Summer isn’t a time of stress for most people. It is for lawns, however. Heat or moisture stress can lead to browning of lawns, as well as inviting a host of weeds. If your area is experiencing drought, heat stress can make things worse. You should be familiar with the basics of lawn care to keep it looking its best and prevent summer heat damage.
Lawn Care: How heat affects grass
Summer is a wonderful time to be outdoors, but heat can affect every blade of grass, and even the roots. Many lawns become dry during the summer months due to the high heat of the summer, which can be characterized by bright, sunny days and warm nights. The roots below the soil shrink in size as the heat increases to help conserve energy. The grass may also use the stored energy from its roots to help it withstand extreme heat.
Even with these heat reactions, grass can still dry out and suffer heat stress. When the heat is too intense or prolonged, the grass can experience heat stress. The grass will dry out and die from lack of water. All types of grass can die in the summer heat, but some grasses are more vulnerable than others. The summer heat can cause disease and wilting to cool season grasses. If the soil temperature is higher than 85 degrees, these types of grasses could suffer root damage. That’s why lawn maintenance is required.
Signs of lawn stress
It is easy to recognize heat stress, which can be a good thing. Your lawn might need water if it is discolored or leaves footprints. This happens often in the early stages.
The effects of stress can cause your grass to curl or turn brown. Brown patches in your yard could be due to a number of problems, all of which can be exacerbated by drought:
- These areas may be grub-infested because they eat the grass roots.
- Use a screwdriver to insert the lawn. If the lawn becomes difficult or is not going in smoothly, moisture and aeration are required.
- Chinch bugs and other surface-feeding insects could also cause brown lawns.
Your lawn will have a hard time getting the nutrients it requires in all these situations. These signs can be seen in hot summer months. It is important to prevent your lawn from drying out and dying.
Treatment of stressed grass
Once you have identified heat stress, it is time to treat it and make it grow again. These are some tips to help you get rid of those brown spots. Do not compact the soil. Your lawn will not be able to withstand heavy foot traffic and heavy mowing. The soil will get compacted and make it difficult for air to reach the roots. This problem will cause your lawn to become stressed and you will need to aerate it.
Water deeply, but not too often. A light watering every day can result in shallow roots that aren’t able to withstand hot and dry conditions. To keep your lawn strong and drought-resistant, you should water 1/3 of an inch every other day. To avoid afternoon evaporation and potential fungus risk, water in the morning. Try to get up between 6 and 10 am.
To avoid injury, adjust fertilizer applications. Light fertilizer applications can help your lawn recover or keep it healthy during high stress times.
If it is too severe, you can let it go dormant. If the heat becomes too much, your grass will shut down until it experiences cool, moist conditions. In this situation, it is important to water your lawn at least once a week.
Don’t leave a newly planted lawn dormant. There is an exception to every rule. New turf that is allowed to dry out and die can cause long-term damage. It has shallow roots, and may not be capable of recovering from severe stress. To keep your lawns healthy and vibrant, it is important to continue to water and not compact the soil.
Your lawn should start to recover from heat stress when autumn arrives. If done correctly, seasonal Conway SC lawn care can help to maintain healthy grass.