The debate of global warming is still one between many people if it`s a true thing or not. We have seen some wild weather patterns over the last couple of years. Rain has been around a lot in the summer months and the fall has been tending to be on the drier side. This is usually the opposite as rain is hard to find sometimes in the summer months. Fall is an ideal time to re-seed parts of the yard with the cooler weather and more abundant wet weather. Temperature swings in the atmosphere also tends to confuse some plants on when to go into dormancy and when to perk up for the spring.

We had a late fall color transition this year in the immediate St. Louis area with the warmer months. This is the latest I can remember for doing leaf clean-ups in January since starting my business 6 years ago. Some plants that shut down for the winter, were starting to bud up early with temperatures being in the 80`s in November. This is very bad as it will open the plant up to winter injury since it hasn`t sealed itself up for the season. Newly installed plants like to have warm weather and good watering’s in the spring. Heavy amounts of rain and early mild weather can make it hard for the plant to develop a good root system before the hot summer months arrive. Try and water newly installed plants daily for the first 2 weeks to help them establish this root system.

Pests have also been very bad the season as the warmer months allow them to live longer and feed more. Spider mites could feed late into the season and cause a lot of damage on evergreens and ewes. Usually this bug is finding a place to bed down for the winter months. We were treating plants late into November to help control the problem. Summer annual weeds and grasses took over early as the ground did dry out early in June. Even with the treatment of putting down a pre-emergent crab grass was running a mock in yards around St. Louis. This is due to the ground cracking early in the season breaking the barrier created by the pre-emergent. Along with a lot of rain that will help it dissipate the chemicals in the pesticide.  I believe that the climate is changing and this may have a big impact on the green industry as a whole. Try and plan and follow a good regimen for keeping your lawns and gardens happy this spring. Following watering recommendations and applying a good fertilizer to feed them. Always remember to follow the label on the fertilizer for best results.

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.

Over the last couple of days we have seen an abundance of rain, which has helped yards around St. Louis with the seasonably hot weather we have had over the past month or so.  Hot humid weather can actually bring harm to lawns when the rain finally clears. These factors are definite ingredients for Brown patch to pop up in St. Louis area lawns.

When temperature tends to be hot during the day and warm at night these are ideal conditions for this disease to grow. Brown patch comes from a plant pathogen fungus called “Rhizoctonia solina.” Property owners will tend to think the lawn needs to be fed or needs a watering. This is not the case as this will feed the lawn pathogen. Lawns will start to have brown lesions in the center or on top of the grass blade. Proper identification is key as the problem can spread quickly to other areas of the lawn. Once a fungus is apparent in the lawn it is ideal to bag the clippings and dispose of them to help prevent spreading the disease even further. There are treatments for this disease.  We can treat your yard of this disease, and identify other problems in your lawn.