What are the Biggest Threats to a Healthy Lawn?
Summer is a tough time for lawns, with heat and humidity stressing out grasses and making them more susceptible to pests and diseases. Here are three of the biggest threats to lawn health in summer, along with tips on how to combat them.
It’s normal for grass to go dormant in the summer due to extreme heat and lack of water, but dormant grass is ugly grass. However, your grass’s natural defense is dormancy, which it uses to protect itself! To break dormancy, keep your lawn thoroughly watered. It’s best to give a uniform 3/4″ of water coverage, preferably early in the morning.
The high humidity and heat here in Florida create an ideal environment for lawn diseases to thrive. Some of the most common diseases include brown patches, dollar spots, and Take All.
There are several things you can do to prevent lawn diseases:
- Mow at the proper height.
- Remove lawn debris regularly. This includes leaves, twigs, and dead grass.
- Water deeply and infrequently. Watering deeply encourages roots to grow deeper into the soil, making them less susceptible to diseases.
- Fertilize properly. Too much or too little fertilizer can both lead to lawn problems.
Lawn pests, such as chinch bugs, sod webworms, and grubs, are also a big problem in the summer. These pests can wreak havoc on your lawn, causing brown patches, bare spots, and overall unhealthy grass.
The best way to combat lawn pests is to have a regular lawn care program that includes insect control. This will help keep lawn pests at bay and allow your grass to stay healthy all summer long!
Mowing your lawn in the proper manner is critical to its health, especially during the summer! Here are some suggestions for mowing correctly:
- Mow Frequently: Tall, wet grass may leave clumps of dead clippings that can smother turf and lead to fungus and weeds.
- Sharpen Your Blades: A clean-cut causes less stress than tearing the grass with a dull blade.
- Don’t Scalp Your Lawn: Leave grass at 3-inches high to shade and protect the soil and roots from full sun.
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