NEW PLANT MATERIALS – Ask yourself the following questions to develop a feel for watering frequency:
How long since transplonting?
Newly planted plants require more frequent watering than established plants. Begin to cut back the frequency after two to three weeks as the plant roots start growing out into the surrounding soil and the above ground portion of the plant shows strong signs of new growth.
How hot and windy is it?
Heat and wind cause increased water loss by plants. When daytime temperatures move into the 80s, water newly transplanted plants every other day. Once the air temperature hits the 90-degree mark, check the plants morning and evening, looking for wilted leaves as an indicator of dryness. Initially, a daily watering will be needed for small plants.
How deep did that lost rain penetrate the soil?
Rain amounts can be deceiving. Always stick a shovel into the ground after a rain and do a visual check as to how deeply the water soaked into the soil. The soil needs to be damp at least 4 inches deep to benefit new transplants.
NEW SEEDINGS – Newly seeded lawns must be kept damp prior to germination. An oscillating lawn sprinkler is the most effective method of keeping the lawn watered. Direct application of water from a hose nozzle may damage the lawn by causing erosion. After germination, taper watering to a weekly schedule. We recommend 1 to 1-1/2″ of water each week.
EXISTING LAWNS – We recommend watering your lawn early in the morning, This allows water time to soak into the soil before the heat of the sun causes evaporation. Your lawn needs 1 to 1-1/2″ of water each week. Sprinklers should be left on long enough to allow water to soak into the ground but not so long to cause runoff. Deep watering allows grass to develop a deep root system, enabling the lawn to resist disease and drought. Over-watering is wasteful and causes your lawn to grow too fast, resulting in more frequent mowing.
Spotting problems in your lawn early saves time, money and most importantly – your lawn! Brown spots can appear on a lawn for a number of reasons. Some of the main reasons are dull mower blades, soil compaction and uneven areas of your lawn.
Fortunately, most of the causes of brown spots are easily correctable. This time of year it is also important to watch for cinch bugs and moths.
Mowing with unsharpened mower blades have a tendency to shred only the tips of the grass blades, causing them to dry out quickly and resulting in a brown appearance, particularly in warm temperatures. In order to resolve this problem, you should try sharpening the blades or purchasing a new set.
Soil compaction occurs when the soil particles of the lawn become packed together tightly. When this happens, the roots of your lawn are not able to grow correctly. In turn, this causes the tops to grow improperly. Soil that has a great deal of clay or that is walked on frequently tends to become more compacted, which leads to brown spots. Aerating the lawn can assist with this problem.
Uneven areas of the lawn may also develop brown spots. This is because the areas become scalped, which is when too much grass is removed from the tops of the high areas. The soil then becomes dried out and causes brown spots to develop in the lawn. To fix this problem, you should raise your mower blade when mowing areas at a higher elevation.
Unknown buried debris may also contribute to brown spots. Sometimes, the dirt covering these buried objects is not deep enough to allow the roots of the grass to penetrate properly. This causes the roots to receive insufficient amounts of water, which causes the grass to dry out- Removing the buried debris can resolve this problem.
Chinch Bugs are surface-feeding lawn pests that damage grass. Signs of infestation include small, round patches of brownish-yellow grass that first appear in hottest, driest areas of lawn first. Left uncontrolled, large areas of lawn may die.
Sod web Worms, (moths), are the larval or caterpillar stage of a small, tan moth often seen flying over the turf in early evening from May through mid-summer. These moths feed on the grass blades just above the soil line. The feeding defoliates the lawn where the moths chew off the grass. They feed at night and hide in the thatch during the day.
Presence of the larvae may not be noticed until significant damage has occurred. Large numbers of tan moths on your lawn in the early evening may be evidence of sod web worm infestation.
If you notice any brown spots in your lawn, give us a call at Paradise Lawn Care, Inc. We can identify any insect problems and advise you as to the correct action to save your lawn from damaging brown spots and the many factors that cause them.