The typical summer heat is here along with heat stress for your lawn. With all the moisture we saw in May and June root systems haven`t had time to grow deep enough to counter balance the heat. The lawn may of looked great on top but down below the roots were not able to prepare for the heat. An infection of Brown Patch too has been seen around the area. This has caused a lot of lawns to be stressed out long with the heat. These are favorable conditions for weeds to flourish in.

            There are a couple of things that can be done to help your lawn through these hard times. Avoid fertilizing cool season lawns in the summer like Tall Fescue & Kentucky Blue Grass. Fertilizing in the summer promotes shoot growth on the turf grasses which in turn can harm the lawn. Try to water in the early mornings to wash off the morning dew and long deep watering's are better than short frequent bursts of moisture. A lawn usually requires about 1-2” of moisture per week. Watering for longer periods causes the root system to grow towards the moisture in the ground giving the lawn a better resilience against the hot months. Deep watering’s spread out every 7-10 days are advisable. Make sure to keep a clean, sharp blade on the mower that provides a clean cut across the lawn. Typically a blade will need to be sharpened about 3-4 times during a growing season for a homeowner. If you run across rocks and sticks more sharpening’s will be needed. A dull blade will leave the lawn with torn up leaf blades which can invite in fungus & disease on the lawn.

            Just a couple of things to help your lawn through these rough times with the heat and a decrease in rain. A fall over seeding will help to fill in bare spots in the lawn. Aeration of all lawns is recommended as the ground has been more compacted as homeowners and lawn care operators got out when they could to cut the lawn during the breaks in rain we saw in May & June. Cutting in wet conditions causes ground compaction as the mower went across it. For any questions or help just let us know.

Aerating your yard in the spring can give your lawn that extra jump after coming out of winter dormancy.  Aeration simply put is removing plugs from your yard to allow for better water and air penetration into the soil. This in turn helps the turf develop a deeper root system and helps in water run-off too. When it comes to aerating your yard, a lot of people consider doing this in the fall. Spring is also a good time to consider aerating your yard. Timing is the key if you plan on putting down a pre-emergent or controlling weeds. We suggest aerating in the spring in late April or early may. This is the middle window after crab grass treatment and late spring weed control.

Spring has always been known to be a rainy season around St. Louis. Like they say, “April showers bring May`s flowers.” Spring aerating can help to control the water run-off, if your lawn has a tendency to have standing water.  Your probably wondering by now, well how do I know if my yard needs aerating? A good way to tell is look for standing water and also take a screwdriver and push it into the ground. If the screwdriver goes into the ground easily, without pounding it, is a good sign your yard isn`t compacted.  Another way to tell is dig a small patch of you yard up and see how deep the roots are. Make sure you dig down about 4”-5” to get a good view of the root system. If the roots on your yard are only 1”-2” deep, this is a sign that root system is developing strong, deep roots.

Remember to water your yard a day or two before aerating, this helps the tines get a deeper penetration when aerating. You want a moist yard but not a wet, soppy yard when aerating. Remember not to aerate freshly laid sod or newly seeded areas for about 6 months to allow the turf to get settled in. Try to avoid using any weed control after immediately aerating as the treatment can hurt the existing root system of your yard. Aeration of your yard can be done by most homeowners. If you need any help with it though, we provide core aerating service. I would be more than glad to come out and take a look at your yard. And as always, estimates are free.