Your Ideal Turf Condition
Summer temperatures rise and drought conditions set in. Turf quality can suffer, even healthy turf that was green and lush during the spring can be at risk for turning brown or going dormant in the summer months. Leading to insect and weed infestations, as well as other diseases.
The quality of soil and sufficient irrigation is key to the quality of turf.
Lack of water whether it be through rainfall or irrigation can lead to a decrease in vigor and susceptibility to fungus or disease. Knowing how to spot the beginning stages of drought stress is important to keeping your turf healthy.
One easy test in elasticity of turf during drought will allow opportunity for corrective measures before considerable damage has occurred. Two or Three steps in the front yard will produce essential information. Footprints lasting several minutes on the turf before bouncing back up is a tale tell sign your lawn needs water and quickly!
Alternatively, check for moisture by pushing a screwdriver into the soil. Any resistance in the soil most likely requires additional water. Soil amendments(micros) such as calcium, lime, and gypsum can also be used to improve soil health. Dropping large fluctuations in soil pH will develop the ideal environment for root growth.
TLDR: Reduce turf stress, raise your mower height at the beginning of summer. Use slow or controlled release fertilizer prior to summer. Watering deeply but infrequently will help your turf recover. Important to apply a post emergent herbicide to control any weeds that may have appeared when the turf was dormant. Turf that has been damaged through the summer stress should be repaired in the spring or in the fall. Whether it be sod or seed.
Prevention is key:
Identify the issues that your yard typically faces in summer, make a plan and prepare your turf in spring. Gains in spring will offset your losses in summer. Apply fertilizers with extended nutrition to feed your turf through times of stress. Include soil amendments in your turf management program to strengthen the roots, optimize nutrient and moisture uptake, and most importantly irrigate efficiently to avoid dormancy or damage.