The hot summer weather can put a lot of stress on your lawn. As the weather gets dry watering becomes much more important. A properly watered and plush healthy lawn is the best way to combat hot weather weeds and keep your lawn looking green all summer. Pair proper watering with a weed control and fertilizer program and your lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood.
There are such a wide variety of pests that can infest your yard’s trees and shrubs that it’s too much to include here. One way to prevent pest infestation on your ornamental trees and shrubs is to keep your flower beds and fence rows clean and your lawn mowed. Dense vegetation and dying organic matter can attract bugs and insects to your yard.
If you’re already suffering from bugs and insects on your ornamental plants, the first thing you have to do is properly identify the pest. Misidentification can result in frustration and wasted time and money. Once the pest is identified you will need to start a rigorous treatment plan with the proper pesticide applied at the proper times. Multiple applications, including while the insects are dormant, are usually required, but it depends on the severity of the infestation.
If you’re getting ready to lay sod or spread grass seed, weed control starts here. Make sure the seed or sod that you purchase is high enough quality that it does not contain weeds or weed seeds.
The most important factor when it comes to controlling weeds in your yard is to keep your lawn thick and healthy so that weeds don’t have a place to grow. Cultivating your lawn into a strong defender is best accomplished through regular watering, dethatching, and fertilization, as well as proper and frequent mowing. And always be sure to mow before the weeds are tall enough to sprout seeds, otherwise you will be seeding your lawn with weeds every time you mow.
If weeds have already overtaken your yard, you will probably need a good herbicide treatment program. There are two different types of herbicides: those you apply before the weed sprouts, and those you apply after the weed is already growing. Applying the right herbicide, to the right weed, at the right time, is important if you want to win the battle. And most infestations will require multiple treatments over the course of the year, so be sure to keep track of when you last applied and mark your calendar for the next treatment.
It’s important to remember not to cut your grass too short when you mow. It may seem tempting to do, so that you don’t have to mow as frequently, but the result can be devastating to your lawn. When you mow too short it gives weeds the light and water that they need to grow while allowing precious moisture to escape from the soil. It also causes your lawn to have a brownish-yellow tint as most of the lush, green blade of the grass has been cut off.
Thatch is a mat of thickly woven roots, stems, and other organic matter that accumulates on top of the soil in your yard. When not properly managed, thatch can prevent water and fertilizer from reaching the soil and roots of your grass. It can also increase insect infestations and disease. All of this can cause unsightly browning and thinning of your lawn.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Excessive thatch can be prevented by a yearly or twice-yearly lawn aeration, which cuts through the thatch layer and mixes it with the soil beneath. Aeration can be accomplished in a number of ways, but it basically creates thousands of very small openings in your thatch, which quickly fill back in naturally with soil, water, fertilizer and other nutrients that your lawn needs. It’s like giving your lawn injections of nourishment, with the end result being thicker, greener, healthier grass.
Lawns suffering from serious, long-term thatch problems may need to be dethatched and reseeded. This involves loosening the thatch, power-raking the yard, and reseeding.
Brownish-black spots on blades of grass, circular patches of dead grass appear for no apparent reason, molds and other fungus popping up; these are all signs of a diseased lawn. Fungi spores spread through the air and water, and when the weather and your lawn conditions are right, they can take hold. At times lawn disease can spread so fast that an entire yard can be killed off in just a short amount of time! But most of the time these diseases can be fought through proper fertilization, watering, and mowing, combined with a good fungicide treatment program to control the spread of the disease until your lawn is strong enough to fight it off.
If you live in an area that is prone to fungal diseases, or if you’ve been fighting an outbreak for a long time, you might try planting a grass that is resistant to disease.
Most plants grow well in soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0, or just slightly acidic. Plants growing in soil that is too acidic cannot make proper use of fertilizer and nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium. The end result is that your grass becomes thin and discolored. Lime can help bring the pH down into acceptable levels, but be sure to have your soil tested before applying. Soil that’s too alkaline can be just as harmful as soil that is too acidic.