How is your lawn growing? With a pattern of rain on a regular basis, you may not have to do any supplemental watering. If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, you may not have had much of a need to turn the sprinklers on.
You are probably still cutting the grass once or even twice a week due to the amount of rain that we are having. However, water alone will not keep your lawn healthy.
When was the last time that you fertilized your lawn? With a rainy April and May, you might not have even had a chance to fertilize the lawn. If it has been more than eight weeks since you last fertilized your lawn, it is time to fertilize.
Some of you will have put down the first step to control crabgrass seed. This is usually done in April.
The second step in the program is usually some type of fertilizer and weed control combination product. Unless you have weeds actively growing in your lawn, you don’t necessarily need to put down a weed-and-feed product. This type of product is only necessary if there are weeds.
Without weeds growing in the lawn, all you really need to do is to apply a fertilizer that will help the grass grow. Whether you choose to use an organic or a synthetic fertilizer, it is important to give your lawn an application of fertilizer now. The rain will keep the grass growing, but the fertilizer will help keep the lawn healthy.
The nutrients in lawn fertilizer will help your lawn put out new blades of grass, and those nutrients will also help get your lawn to put out a more robust root system.
The combination of more robust roots and more blades of grass will help your lawn stay thicker. When your grass covers the soil completely, it is harder for weeds to get established. A thick cover of blades of grass also shades the soil, and you are less likely to have the soil dry out from exposure to the sun.
All in all, the key to a healthy lawn is to give it fertilizer every eight weeks. This is critically important if you have a poorer-quality soil. It is also critically important if the lawn is getting a lot of rain or irrigation.
One of the things that you may notice on your lawn is a light pink haze over it. This is usually more noticeable early in the morning. This pink haze is a disease called red thread. It usually occurs when we have periods of rainy weather. It is more likely to happen if the lawn is in a weakened state from not getting a steady supply of fertilizer.
Red thread may severely damage your lawn, or it may just go away on its own. To prevent the spread of the disease, you should not be cutting the grass when it is wet. Allow time for the grass to dry out before you cut it. Also make sure that you have been keeping up with the fertilizing of the lawn. If the problem persists, you may need to treat your lawn with an appropriate fungicide.
Your lawn has a better chance of surviving the summer if it gets the food and water that it needs on a regular schedule. Too much water can be a bad thing for your lawn. You can’t control the rain, but you can control the fertilizing of the lawn, which in turn will help the lawn grow at its peak performance.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.
Tim Lamprey has worked in the lawn and garden industry for 45 years.