It may come like it does in so many Ohio summers…all of a sudden. From a cold, wet April and May, it turns hot and humid quickly in mid-June, leaving your lawn very little time for acclimation.
The result? Early stress from the heat and humidity, almost a month earlier than most summers. Disease…normal in July and August, ‘red thread’, ‘dollar spot’, and ‘rust’ is beginning to show. So, how to manage for ‘sudden summer’ and it’s impact on the way your yard will look for the next three months?
Well, the first thing would be to raise the deck on your mower. If you were cutting the grass at 3 inches in May and June raise things by at least a half-inch (or even an inch) between now and the onset of cooler weather in October.
Two, additional nitrogen, properly introduced, will fortify your grass plants and help them to grow through the issues of summer fungus disease – ‘red thread’, ‘dollar spot’, and ‘rust’.
Three, if you have irrigation…or if you just run a sprinkler…do it during the heat of the day, from noon through 3 pm. This allows for evaporative cooling of your plants and drops the temperature of your lawn by 8 to 10 degrees. And don’t worry about the inefficiency of water evaporating. There’s plenty of ground water from spring rains, so the idea is not about getting water to the roots. Rather, you want to cool the tops of those grass plants. This goes a LONG ways toward maintaining summer color and vigor. Also, that water will help incorporate the nitrogen you spread, helping plants to fortify against the heat and stress.
Last, make sure you turn off watering early enough in the day where plants can dry by nightfall. This helps fight additional disease conditions.
Do these three things and it’ll help bring your yard through a hot, humid summer in much better shape. And if you have other questions or issues, be sure and call Ever-Green. What you don’t know can hurt your lawn, and lead to a more expensive fix down the road.