Tips For Maintaining A Healthy Lawn in Dry Weather
It has been an extremely dry spring!! If you haven’t been watering your lawn as recommended, it will be stressed and other issues will arise. Here are some lawn maintenance tips.
Water Your Lawn
Especially during dry periods, watering your lawn is extremely important and can’t be stressed enough! When a lawn dries out from not enough water, it allows weeds, pests and crabgrass the opportunity to thrive!
During dry periods we recommend watering every day if possible. Early morning (between 6am and 10am) is ideal. Watering is most beneficial when done early in the morning. There is reduced evaporation which allows the soil to absorb more moisture. If you water when the sun is out, the grass can go through the process of photosynthesis. If you water at night, the grass will not be able to effectively absorb and make use of the water. In addition, the increased dampness could lead to the development of diseases.
Remember, hydration is crucial for the growth and health of your grass. Pay attention to how your lawn looks and water as needed! Your grass colour will change from green to bluish grey, and it will lose some of its bounce. If the grass doesn’t spring back a few seconds after you step on it, it needs water.
Mow Your Grass
Avoid mowing your grass shorter than 3 to 3 1/2 inches or cutting more than 1/3 of the blade height at once. During hot and dry spells we recommend that you keep your cutting height higher than normal. Shorter grass may expose the turf and dry the soil out. Longer grass will allow for the establishment of longer roots, which can reach more moisture in the soil — even when the weather is hot and dry. Keeping grass longer will prevent it from drying out too quickly and ensure that roots are better protected by the longer blades.
It is also very important to make sure your mower blades are kept razor sharp. A sharp blade makes a clean precise cut which seals quickly and helps resist diseases. A crisp cut is also easier to achieve on a dry lawn rather than a wet one. Try not to cut your lawn during the hottest part of the day. To maintain a razor sharp blade, it may be necessary to have the blade sharpened multiple times each year.
Grass clippings should be left on the lawn when mowing, as it is a natural and environmentally friendly practice. Grass clippings are about 90% water by weight. Because they are high in protein, they should be left on the lawn to decompose, as this practice will add nutrients to the soil. The use of a mulching type mower is ideal for grass‑cycling as it cuts the clippings smaller and allows for quicker decomposition.
Summer lawn fertilizer is a great way to ensure that your soil has all the nutrients it needs to grow and flourish. A summer lawn treatment is one of the ways to ensure that your grass is in perfect condition. During the hot, summer days, fertilizer will help your lawn stay healthy. Replenishing nutrients on a regular basis will help the grass to grow thick, which helps to crowd out weeds and keep the soil cool.
Once the temperature rises above 28 degrees Celsius, the turf will start struggling. When the temperatures rise and rain is less frequent, grass becomes brittle, the growth slows, and brown tends to be the colour you see.
KNK’s custom fertilizer is like no other. Our fertilizer is 100% slow release and is designed specifically for our lawns in the Grey/Bruce area. Yes, we still fertilize in hot/dry weather. Our fertilizer applications are granular and 100% slow release. The fertilizer will remain on your lawn and in your soil until it rains or is watered in.
You are going to see a much healthier lawn when you aerate! Aeration will help reduce thatch and compaction. After our harsh winters, our soil gets very compacted. This can stunt root growth and keep the nutrients from getting down into the soil.
The process of aerating your lawn loosens the soil compaction by poking holes in it and then pulling the plugs out. This opens up the soil and allows the plugs to loosely dissolve back into the ground with rain and watering. This allows the turf to breathe and obtain access to what it needs: water, fertilizer and seed. It also provides more room for the roots to grow deeper and stronger. Beyond the grass, the soil itself becomes healthier because it has better access to nutrients. The turf can also better handle the stress of heat and cold with thicker, deeper roots.
One of our most common lawn pests thrive in the hot, dry weather. Chinch bugs can turn a beautiful green lawn into a brown dying mess in a matter of days! They’re a huge pest problem.
Chinch bugs are extremely small pests that can be tough to find. Younger chinch bugs are a reddish/orange colour and adults are black with a white spot on their back between their wing pads. Chinch bugs feed by sucking the sap from the crown and stems of turf grass, causing it to turn brown.
Chinch bugs thrive in hot, dry weather and love the sun. If your lawn is sunny, the chinch bugs will prefer your lawn to a lawn that is shady. In fact, you may find that the less sunny spots in your lawn are less damaged by the chinch bugs than the extremely sunny areas. If a lawn is not getting enough water, quite often the chinch bugs move in. Their damage is often mistaken for drought, however; if left untreated, they can destroy a lawn extremely fast. If you have been providing sufficient water to your lawn and irregular yellow/brown patches show up, you could have chinch bugs.
We use a variety of human & pet friendly treatments to remove common lawn pests that can ruin or destroy your lawn.
To maintain a happy and healthy lawn, weed control is a must. Weeds compete with grass for sunlight, water and nutrients. The more weeds you have, the less fertilizer and other resources your grass receives. Controlling weeds eliminates the competition so grass can stay thick and well nourished.
KNK Lawn Care provides customers with Lawn Care Programs which include weed control and fertilizer applications to make sure your lawn is healthy and strong. Contact us today for more information on our services or fill out our quote form.