It is summer in Idaho and invariably between high heat, increased traffic from kids at play, and pets, our lawns are showing signs of stress. In today’s blog we thought we would examine some of the worst summer lawn care issues and what you can do about them.
Crabgrass – Unfortunately by the time you realize you have a problem with crabgrass it is too late in the season to treat appropriately. There are products available to kill crabgrass but care needs to be taken when applying weed killer in the summer – If the temperatures are high you may damage your lawn and cause even more problems. You can hand-pull the weeds before they go to seed to prevent their spreading. Your most effective means of treating crabgrass begins in the spring when you can apply a pre-emergent that will keep the crabgrass from germinating in the first place.
Dog Issues – Dogs urine can cause damage resulting in unsightly round brown patches in your lawn. Dogs especially have a high concentration of nitrogen in their urine which actually burns your lawn. The best way to prevent such damage is to water down the area immediately after the dog has urinated on it. Another idea to keep damage to a minimum is to train your pet to only use a certain area of the yard perhaps a section that gets little use or is out of sight. You can repair damaged sections of your lawn by removing the dead grass and replacing with a section of sod that you have purchased or removed from a different part of your yard. Make sure you press it down firmly and water frequently, keeping it moist until it takes root.
Billbug – Damage from billbugs begins to show up in later summer and early fall when their larvae (grubs) have hatched and are feasting on your lawn. If you have wilted or dried out patches of grass that are easily pulled up when you tug on them – it is a good indication of billbug damage. Like the issues we have with crabgrass, by the time you know you have a problem it is usually too late in the season to treat effectively. The earlier you can treat for billbug infestation the more damage you can prevent. At Organic Solutions! Inc., we apply billbug control in the late spring before the grubs are able to hatch. We also apply organic fertilizer which helps to reduce the likelihood of billbug infestation. Keeping your lawn properly irrigated and fertilized will also help it recover from billbug grub damage.
Too much shade – When it is hot outside it is hard to think that too much shade could be a problem but you can have thin or bare spots in shady areas of your yard. This problem can be solved by thinning tree branches to allow in more sunlight or by seeding these problem areas with a turf grass that grows better in the shade. Seeding is best done in the fall when the climate is more moderate.
Problem Areas – If you have areas where the grass is struggling to grow you may want to discern if it lies in a high traffic area. High traffic damage could be caused by pets that run a certain route every time they go out, kids playing near a swing set, or that route you take to get the mail or go to the shed. If you have a high traffic area you may want to assess if there are ways to prevent the damage or if it is time to replace the lawn with hardscape walkway made out of flagstone or pavers or for larger areas like beneath a kids playset you want to opt for sand, gravel, or mulch in place of grass.
Besides these common issues there is also damage done to turfgrass in the summer through improper watering and mowing. You can check out our previous blog articles on how to properly care for your lawn during the heat of summer.
At Organic Solutions! Inc., we can help you diagnose and treat your lawn issues as well as provide alternative landscaping solutions. If you would like to meet with one of our expert team members to discuss your lawns particular needs, give us a call, 208-884-8986.
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