A Note from Debbie Walter
This summer’s heat, abundant rainfall and soaring humidity have created the perfect storm for summer weeds and disease in the lawn. Crabgrass and dollar spot are two common issues that we are encountering almost daily this season.
High temps and excessive rain caused rapid degradation of the pre-emergent pesticides that you applied this spring, allowing for crabgrass to breakthrough that barrier. Crabgrass is a summer annual that germinates, lives and dies all in the same year, producing up to 150,000 seeds. Unfortunately, those seeds can stay behind, ready to germinate next spring and the cycle starts all over again. Crabgrass is best controlled through the spring pre-emergent application.
Dollar spot are the clusters of small, round, sunken patches of straw-colored grass about the size of a silver dollar that may be showing up on your otherwise beautiful green lawn. This fungus favors high humidity and temperatures ranging between 60 and 85 degrees.
On the bright side, dollar spot can be somewhat controlled, utilizing a few simple practices. First, avoid watering in the evening or after dark. We suggest watering deeply but infrequently, and water in the early morning, so that your yard doesn’t stay moist for too long. Again, lawn diseases thrive in wet, humid conditions.
Next, raise your mower height to at least three inches. We always recommend that you never cut more than one-third of your lawn’s grass length, no matter how tall it gets. Grass leaves hold moisture, therefore shorter lawns (under three inches) are more susceptible to infection.
Fertilization on a regular basis also plays an important role in a healthy, dense stand of turf to maintain a deep green color and give weeds a run for their money. Nitrogen is every lawn’s most important ingredient and each type of grass demands different amounts for pinnacle growth and performance.
Once the temps cool, it is imperative that you aerate your lawn. Fall aeration is one of the many services that we offer to help prep your grass for next spring.
A few have expressed concern about early yellowing and leaf drop on their trees. Leaf drop is a normal condition of growth and summer heat, humidity and lack of consistent water can add a little stress to nature. Supplemental watering during drought periods may be necessary every 5-7 days.
If your roses and other beloved plants appear to be dying or eaten alive this summer, there’s a good chance Japanese Beetles are the culprit. These small insects propose a big threat and have been a menace to our ornamental plants this season. Metallic green in color, Japanese Beetles do not typically kill the plants they are feeding on, but they can certainly disfigure them for the season by skeletonizing the foliage. Feel free to call our office to learn more about an affordable treatment plan to protect and fortify your garden.
My husband, Mark and I devote serious and sustained effort to maintain safe surroundings for our staff and customers. We are blessed that our company continues to thrive, as local homeowners and businesses opt to renovate their outdoor spaces, transforming ordinary properties into extraordinary outdoor environments during the “Stay at Home” order. LawnCare by Walter employees have remained resilient over the past five challenging months and we once more want to celebrate their effort. Our goal is to prolong a workspace that is both safe and secure for our office and patrons.
Debbie Walter – President of LawnCare by Walter, Inc.