Summer is in full swing, and so are the summer turf stressors. Scorching heat, drought, improper irrigation, increased foot traffic, disease, and pests may quickly turn the summer into an incredibly stressful season for your beloved lawn. But unlike us, your turf cannot take a break by the side of a pool or in a cool and refreshing interior. It is up to you to diagnose a stressed-out lawn and start treating it. Fortunately, our specialists in lawn care in Vienna VA have agreed to help. Here’s their take.
Top 6 Signs of a Severely Stressed Lawn
According to our lawn care Vienna VA pros, diagnosing a lawn under a lot of stress during the hot season is not an easy feat, but it is doable even by the least diligent homeowners. Just look for the top signs of turf stress and rule out insects and disease.
Discoloration: A lawn under a lot of stress will start losing its vibrant color. You may notice that the blades or just the tips get bluish gray or darker green before turning brown. That’s because, a stressed-out turf can no longer produce enough chlorophyll to maintain its vibrant, green color.
Brown patches: When brown spots start popping up in your yard, it is a tell-tale sign that your grass is either sick or dormant. Turf grasses usually start curling before turning brown and going dormant during prolonged periods of drought with no water to survive. If the grass in the brown spot can be easily detached from the soil, your lawn may have grubs (grub larvae munch on turf grasses’ roots).
Loss of Resiliency: A stressed out turf can no longer be able to bounce back after being pressed down. So, expect a stressed lawn to preserve your footprints for hours to come on summer days. If that happens, a drink should help it recover.
Weeds Taking Over: A weak lawn lacks the vigor to outpower weeds. Plus, weeds tend to thrive in hot weather. So, if weeds have started to take over, look for other potential signs of severe stress in your lawn. Changing the watering schedule usually helps fix this issue.
Compacted soil: This one can be a real issue if left unaddressed. A compacted soil won’t let water in no matter how long and well you are watering your lawn. As a result, the turf will not be able to develop a strong root system and won’t be able to survive high-stress situations such as a drought spell. Push a screwdriver into the soil immediately after watering and check if it easily slides in at least 6 inches deep. In a compacted soil, you won’t be able to reach that depth.
How to De-Stress Your Lawn
Water It Properly and Regularly
The best time to give your thirsty lawn a drink is early in the morning, between 6:00 and 10:00. That’s the right time to do it because the sun is not yet at its peak and the water doesn’t evaporate in an instant. The best way to water your lawn is watering deeply every other day. Give your lawn at least an 1/3 inch of moisture before turning off those sprinklers.
Don’t Further Compact the Soil
Reduce foot traffic especially during an excessively high temperatures when your grass is already very stressed. This way you’ll reduce potential soil compaction. Also, don’t use your lawn as a parking lot or run heavy machinery on it. If the soil is severely compacted, you can call a lawn service company to help you aerate and detach it a bit.
Keep Your Mower Sharp and Don’t Cut Grass Too Short
This one is a common mistake made by homeowners no matter how much they love their lawns. A pair of dull mower blades will fray and leave open the tips of the blade, causing unnecessary water evaporation and exposing the turf to disease and more stress. Also, leave the grass long (around 4 inches), as long grass blades encourage the turf to build a resilient root system that can easily compete against weeds, disease, and pests and win. You can always hire a professional lawn mowing company, like ourselves, to give your yard a regular trim without the inherent hassle.
Give Our Lawn Care Vienna VA Experts A Call
Does your lawn stubbornly refuse to bounce back to its former healthy self, despite your best efforts? We at Green Hill Landscaping have the tools, expertise and people to help your yard unwind and recover during the stressful summer months. Call us for a Free Estimate or a friendly chat with one of our staff members to determine together the best course of action.