Mid-August is the time for unrelenting heat (which actually relented a little this week) and buzzing cicadas and humidity! It’s been really hot, and fairly dry. Let’s talk about some lawn care issues we’re facing.
But first, all of us here at GreenGrass want to give a HUGE thank you to all our customers who voted us in the top 3 in lawn maintenance in Oklahoma Magazine’s Best of the Best 2015 contest! We are honored, and we want you to know that we appreciate each and every one of you!
Now, on to the Tulsa lawn care issues that we are seeing at this time:
Not Enough Water!
After the deluge of spring rain and considerable flooding, it would hardly seem that we would need to be concerned about a lack of rainfall. But we are seeing many, many drought-stressed lawns that need a good soaking, and even bermuda lawns that are going into premature dormancy.
Bermuda is a pretty tough grass, and it loves the heat! High temperatures and proper watering will make bermuda grow 24 hours per day. However, high temperatures and not enough water will make it shut down to protect itself. It will go dormant, turn brown and wait until it gets enough water before expending any more energy on growing and being green.
Bermuda needs at least an inch of water per week to be healthy and grow vigorously.
If your lawn is looking brown and stressed, give it a good, deep watering. Soak it! Watering a little each day will NOT help it. Click here to read about proper watering practices.
Reminder: even if your lawn is brown, don’t skip your fertilizer application! The roots are still active even when it’s dormant, and they will store the nutrients for future use. When the rains come, or with proper watering, your lawn will recover much more quickly than a lawn that has not been fertilized!
Trees Dropping Leaves
Your grass isn’t the only thing suffering in your yard. Trees and shrubs need water, too. We have seen some early leaf drop, due to the lack of rain. Smaller trees are vulnerable in this heat, and the smaller the leaves on the tree, the more they need water. Small-leaved trees like a dawn redwood or a river birch are more susceptible to drought stress than a big oak or sycamore. So go out and look at your trees to make sure they aren’t suffering. If you see some drooping or leaf drop, put a soaker hose around it.
Fescue Grass Fading
Fescue grass is a cool season grass. Here in Tulsa, we plant it in the shade. It is not sun-intolerant, it’s heat-intolerant. August is the worst time of year for it. The best thing you can do for fescue in the heat is to sprinkle it lightly daily, water it deeply once per week, and DON’T MOW IT TOO SHORT. Leave your fescue as high as you can to give it the resources it needs to survive this heat.
Plan to overseed your fescue grass this fall, mid-September to mid-October. This is very important to keep a nice, lush fescue turf. Click here to read more about fescue and fescue seeding.
The mosquitos are rampant this year!! It’s hard to step outside without getting bitten, and ground cover, shrubs or any shady areas are full of them. If you’re tired of battling them, we can help. While we can’t guarantee a mosquito-free yard (because they fly) we have a Mosquito Control Application that can significantly reduce those nasty bugs, and we'd be happy to give you a free estimate. Click here to get your free estimate!
In the meantime, be sure you change any standing water daily, like in bird baths, dog dishes, etc. to reduce the number of mosquitos hatching. Mosquito larvae stay in water and will evolve into biting mosquitos, as long as they don’t tip over and drown. Changing water daily or even just stirring up the surface will kill them. So if you have a large area (like a pond) just spray the surface daily so it doesn’t become a mosquito factory! Click here to read more about Mosquito Control.
If you ever have any questions about your lawn, please feel to contact us at 918-344-5737 or just shoot us an email by clicking here!