Our conditions are very dry and are about to go into a very warm period. Some of our service area did get helpful amounts of rainfall on Friday though.
*11th hour update* Much our service area got some surprise rain 7/12 evening. Some areas we service received what would be considered a normal amount of rain for week (about 3/4″). It almost perfectly aligned to fill in the gap of areas that were missed on Friday. Receiving this normal amount of rain will be great and will help a lot but we’re still at a significant (3-4″) deficit from June and, with the coming heat, are nowhere near “in the clear” on weather and lawn concerns.
We’ve got clients who are mowing appropriately (as high as possible if mowing at all) and clients who are not (too short and a weekly schedule even if not needed). These next two weeks, and possibly further, will define the expression “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it”; Unless we get significant rainfall or you’ve got your irrigation system cranked up, lawns will decline in health and appearance. How you’ve been mowing will dictate how much “runway” they have to decline; how long they can remain in dormancy before completely dying.
As happens every year, lawns slowing down and using less nutrients gives way for the hot weather weeds to pop up in high pressure areas (where the driveway or road gravel base is present at the edge, south facing hills without enough irrigation, lawns mowed too short, etc.)
What we’re doing:
Wrapping up our 2nd program visit to our clients and starting our 3rd visit which consists of an appropriately aggressive broadleaf weed control for the hot weather weeds that are going to be trying to take over the lawns in the hot and dry weather. For clients on our Premium Program, this visit will also include a premium granular fertilizer that is slow release, iron packed for color, and high in potassium for turf health.
We’re also doing our heat/drought stress health soil improvement applications, mosquito and insect control, and landscape bed grass and weed control; a week of variety!
What you can be doing:
I’m a bit of a broken record here but we’re all about to see why; MOW HIGH! As high as possible. The highest possible setting on your mower. “Transport” mode on your riders… if you even need to mow at all. My non-sprinkler-systemed lawn, although still green, has 90% stopped growing. I didn’t mow last week and unless we get a significant rainfall, don’t plan on mowing anytime soon. There’s some straggly grass that doesn’t look great but I’m not going to risk the health and longevity of the rest of the lawn just to clean those up. Remember back to when we had Spring flush growth and what the lawn looked like when you needed to mow every 3 days; Look at your lawn now. It probably doesn’t need to be mowed.
Water appropriately. If you can’t keep it green, keep it alive. Too many weeks in dormancy is not survivable. How many weeks is that? It depends on how hot it is, how you’ve mowed, how much sun the lawn gets, etc. Err on the side of caution and water as much as you can.