GreenGrass Blog

Tulsa Lawn Care Update - Mushrooms, Rain and Lovely Temperatures!

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 @ 06:12 PM

Tulsa Lawn Care Update
Mushrooms, Rain and Lovely Temperatures


Wow, what a strange August it’s been!  Normally at this time we are urging Tulsa lawn owners to water more in the face of drought conditions, and we’re seeing a lot of brown, crunchy lawns and declining fescue due to the high temperatures in the 90’s and 100’s. 


Instead, we’ve had lots of rain, including severe weather, and our temperatures have been surprisingly mild – in the 70’s and 80’s.


We’ll take it!  (Except for the tornado stuff…)




In this cloudy, muggy weather, conditions are perfect for the fruit of beneficial fungi in your soil to appear.  That would be mushrooms!


We have seen all kinds of mushrooms, as there are an infinite variety,  but the most noticeable right now are big white mushrooms, often in a circle or semi-circle, called fairy rings.  (Read more about fairy rings here.)


The following are not stock photos -  all of these mushrooms were in Tulsa or Broken Arrow lawns and I took the pictures myself.




WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING that will get rid of your mushrooms.


If you are worried about your dogs or kids eating them, just pick them and throw them away.  If not, just enjoy looking at them while they last!




Mushrooms don’t hurt your lawn, and they only appear when weather conditions are just right.  They are actually good for your lawn because the fungus that produces them breaks down rotting organic material into nutrients that benefit your lawn.




However, NEVER eat any mushrooms growing in your yard or in the wild, because you don’t know if they are poisonous or not.








Not counting August, Tulsa has already had more rain this year than all of last year.  In 2016, our rainfall total for the year was 28.19 inches.  January through July of 2017, we have had 28.93 inches.  Yikes!


But, hey!  You’re saving money on your watering bill, right?


Unfortunately, it also gives us muddy, soggy lawns, standing water, and lots of mosquitos.  And if you don’t have time to mow on a dry day, you might be waiting too long between mowings.


Tip – if your bermuda lawn gets really high before you get a chance to mow it, try mowing it down in increments instead of mowing it really short all at once.  Just raise your mower up a bit and mow.  In a day or two, mow it down shorter.  It will look better.  Mowing it off all at once when it’s high can result in your grass looking brown for a few days.


Here’s hoping we have a clear viewing day for the solar eclipse!


Tulsa Lawn Care Reminder: WATER!!!  And Watch Out for Poison Ivy!

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Mon, Jun 12, 2017 @ 10:52 AM

Tulsa Lawn Care Reminder – WATER!!
And Watch out for Poison Ivy!


Mother Nature was pretty generous with the precipitation this spring, but the arrival of summer seems to have dried up our rain prospects.


We are seeing lots of crunchy lawns out there as well as cracks in the soil, which are  sure signs that your grass needs water.  The temperatures are up and so are the winds.  Windy weather dries out your lawn and landscape in a heartbeat! 


So…high winds, no rain and temperatures in the high 80’s. Please give your lawn a good soaking!




Bermuda grass loves hot weather.  When the low temperatures are in the 70’s or above, bermuda will grow 24 hours per day, as long as it gets enough water.  If it doesn’t get enough water it will become drought-stressed, turn brown and go into premature dormancy.


If it does get enough water (and sun, and proper mowing,) it will grow fast and thicken up as it spreads.




Fescue grass hates hot weather. If you have fescue in your lawn, you must water it deeply twice per week, and you may need to lightly water it daily just to cool it off.


Your fescue grass spent last fall and this spring soaking up the sun it needs while the leaves were off the trees.  Now, it doesn’t have much sun, and it is living off its stored carbohydrates.  If it doesn’t get sufficient water, it will die. 


Note:  if you planted fescue in full sun, it will die in this heat.


Your lawn needs one to one and a half inches of water per week.  Please click here to read about proper watering.




Don’t forget your trees, especially young trees!  Trees are much slower to show symptoms of insufficient water, and young trees are more vulnerable than older trees.  The smaller the leaves on the tree, the faster it will decline without enough water.  Species like river birch, dawn redwood, cypress and willows all need a lot of water.


The bad thing about trees is that by the time they show you the symptoms – wilting leaves, yellowing leaves, leaf drop, premature fall coloring - they could already have sustained serious damage.


During drought periods, slow, deep watering (put a sprinkler under the tree) every 4-6 days will keep mature trees happy.  For young trees or newly planted trees, water every 2-3 days.




Be careful of viney things you don’t recognize in your garden, growing up the side of your house, or on a tree trunk or fence.  Even if you think you know what poison ivy looks like, did you know there are lots of different kinds of poison ivy, as well as poison oak and sumac?


I strongly urge anyone who spends time outside to go to the website below and take a look.  They have FAQ’s and pretty much all you ever wanted to know about poison flora, plus a quiz to see if you recognize the different plants.


The MAIN THING you need to know if you think you touched poison ivy is to immediately wash the area with high-pressure COLD WATER (like from a garden hose.)  Do not use hot water, or you will spread the urushiol oil that causes the rash, as well as open your pores, making your skin absorb the oil faster.


And if mosquitos are bugging you, click here for a FREE estimate for Mosquito applications.


Tulsa Lawn Care – 6 Steps to a Beautiful Lawn

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 @ 07:56 AM


6 Steps to a Beautiful Lawn


Everyone loves a lush, green carpet of grass!




While we are in the lawn care business to give you just that, there are some things that YOU can do that will make all the difference in the world. 


When you hire us, we do our best to keep out the weeds, keep your lawn green, and watch out for any problems.   We also try to educate you on proper maintenance practices, so that your lawn can enjoy the most benefits from our service.


#1 - Mow Frequently Enough That You Don’t Have to Bag It


Frequent mowing is good for your lawn.  Frequent mowing is essential to weed control.


When you let your lawn get really high and then mow it all off, it’s bad for your lawn.  Never mow off more than 1/3 of the grass blade at one time.


If you have 2 types of grass (i.e. bermuda in the sun, fescue in the shade) be sure you are mowing it at the correct height for each grass.


Read all about proper mowing procedures and mowing heights.



#2 - Scalp Your Bermuda Lawn in the Spring


Your bermuda grass has been dormant all winter, but the roots remain active.  Every spring, when there is no more frost in the forecast, set your mower on its lowest setting, mow the lawn, and bag the clippings.  Removing all the old dead stuff will make your bermuda lawn green up faster.


(DO NOT scalp fescue or any cool season grass.)




#3 - Give Your Lawn Deep Watering Instead of Daily Watering


Watering daily for 20 minutes does your lawn no good.  It wastes water and your money and encourages your lawn to have a shallow root system.  Why should the grass grow deep roots if it’s going to get water from the surface every day?  You see? 


In the absence of rainfall, give your lawn a good soak twice per week.  A deep, healthy root system will make your lawn less vulnerable to drought, insect infestations and diseases.  Plus, it will look better!


Read all about proper watering procedures here.



#4 - Be Sure You Have the Right Grass in the Right Place


If you are trying to grow bermuda grass in a shady area, or fescue grass in full sun, or fescue grass in total shade, you will not succeed.


Bermuda will not grow in shady areas, full sun is too hot for fescue, and no grass will grow in total shade, not even fescue.


Read about alternate shade solutions here.



#5 – Hot Weather Maintenance


When we get into drought season and soaring temperatures, raise your mower up and leave both the bermuda and fescue grass a little longer.


You may need to lightly water your fescue grass every day just to cool it off, in addition to the regular deep watering.



#6 – Don’t Expect a Miracle


If your lawn is in bad shape, it will take a while to turn it around.  Weeds won’t magically disappear.  Your lawn won’t be green and lush tomorrow.


But if you practice proper maintenance, and you have our lawn care service, you should see an improvement after each application.  Mowing and watering properly will speed up the improvements. 


Mowing is always essential to weed control, but especially at this time of year.  You won’t see the weeds turn brown and die after an application, like you would in the hot summer.  They will simply stop growing, or wilt and curl.  Mow them off, and most of them won’t come back.


And, remember at all times that we are dealing with Mother Nature who tends to be rather unpredictable!!


Tulsa Lawn Care Update – Winter Drought

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Tue, Jan 10, 2017 @ 02:46 PM

Happy New Year!  We hope everyone is off to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!


Unfortunately, most lawns in Tulsa and the surrounding area are not very happy right now.  We are officially experiencing severe drought conditions.


Lack of water and high winds have given us some very dry landscapes.  Not good for your grass, and not good for fire danger!


Whenever we have a few nice days, drag out the hose and soak your lawn.  We know that it's difficult and inconvenient at this time of year, but watering could make a huge difference in how your lawn looks in the spring.


We have started our first application of the year this week (no, it’s not too early) which contains crabgrass pre-emergent, broadleaf weed control and also fertilizer for the fescue grass.  But water is just as important, if not imperative.  Your lawn needs 1 to 1 ½ inches of water per week, year round.  And our weather is not providing it.


Drought damaged fescue.jpg

Drought damaged fescue


If you want the technical blah-blah, read on!


Tulsa is particularly challenged when it comes to nice lawns, because we are in a “transitional” zone.  It’s really too hot for fescue grass (a cool season grass,) and sometimes it gets too cold for bermuda grass (a warm season grass.)


Bermuda grass grows best in hot climates.  When temperatures drop, it goes into dormancy to conserve energy, so to speak.  It’s not dead – its root system is active.  But if temperatures get extremely low, the roots can sustain “winter damage,” especially in areas of thin turf, resulting in brown spots in the spring.  How can we protect it?  WATER!  Water is insulation against the cold.  A dried out lawn is much more susceptible to winter damage.


Fescue grass grows best in cooler climates.  It will happily grow in full sun in more northern areas.  As a cool season grass, it is actively growing.  It may slow down when it’s freezing, but it will resume when the temperatures warm up.  Fescue needs sun just as much as bermuda, but in our area we can’t plant it in full sun because it gets too hot here.  So right now, it’s soaking up the sun.  Fescue needs WATER because this is its growing season, and it’s making and storing food for itself to get it through the hot summer, when the leaves are back on the trees and it doesn’t get as much sun.


Leaves on fescue drought.jpg


Speaking of which, try to keep the leaves off your fescue so it CAN soak up the sun.


We know that watering in the winter is a problem, but if you are able to do it when we have a nice day, your lawn will reward you by being healthier and stronger and greening up faster in the spring.



Tulsa Lawn Care Update - Fairy Ring

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Mon, Oct 03, 2016 @ 12:48 PM

Tulsa Lawn Care Update - Fairy Rings


Fall is here and with it comes some rainy weather and overcast days.  When weather conditions are just right, you may seem some mushrooms in your lawn.  Mushrooms are the fruit of beneficial fungi under your lawn that break down organic matter. 


Recently we have seen fairy rings in several lawns.  Fairy rings may show up as an arc or, more commonly, circles of darker green grass in your lawn, or as circles of brown grass, or as circles of mushrooms.  You may see this as either a lovely natural phenomenon…or an unsightly nuisance!



                Image: Wikimedia, Kelisi


Fairy rings are caused by many different varieties of the fungi BasidiomycetesMycelia is the vegetative part of the fungus colony which consists of a mass of thread-like hyphae.  These fungal masses (sometimes called shiro in fairy rings) under the soil can be massive!  In eastern Oregon, there is such a mass that is 2,200 years old and estimated to be as large as 1,665 football fields!  Yikes!


Anyway, the mycelia absorbs nutrients from rotting matter – the hyphae secrete enzymes onto the food source, breaking it down, so the mycelia can absorb it.


Fungi are very important in the process of breaking down organic matter, which produces nitrogen (like fertilizer); hence, the ring of darker green grass.


If the fungal mass gets very dense, it may prohibit water movement in the soil; hence, the brown grass.  Also, the mycelia of some fairy ring fungi is hydrophobic, meaning it becomes impervious to water, resulting in drought stress for the grass.


Many times, fairy rings are found in areas that were previously wooded and then cleared to build homes.


Interestingly enough, fairy rings will not cross each other, because when fungi from different rings come in contact, the fungal activity ceases.


NOTE:  never eat mushrooms you find in the lawn.  Many poisonous mushrooms look just like non-poisonous mushrooms, and it may even be difficult for an expert to tell the difference!


Fairy_Ring_on_Suburban_Lawn_Mrs._Skippy.jpg              Image: Wikimedia, Mrs. Skippy


How can you get rid of fairy rings?


Frankly, you can look all over the internet on many knowledgeable university websites and not really find anything that consistently works.


Suggestions are:


  • Fertilize the surrounding grass to even up the color
  • Pick the mushrooms
  • Aerate the lawn for better water absorption
  • Poke holes in the ring with a lawn fork 12” to 24” deep and then water heavily for 4-6 weeks
  • Use a fungicide (very little proof that this works at all)
  • Eliminate thatch build-up by dethatching (do NOT do this to fescue or to bermuda in the fall since it will go dormant soon and will not recover)
  • Remove existing turf, excavate to find undecomposed tree roots or buried construction debris, and renovate the lawn by sodding.


Look on the bright side – fairy rings are supposed to be good luck! (But don’t step inside the ring on Halloween – that can be very dangerous!)


Fairy-Ring-Wikimedia.jpgImage: Wikimedia


Tulsa Lawn Care Update – Prepare to Seed Fescue…Or Not

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 @ 06:13 PM


Tulsa Lawn Care Update – Prepare to Seed Fescue…Or Not


The time is soon approaching to overseed existing fescue grass or to seed fescue grass in a bare area.  The optimum time for seeding is mid-September to mid-October.  It’s always good to plan ahead, because sometimes you “just don’t get around to it” and then it’s too late.  (I speak from experience on that…)





But first, let’s take a look at your fescue now.  Most fescue doesn’t look so hot right now, because it’s August.  This is probably the worst it will look all year.  Our climate here in Tulsa is simply too hot for fescue, which is why we grow it in the shade.  In cooler climates, it will grow in full sun.


In Tulsa, fescue’s growing season starts in September when the temperatures start to cool down.  Then, the leaves fall off the trees, and the fescue gets all the sun it needs to make food for itself and build up carbohydrate reserves to last it through the hot, shady summer with little to no sun. 


Fescue grass MUST be overseeded each fall to keep it looking healthy, because the heat makes some of it die out over the summer.


Some people find this task unpalatable to say the least, especially if you have large areas of fescue.  We would be happy to do that chore for you.


Click here for a free estimate on fall seeding!


You NEED to seed  or overseed fescue if you want nice-looking grass in these areas:


  • Areas under trees where your bermuda grass has thinned out due to too much shade
  • Bare areas under trees due to too much shade
  • Areas between houses where bermuda has thinned out due to too much shade
  • Existing areas of fescue grass


You should NOT seed fescue if:


  • You don’t want two different colors of green in your lawn (“bermuda green” in the sun and “fescue green” under the trees.)
  • You don’t want to mow your lawn at two different heights in the summer (short for bermuda, long for fescue.)
  • You don’t want to mow late into fall and early in spring (when fescue is actively growing and your bermuda is going dormant or still dormant.)
  • You have a bare area in total shade year round.  Fescue grows best in dappled sunlight, or at the least where it will get mostly full sun in the fall and winter when the leaves are off the trees.

If you decide you don’t want to seed fescue at all, then you have several alternatives to make your shady landscape look its best without grass.


  • Groundcover
  • Shade garden
  • Something else - a seating area on pavers, a fountain, a water feature, birdfeeders and bird baths, etc.


Groundcover is the easiest, hands down!  There are many lovely groundcovers that are perennials , which means you plant them once, and they spread and look beautiful forevermore, with very little maintenance.  Just be sure you contain it to the area where you want it with rocks or some kind of garden edging, readily available at any Lowe’s or Home Depot.


Here are a few ground cover suggestions:






This lovely ground cover comes in several varieties.  Some have shiny leaves, and some have leaves with a matte finish.  Pachysandra is hardy and evergreen and it spreads.  It stays low to the ground and looks very neat.




English Ivy


This hardy classic ivy grows fast and spreads fast.  You have to trim it back if it starts to climb something or tries to edge out into the yard.  Just check it once every couple of months and snip off anything out of bounds.



Groundcover_Creeping_Wire_Plant.jpgPicture from Wikipedia


Creeping Wire Plant


This unusual groundcover Muehlenbeckia axillaris is evergreen and spreading and the stems look like wire.  It’s very attractive and stays very low, but like the English ivy, be sure to trim it back if it reaches out into your lawn.



Groundcover_Vinca_Major.jpg     Picture by Kirt Stuber from Wikimedia


Vinca Major


Vinca is another fast growing and spreading groundcover, but it’s a little taller and can grow up to 18” tall.  It’s very hardy  and bears little purple flowers in the spring.  If it gets out of hand, you can mow over it, and it will come right back.



So, determine whether or not you want to seed fescue.  If you do, and you want to do it yourself, please see our Fall Fescue Seeding page for helpful info.  If you do, and you DON'T want to do it yourself, give us a call or go to our Fall Fescue Seeding Estimate page for a free estimate.


In the meantime, be sure your entire lawn is watered sufficiently in this heat!


In the next blog, we'll explore some easy plants for shade gardens!

Topics: seeding fescue, fescue seeding, fall fescue seeding, fescue alternatives, overseeding fescue

Tulsa Lawn Care Update - What Your Lawn Is Dying For

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 @ 02:39 PM


Spring lasted quite a while this year, and it was a boon to Tulsa lawn care with a lot of precipitation, thanks to El Nino.


However, spring left early and took the rains with it, and on this first day of summer, we have already had heat indexes over 100 degrees.


And we are already seeing lawns suffering.  Here’s what you can do:


Water, Water, Water


Your lawn needs 1 inch to 1 ½ inches of water per week, year round.  Heat and wind both dry out your lawn, and we have seen cracks in the soil in some lawns.


Our manager suggests you think of your lawn as a living, breathing thing (which it is) not unlike yourself.   When it’s hot outside, you drink a lot of water.  When it’s hot, you sweat, which is a way your body cools itself.  Grass also uses water 2 ways – it drinks it for nourishment and it uses it to cool itself.  In hot, dry weather, it needs water very badly.


Bermuda Grass


You can tell when your bermuda is becoming drought stressed, because it will turn a dull, bluish color.  If it doesn’t get water, it will feel crunchy when you walk on it.  At this point, you need to SOAK your lawn.  It’s very important to give your lawn twice weekly deep waterings, rather than sprinkling a little every day.  Deep watering encourages a deep root system which can better withstand drought.  Please see our page on proper watering procedures.


If bermuda does not get enough water, it will go into early dormancy as a way to protect itself, and it will turn brown.


Fescue Grass


Please understand that fescue is not sun intolerant, it is heat intolerant.  It literally hates this weather.  The same rule of thumb about twice weekly deep watering applies to fescue grass as well.  However, you may need to lightly water it daily just to cool it off, when we have temperatures in the 90’s and above.


The bad thing about fescue is that if it dies, it’s gone.  It will not go dormant, it will just die.  And you won’t be able to reseed it until the fall.



Fescue Grass in Drought Stress



Proper Mowing and Why It’s Important


Bermuda Grass


Proper mowing is just as important to how your lawn looks as watering is.  Bermuda grass should be mowed frequently in this weather, because it loves the heat (as long as it is getting sufficient water,) and if it’s being watered properly, it will grow 24 hours per day.


If you let it get too tall, you will mow off the green part, and it will look brown.  While bermuda should be mowed relatively short, you should never mow off more than 1/3 of the blade of grass at one time.  Please see our page on proper mowing heights and procedures.



Bermuda Grass that is too high



Fescue Grass


Fescue grass, on the other hand, should be mowed as needed, but leave it as tall as you can.  Raise your mower up as far as it will go.  Even though fescue grass is mostly in the shade, it still needs sun and light to make food for itself through photosynthesis.  The added leaf surface will help it do so, and will also help it stay cooler.


With all that said, BE CAREFUL out in this heat!  If you plan to work out in the yard, drink a bunch of water before you go outside, and keep drinking water, ever if you think you are not thirsty.  


Note: Fertilizer and weed control are also important to your lawn's health and well-being.  If you don't already have a lawn care service, we'd be happy to give you a free estimate, and can usually do so over the phone.  Click here for your free estimate!


Tulsa Lawn Care Spring Update for April

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 @ 11:21 AM

Spring came early this year, along with some rain, some beautiful weather and lots of weeds.  You have to love it, though, because it’s a rare treat.  In Oklahoma, sometimes our "spring" lasts about 2 weeks before the heat settles over us like a soggy, wet blanket. But not this year.


So let’s look at what’s going on in your yard!




Bermuda Grass


If your bermuda hasn’t greened up fully yet, don’t worry!  The cool temperatures at night are slowing it down, because bermuda likes hot weather.  Once we start having warmer nights, it will grow 24 hours per day. 




Worst Weed - Poa Annua!!



Poa annua is an annual bluegrass that grows quickly, produces seeds just 6 weeks after it germinates, and proliferates like crazy.  It is very prevalent this year!  It grows especially well in wet, shady areas or places where the turf may be thin.  Unfortunately, if you have poa annua in your fescue grass, there is nothing to be done about it.  It is the same type of grass as your fescue, and anything you could use to harm it would harm your fescue, also.


But the good news is that as soon as we get some hot weather, the poa annua will die.


Other broadleaf weeds like dandelions and henbit are everywhere, but we can easily treat those, and our first two applications contain a blanket broadleaf weed control.




Mow Your Lawn


If you haven’t scalped your bermuda grass yet this year, this is a great time to do it.  See here for details.

Mowing may seem like a dreaded summer chore, but mowing properly actually has many, many benefits.  Frequent mowing at the proper height will encourage your bermuda grass to grow sideways and thicken up.  Thickened-up turf will help choke out weeds.  If you mow often enough that weeds don’t go to seed, that’s half the battle.


Note:  If you have an area with a lot of weeds that have gone to seed (like poa annua,) bag your clippings when you mow so you don’t spread the seeds everywhere, and then mow frequently enough so they don't develop seedheads.   


Watering Your Lawn


We’ve had some decent rainfall this spring, but we’re still about 3 inches short for the year, so don’t forget to water when we have a dry spell. 


Infrequent, deep watering will encourage turf with a deep root system, which will make it healthier, thicker, and more hardy, the better to crowd out the weeds.


Frequent, shallow watering will promote a shallow root system and less hardy turf.

See our watering page for proper watering amounts and frequency. 




Pruning Spring Blooming Shrubs


If you want to trim up that hydrangea shrub or your azaleas, wait until the flowers have faded.  THEN, and only then, should you prune it.  Most spring bloomers bloom on LAST year’s wood.  So if you prune them later in the summer, you will be cutting off next year’s flowers!

Tulsa Lawn Care February Update – Weed Control, Fescue and Bird Feeders

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Tue, Feb 09, 2016 @ 11:14 AM

The El Nino factor has been very kind to us this year in regard to Tulsa lawn care.  Our winter thus far has produced no blizzards, no minus 10 degrees, and some lovely days in the 60’s and even 70’s.


The upside is that the fescue is looking grand, we probably won’t see any cold weather damage on the bermuda grass, and we have had almost adequate precipitation, for the most part. 


The downside is that the weeds love it, too.  It’s been warm enough that we’re seeing lots of broadleaf weeds that aren’t usually out yet at this time of year.


Crabgrass Pre-Emergent


Now is the time to get crabgrass pre-emergent down on your lawn.  Pre-emergent prevents the crabgrass from germinating.  If it does germinate, it is difficult to get rid of, so a pre-emergent just makes sense.


Our first application, that we are doing now, and the next application, both have crabgrass pre-emergent in them.  Both applications are essential if you want to get good crabgrass control this year.


Broadleaf Weeds and Post-Emergents


The broadleaf weeds we are seeing now, like henbit (the ones with purple flowers,) need a post-emergent to kill them.  Our first application and second application also contain post emergents.  Post emergents will destroy the broadleaf weeds that you are seeing in your lawn, now.  There is no pre-emergent for most broadleaf weeds.


If you are not a current customer, we would be happy to give you a free estimate and can usually do it over the phone. Just click on the link below.


Request a free estimate.


Water If You Can


Although we've had rainfall during the winter, the high winds we're experiencing now have dried out everything.  If you are able to water, it would benefit your lawn greatly, not to mention reduce the chance of grass fires, which are a threat to all of us.




Fescue Grass


Your fescue should be looking pretty good right now, and you may have even mowed it recently, because it is actively growing.  Just remember to try to keep the leaves off of it, as this is the time that fescue gets sunlight, since the leaves are off the trees.  Sunlight is very important to fescue this time of year, because it’s building up its carbohydrate reserves to sustain it through the long, hot summer.


If you have piles of leaves built up along a fence or in a corner somewhere on top of fescue, you need to get them off the fescue.  If you don’t, the fescue will die.  Fescue will turn yellow underneath a pile of leaves in just a week or two.




Bird Feeders


If you are a bird lover and have bird feeders hung in various places, just remember that bird seeds are….well, seeds.  You may have a lot of unknown stuff popping up in the ground under the feeders.  You might even have a little bare spot where the birds are stomping around, pecking at the seeds that fall out of the feeder. 




Most of the time, if the grass is bermuda, this will rectify itself when it warms up and the birds start eating worms and insects instead.  The bermuda will overtake the area.  But if you have fescue, you might just end up with a little stomped on place with a bunch of weeds in it.  Just sayin’. 


Spring is just around the corner!  What you do now will affect the way your lawn looks this summer, so get your pre-emergents and post-emergents down, water if you can, and blow those leaves off the fescue!


Topics: spring pre-emergents, watering, weeds

Tulsa Lawn Care October Update – Water, Fescue, Bug Bites

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Tue, Oct 20, 2015 @ 01:47 PM

A far as Tulsa lawn care goes, we’ve had a surprisingly warm and dry October so far.  The weather has been simply lovely. 


On the other hand, the warm temperatures, high winds, and lack of rainfall are posing a threat to our landscapes.  Many trees dropped leaves early, and many are suffering drought stress.


The drought stress in trees shows up later than it would in your lawn, because trees are very slow growing.  Sometimes, the damage may not show up until next spring, when the trees means of photosynthesis and water uptake just won’t work.


What’s in store for winter?  Who knows?  NOAA is predicting a warmer, wetter winter for us, but with one of the strongest El Nino’s on record in play right now, and a few other factors, it’s hard to tell.  Check out NOAA’s winter predictions here.




Water – Your lawn needs one to one and a half inches of water per week.  Obviously, it’s not getting that unless you’re watering.  Never mind how much rain we had in the spring – that’s long gone!  It’s never a good thing for your bermuda grass to go into winter dormancy in a dry state.  Water is insulation against the cold temperatures.  Areas where your grass is thin are most susceptible to winter damage.


If you have fescue, this is the beginning of its growing season.  Hopefully, you have already overseeded your fescue areas or seeded bare areas in the shade.  You must keep the seedlings moist or they will die.  If your seed hasn’t germinated yet, you must keep it moist or it will not germinate.  Read all about fescue here.


Water your trees (especially young trees) and shrubs with a deep watering twice per week.




Keep the leaves up off your fescue – if you have recently seeded or overseeded fescue, this can be tricky.  DO NOT rake, or you will pull out your seedlings and rake up all your new grass.  Blowing leaves off into a bermuda grass area and then raking will work.  Or, use a leaf vacuum – just be careful not to rest it on the ground where you could suck up un-germinated seeds or new seedlings. 


Even though we plant fescue in the shade, it must have sunlight now to build up its reserves of carbohydrates through the long, hot summer.  As the leaves come off the trees, it will get more and more sunlight (if you keep the leaves off of it) and get stronger and healthier so it can withstand the heat next summer. 


What’s with the bug bites?


If you have oak trees anywhere nearby, you may be getting bitten by oak leaf itch mites.  For some reason their population has exploded this year, and they are coming off the trees by the thousands.  Oak leaf itch mite bites may feel like mosquito bites, but they very quickly start to itch badly and resemble chigger bites.  Awful!  I have 3 huge oaks trees in my front yard, and it hasn’t been fun!


Unfortunately, with the windy days, your neighbor’s oak trees may send the mites your way.  They are so tiny they’re invisible to the naked eye.  Bug repellant doesn’t seem to work, so cover up if you’re working in the yard.  Long pants and long sleeved turtlenecks may seem odd for this time of year, but you’ll be glad you covered up!  The bites are miserable!  Read more about oak leaf itch mites (which can drop 370,000 adult mites from one tree in one day) in this Tulsa World article.


Enjoy the weather while you can, but don’t forget to water if we don’t get that promised rain this weekend!


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Topics: watering, leaves on fescue