Fescue and Mother Nature: How they need to work together and what happens when they do not!
Landscape/Lawn care is a joint effort. There always needs to be a partnership between a lawn care company like ours, our clients and, perhaps most importantly, Mother Nature. All three have to do their jobs for a lawn to thrive. If one of these three shirks their responsibilities things just will not work as well as they could.
What nature gave us this year:
· The hottest summer on record
· Ground temperatures staying in summer ranges four to six weeks longer than usual and well into seeding season
· A lack of rainfall that broke a record set in the 1800’s (!!)
What issues resulted:
· Increased issues with heat/drought stress lasting far longer than usual
· Incomplete and retarded fescue seed germination
· Slow seedling maturation
· Thinner lawns
Long term issues you can expect:
· Lawns will not be as full as we roll into spring and summer
· The “POP” that normally occurs in early spring will probably come later and with less fanfare than usual
· Weed pressure will be more of a problem this year as there will be more holes for weeds to access due to the thinner lawns
What we, at King GREEN, can/will do:
· Delay major weed control applications until round #2 in 2017
o Blanket weed control applications have the potential to inhibit germination and maturation of fescue. Waiting to do this until round #2 gives the fescue a longer time to flourish during its preferred growing period. This also will give your lawn more weed protection further into the summer season and should help deter greater weed pressure. Spot treatments will be done in round #1 but you may still see a few more weeds than usual. These will be addressed in round #2 when the fescue is stronger
· Add more fertilizer to the program to compensate for the longer maturation season.
o We have adjusted the program to include an additional dose of dry fertilizer in the round #1 of 2017. Fescue will be taking longer to mature so it will need to be fed more during that period.
What you can do:
· WATER!! (Hate to sound like a broken record but…) Really the only way that we humans can compensate for high temperatures and lack of rainfall is with water. Those who really pounded the lawns with water this fall did get terrific germination but most folks watered as they had in years past and it was just not enough this year. Once we realized that this was the case we tried to notify our clientele using emails, flyers, and Twitter and Facebook posts. Please sign up for our social media outlets as we work hard to let everyone know what is happening out there. IF WE DO NOT HAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS PLEASE GET IT TO US SO THAT WE CAN INCLUDE YOU IN THESE VALUABLE UPDATES. WE PROMISE NOT TO FLOOD YOUR INBOX OR SELL/GIVE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION TO ANYONE!!
· Keep leaves up as much as possible. Using a blower is preferable to either raking or using the lawn mower.
· Mow regularly, even in winter. Keep the lawn high (3”-4”) and be sure your mower is tuned and the blade is sharp.