Typically, in early August we could be experiencing high temperatures and drought conditions that would be severely stressing our lawns. However, we’ve been lucky that, so far, the summer of 2014 has been one of warm days and cool nights with regular rainfall.
This is good news for our lawns, since these conditions are very conducive to growing turf. More good news is that, due to the extremely cold winter of 2013-2014, the population of adult Japanese Beetles population is down by about 30%. Since the Japanese Beetles lay the eggs that hatch into grubs, this means less damage to our lawns in the future from these insidious pests.
However, the news is not all good for your lawn this summer. The bad news is that these same ideal conditions for growing turf are also ideal for growing weeds, and currently, the weed population is off the charts!
According to Nick Felice, Landscape Consultant and Customer Service Manager for Reder Landscaping, here’s some of the problems he’s seeing in lawns right now:
- Summer annual weeds such as Black Medic and Spurge are really taking off right now, due to the same ideal growing conditions that are so good for grass .
- Crabgrass is off to an earlier start this summer than usual, and it’s coming in like crazy! This is due to the ideal growing conditions combined with the abundance of damaged turf areas from the Snow Mold caused by the frigid temperatures of this past winter.
- Turf diseases like Leaf Spot and Dollar Spot are also thriving right now. This is because the cool nights that we’re currently experiencing don’t allow our lawns to dry off, creating the ideal moist environment for these turf diseases to spread.
- Creeping Bent Grass is also thriving.
A big problem that Nick says he’s commonly seeing right now is a lot of people mowing their lawns shorter than they should because their grass is growing so fast this summer. This is a huge lawn maintenance mistake, because low mowing heights actually encourage weed growth. A simple way to combat weeds is to do your lawn mowing at a height of 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches. Grass at this length will keep soil temperatures lower and discourage weed growth.
If you’re concerned about weeds and turf diseases getting the best of your lawn this summer call Reder Landscaping today to make an appointment with one of our lawn specialists.