3 Tips On What You Should Not Do With Your Lawn With This Heat And Lack Of Rain And What You Should Be Doing
We have been experiencing some hot weather and a lack of rain over the past few weeks, and this has certainly taken its toll on our lawns. Many lawns have lost their green and have turned yellow with a crispy and hard texture.
When this happens, your grass is going into a state of dormancy – basically it is in hibernation just trying to get through this heat and dry spell. When your lawn is turning yellow, and you are getting those big blotches of yellow spots on your grass, do not rake or dethatch your yard. Your grass is not dead when it is yellow. By raking and dethatching, you are breaking up grass that is alive.
Do not fertilize your dormant or heat stressed grass. Some people think that adding fertilizer to the blotches of the dormant or heat stressed grass will nourish it and help it re grow. All you are doing is putting the grass under more stress and wasting fertilizer as the grass is in hibernation, and will not do anything with the fertilizer.
The healthy grass that is thriving around the dormant grass will not benefit as well, because the grass is using its energy to fight the heat stress, and by adding fertilizer, as mentioned earlier, you are adding more stress to the grass.
Another important tip is not to irrigate your grass at night. Yes, your grass is stressed and needs water, but by watering at night when it is hot and humid, all you are doing is promoting disease. The last thing you want is dormant grass mixed with fungus and disease, and disease taking over your grass. Yes, your grass will get out of its dormancy, but when fungus hits your grass, it will kill off some of it. All you will end up is a lot of yellow in your grass and more problems in the long run. Try to water in the morning before the sun comes out. This will give the grass enough water to get it through the day.
So, what should you be doing to keep the heat stress and dormancy at a minimum?
When heat stress first starts sinking in, you will see parts of your grass that are black or grey and will slowly turn brown. Once you see this on your lawn, start watering the localized heat stressed spots with a hose and drench the area completely with water. You may have to do this for a couple of days. Once this happens, you will be surprised that the area will turn green again within a few days.
Just remember that longer grass is more heat resistant and will grow slower with the heat. The taller the grass, the deeper the roots and the healthier and stronger the turf. Shorter cut grass requires more maintenance and gets stressed out more easily.
Once the rain starts and the heat subsides, your grass will gradually become its usual green self.
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