Ways To Know If Your Lawn Has Heat Stress
Heat stress can cause many issues for your lawn, including disease, insect infestation, weed infestation, and overall poor health. We’ll examine both the warning signs of a lawn that is experiencing drought stress, but also learn the proper lawn care watering methods to nurse it back to health.
Soil Gaps – You may have never noticed it before, but as your lawn experiences drought like conditions, the soil actually becomes more compact. Similar to how beef jerky shrinks as it’s dehydrated, so does your lawn’s soil. How will you notice this? Walk along the perimeter of your sidewalk and driveway, looking for a noticeable gap in between the cement and your lawn. If there’s a gap, your lawn is experiencing heat stress.
Dryness in Bed Edges – Clean edges around your landscape beds look awfully nice during the summer season. Not only do they look nice, they also serve as a great drought indicator. If your beds have edges around them, it gives you a cutaway look at your lawn’s soil a few inches below the surface. If you notice drying “light” colored soil, your experiencing drought stress.
Steps To Correct The Problem
Water Early In The Morning – Watering early in the morning, starting around 5-6 am will allow your lawn to absorb the most amount of moisture without evaporation taking its toll.
More Watering Tips & Tricks
The Signs Of Heat Stress
The sun is the main culprit for scorching lawns, but it could be only part of the problem. Poor drainage and inconsistent watering can accelerate the browning of an already stressed lawn. Keep an eye out for the following indicators or heat stress:
- Brown patches
- Inhibited growth
Brown patches may indicate that the heat is affecting your lawn, but invasive insects or fungal growth can also cause them. If you grab a patch of brown grass and it doesnt pull away from the soil easily, the problem is likely caused by dry conditions.
S For Fixing Lawn Grass
Before treating the yellow grass, it is crucial that you first find out what the source of the problem is.
Besides the suns heat and poor irrigation, seasonal changes can also be a natural cause. Dormant grass may be the result of autumn arriving, while yellowing in the summer can be due to the heat.
Also, if you see a spot which does not look like a natural heat burn, chances are, your pet dog must have been the culprit urinating there.
Until you have figured out the cause, you can start taking action in repairing the grass.
In case the place is dry, you might require to water the area. There is a chance that the soil has too much sand, so it wont be able to hold any moisture.
Always water the grass in the morning when the atmosphere is still cool. Wed recommend doing this twice a week. Proper irrigation will also help keep insects away.
Always make sure to fertilize your soil so that the grass does not run out of nutrients. Keep a check for nutrient requirements.
Make sure never to use too much fertilizers or pesticides as this can lead to what is known as chemical burn, which is not good for the grass.
Keep a watch on your pets when they have to go. The acid in their urine can really damage the grass.
What you can do after theyre done is flush the area with a lot of water to dissolve the urine.
You can always rent or buy dethatchers from the nearest lawn equipment store.
All the best!
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Tip #: Refrain From Cutting Grass Too Short
One common mistake made by both homeowners and commercial landscape maintenance companies is cutting a lawn too short. If a lawn is cut too short, it reduces the plants ability to produce energy for growth. When cut at the proper height, however, grass develops stronger roots that support more vigorous plants that are more tolerant of stress.
Keep in mind that different varieties of grass have different growth habits that directly relate to mowing heights. For example, cool-season grass and warm season grass types require somewhat different maintenance techniques and recommended cutting heights.
Tip #2: Remember the One-Third Rule
When deciding on the correct height to cut your grass, it is important to also remember the one-third rule: never remove more than one-third of the grass height at one time. By doing so, the lawn is kept cooler because less plant tissue is removed.
In fact, cool season grass types actually benefit in the heat of the summer by setting the blade higher. If a lawn is normally cut at 2.5 inches, for example, increasing it to 3 inches in the heat of summer will come with many benefits.
How To Help Your Lawn Beat The Summer Heat
The summer heat can not only be tough on youits also really hard on your lawn. Keeping your lawn healthy and happy during the stressful summer season requires a little effort. As a homeowner, you need to be proactive and prepared to combat the diverse forces challenging your lawn during the warmest time of the year. Not all of the action steps are exactly as you might expect.
Watering your lawn during the summer:
Proper watering is essential. Without water, all organic material eventually dies. Keeping a maintained and regulated watering schedule will help your lawn get through the tough summer heat. Be sure to water early in the morning to avoid any unnecessary evaporation. Most lawns need about one inch of irrigation per weekeither from natural rainfall or from an irrigation system. Watering your lawn in the early morning decreases the dew period. As a result, this also decreases the amount of time the grass blades are wet, which is a helpful disease management practice. It is better to water for longer periods of time and less frequently during the summer. Depending on water pressure and the spacing of your sprinkler heads, irrigating 20-25 minutes is usually sufficient per area. If you arent sure how to measure one inch of water, consider conducting an easy irrigation audit.
Mowing your lawn during the summer:
Fertilizing your lawn during the summer:
Applying topsoil during the summer:
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Identifying And Dealing With Heat Stress In The Lawn
See that picture down there? You are either, Primed!, avoiding the hangover or doing the happy dance this coming weekend. Its a tale of cool and warm season grasses and the development and exit of Spring… and youre invited to take the ride. But hurry this weekend is when things REALLY heat up, literally.I swiped this image from and added my own definitions in yellow to serve as a visual for you:
If You Water Do It In The Morning
Water is an essential part of a happy, healthy lawn, which is something we all want. Its important, though, to make sure you water it properly. Watering in the morning, between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., is the most efficient time to water your lawn. Less water is lost to evaporation and your lawn has time to dry off before nightfall.
If you run a sprinkler at night, for example, it sets up the perfect conditions for disease to take hold. Why you may ask? Water can cling to the blades of grass overnight, and standing water promotes fungus. A wet lawn at night is the perfect condition for fungus to grow.
If you water too lightly, the grass roots will not grow deeply enough, setting your lawn up for trouble when hot weather hits. So, it is ideal to water your lawn about one inch of water per week. To determine how long you need to water you can use an empty tuna can. Place the can halfway between the sprinkler and the extent of the waters reach. Once the can is full it is safe to move on to the next section of lawn and continue the process. This will make your life easier and provide the lawn with the water it needs to combat summer stress.
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Gardening: How To Help Our Heat
Thu., July 1, 2021
This historic heat means we are going to have to change our lawn maintenance practices until it cools down into the low 90-degree temperatures. We are breaking records all over the region and the humidity levels are headed in the opposite direction fast. All this means our lawns are being stressed.
First, to tell if your lawn is drought stressed, look across your lawn in the sun. If the grass has taken on a blue-green color instead of a warm green, it is water stressed. To confirm this, walk across the grass. If you leave footprints and the surface feels firm, then its time to change your watering schedule.
Determining how long to water your lawn in a drought and a heat wave will depend on your type of soil. Water sinks through sandy soils faster than through loam or clay. Loam and clay hold more water and for longer. In general, sandy soil will need more frequent waterings than loam or clay. Under normal conditions, most lawn experts recommend applying at least 1 inch of water each week and to apply it so that it can soak about 6 inches into the soil each time you water. In this hot weather, put down 1.5 to 2 inches a week until we get back into the low 90s.
Water in the late evening, overnight or before 10 in the morning. Our humidity here is usually under 20% when its hot, so we dont see the diseases and fungal issues, people in other parts of the country have to deal with.
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Tip #: Consider Hiring A Professional
The truth of the matter is, even with all of these tips, your lawn may still experience a lot of stress this summer due to heat, low moisture, pest influx, and steady traffic. Keeping a healthy lawn all summer long requires time, expertise, and experience that you might not have while you are enjoying your summer. If you need help caring for your lawn throughout the warm months, let Tailor Made Lawns help. We offer lawn care services that include fertilization, weed control, fungicides, lime treatments, and much more.
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Lawn Tips: What Is Heat Stress And How To Prevent It
Its that time of the year where we are beginning to see drought like scenarios. Extended periods of summer heat, bright sunshine, and warm nights combined with the lack of rain, creates the perfect scenario for Heat Stress. Inadequate watering is also the number one cause for lawn disease and fungus.
Heat Stress can be easily misdiagnosed as chemical burn to an untrained eye. Heat Stress can also look different from situation to situation. Some Heat Stress could look patchy on some lawns compared to other lawns where it could cover the entire lawn. Lawn Bruising is another sign of heat stress. Tires, hoses, trash cans and even footprints are among a wide range of things that can cause bruising. Below are some images of heat stress bruising.
So what can you do to help protect your lawn?
How To Sharpen A Mower Blade
Sharpen your mower blade every month or two. Dull blades have a tendency to rip grass instead of making clean cuts, which leaves the grass damaged.
Here are the general steps to take to sharpen a lawnmower blade:
If your blade is bent or nicked, sharpening won’t be adequate. You will need to replace it with a new one. Consult your owner’s manual to ensure that you purchase a suitable replacement.
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When You Water Do It In The Morning
Morning, between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., is the most efficient time to water your lawn. Less is lost to evaporation and your lawn has time to dry off before nightfall. Watering in the afternoon is throwing water away to evaporation. Watering at night invites disease. Half an inch twice a week or 1 inch a week should keep your lawn refreshed.
One easy way to make sure your lawn is getting the right amount of moisture at the right time of day is to connect your sprinkler system to the Gro® 7 Zone Controller, an EPA Watersense-certified device that can save you up to 7,600 gallons of water per year. Using localized information like weather data, the Controller works with the Gro Connect app to create a watering schedule customized to work beautifully for your particular lawn. You can even make changes right from your smartphone.
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Leaf Spot Disease Control And Treatment
The key to controlling leaf spot disease successfully is to catch it as soon as possible. Begin to inspect your lawn periodically in early spring and certainly throughout summers hot weather to search for signs of leaf spot disease development. Investigate any leaf spots on grass blades to identify this lawn disease. Remember to look for tan centers, yellow halo effects, and random patterns all associated with the melting out phase of the disease.
You can treat affected areas with cultural control or chemical control. Cultural control is possible given that there are disease-resistant cultivars of turfgrass species. Overseed using these cultivars for good long-term control of leaf spot disease. When caring for your lawn, reduce leaf wetness. Water deeply but infrequently. Be sure to reduce thatch and aerate your lawn frequently.
When mowing, make sure you use sharp blades, a clean lawn mower deck, and catch/bag your clippings. Returning the cut grass back into the lawn can potentially spread the disease.
If you choose lawn fungicide applications, you need to apply them very early in the leaf spot infection. If the disease reaches the melting-out phase, fungicides are unlikely to cure it. However, fungicides may help prevent leaf spot from spreading to other areas of the lawn.
Treatment For Drought Stressed Grass
If mother nature does not bring any rain, watering the lawn will be beneficial. Its important to replace lost moisture in a lawn, as water weakness gives lawn diseases an easy entry. Lawns need at least 1 inch of water per week. If you cannot water your lawn one inch or more per week, you may consider getting an irrigation system to make sure your lawn and landscape is getting the necessary amounts of water at a time.
A grass plant will enter into dormancy as a defense mechanism. It shuts down all of the essential process, which is mainly the top growth, in an effort to keep the crown and root system alive. As long as the crown is alive, the plant will survive even if the top growth has all turned brown. You can water less if you mow high. It may take a little while to get used to, but your lawn will look better and you will use less water keeping it looking its best.
Hot temperatures will often result in people wanting to mow short to avoid having to mow it frequently. Mowing short will actually remove the food producing part of the grass plant and will make your lawn turn brown. During the summer you want to mow high to conserve water and shade the soil.
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Protect Your Lawn From Heat Damage
Your commercial property may be in good condition, but is it being brought down by a browning lawn? Without proper irrigation, treatment, and effective landscaping, your grass can turn into a brown mass that is unlikely to impress your tenants or clients. At Sunrise Landscape, we can diagnose the origin of your stressed lawn and quickly implement a plan to return it to its lush green condition.
Preventative Strategies Of Heat Stress
Like many treatment options in lawn care, prevention is the preferred course of action. The most important step you can take is to be intentional in your watering times. Always water early in the morning, before 10:00 a.m. Watering in the evening can leave plants susceptible to fungus and other insects overnight, ultimately doing more harm than good.
One simple strategy to prevent incorporate xeriscaping by using heartier plants that can withstand extreme temperatures and require less water. Another option is to incorporate permanent shading into your landscaping, such as pergolas and shade sails.
And, of course, dont forget the importance of mulch! A good layer of mulch in plant beds and around tree rings will help to keep the soil and your plants roots cool and protected.
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