Went to see a lawn care customer this week in Stoney Creek about some issues
The thing that was an eye-opener is how much of a difference that watering can make to a lawn when we have been having temperatures of 30 degrees C and there has been little rain.
Yes, grasses have the ability to withstand dry conditions, if they are not watered during droughts, they will go dormant and lose their green colour. But as long as they get some moisture, they will survive. Once fall comes with its cooler temperatures, shorted days, and more moisture the lawn will recover and turn green again.
But what if you don't want your lawn to go dormant?
Here is a lawn where you can see the difference that watering makes. The sprinkler is set on the porch in one spot. The majority of the lawn has been watered, but the edges did not get enough to keep them green. The pattern of the green is typical of the spray pattern of an oscillating sprinkler.
The lighter green spots in the middle of the lawn are patches of crabgrass. Even crabgrass didn't fare as well in the areas with less water.
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What about crabgrasss issues this year in #lawncare?
This summer with the hot weather has been a difficult one with respect to crabgrass. Crabgrass germinates when soil temperatures are warm. In normal summers, the grass cover on a lawn that is mowed high (3" mowing height) is usually sufficient shade to keep crabgrass from germinating and growing.
We are finding that the extremely warm daytime temperatures this year has made it harder for lawns to retain the degree of cover and therefore shading from the grass blades. Plus when under water stress, grass blades tend to curl up in order to conserve moisture. This helps relieve moisture stress, but this also reduces the amount of shade provided by the grass blades.
All these factors have made crabgrass more abundant this year in many lawns even those with our organic crabgrass preventer applications.
The good part- crabgrass is an annual and will die with a good frost
The bad part- crabgrass plants are prolific seed producers.
Removing crabgrass plants before they can drop their seed can help reduce crabgrass in the future. But this can be a tedious and time consuming task.
Seeding the lawn this September may be helpful in encouraging a good thick stand of grass- to help keep soil temperatures down- especially if we get another hot dry summer next year.
Was visiting a lawn today. The customer was showing me some Quaking Aspen suckers that were coming up in her lawn. This near relative of poplars is notorious for sending up suckers from its roots. These suckers if left alone will turn into a new Quaking Aspen tree.
In one spot, she had cut back the suckers quite often and there was a part of the root- almost a stump that was 3-4 inches across. When I looked at it, I was surprised to see a bunch of Chinch Bug nymphs crawling all around the stump
I suspect the chinch bugs were basking in the early morning sun. They prefer sunny spots and a piece of root that is up above the ground level is not damp and moist. And there are very few grass blades to shade it.
So they climbed up on the piece of root to enjoy the sun. There wasn't any damage to the lawn at this point, but if there are enough nymphs, they could feed enough to damage the lawn.
Chinch bugs are a lawn care hazard. If there are enough of them, they can quickly turn a lawn brown. These little insect nymphs suck the sap from grass plants. The lawn will look like it lacks water. And since Chinch bugs are prevalent in the summer, people often just assume they haven't been watering enough. The lawn is in fact suffering from a lack of moisture, because the chinch bugs have taken a lot of it away. In time they will damage and/or kill your lawn.
Call Turf King Lawn Care Experts for chinch bug problems in Ancaster, Burlington, Caledonia and Oakville.
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