Keeping lawns green in Ohio from memorial day to labor day can be a real challenge- but the Portage Turf Specialists are up to the task. Many variables come into play during these hot and humid days and keeping cool season turf alive and green relies heavily on our precise timing and more importantly- your cultural activities- with mowing and watering. Our regularly scheduled visits with slow release, non burning organic fertilizers aid in recovery once rains come back into the picture. Our process relies heavily on promoting soil health and feeding and building the microbial population in the soil that work overtime and are actually the most active during these hot periods- keeping them fed is crucial in your lawn survival.
Mowing the lawn regularly in the spring helps to return clippings which are the most valuable source or organic material and nutrients you can provide for your lawn- do not remove clippings as you are removing the equivalent of 2-3 of our applications! Mowing high (between 3-4.5 inches ensures maximum leaf surface area for maximum photosynthesis or energy collecting ability and naturally prevents weeds). Tall grass is happy grass- mowing low will only allow crabgrass and weeds to thrive, when in doubt set mower to the highest setting. During summer months you must adjust mowing schedule and think of it as an injury to the lawn. Avoid mowing on hot stressful days as mowing opens up the plant allowing for valuable moisture to escape. Evaluate if you really need to mow- just because you were mowing twice a week in spring doesn’t mean you should continue that. Mowing every other week may be appropriate and having sharp blades is essential for a clean cut that will heal quickly, with a dull blade it tears the blade opening up the plant for more moisture loss and a longer recovery. We pride ourselves in having some of the best communication in the business- Please when you receive our service pre-notification do not rush out and mow- All those easily treatable clovers, nutsedge, and crabgrass are all gone and without a target our technicians are sure to miss. Set our team up for success and leave those weeds tall for the most effective application and give a few days before mowing again for translocation and good control.
When considering watering an Ohio lawn one must really decide on whether to keep it green and amazing or just let nature take its course and let it go dormant. Haphazard watering and trying to bring a lawn out of dormancy and then stopping watering during the summer can actually be worse for the lawn. In severe drought conditions without rain for weeks you may water lightly and infrequently to keep grass crowns alive. For the greenest lawn mimic natural rainfall events by watering every other day or third or fourth day with a deep watering- try going thru zones twice or three times a day, as much more than 20 minutes will just run off- let lawn burp and allow the soil to take in the water. Daily light waterings will only create shallow roots and promote disease development due to constant wetness/humidity. Try the screwdriver test- probe into the earth regularly to determine moisture needs and water accordingly, with daily light spritzes you may not even get the screwdriver into the earth, by going thru zones twice you are mimicking a natural Ohio all day rain that will take turf roots deeper allowing for a healthier, more resilient plant that is much more suited for our current hot/humid conditions. Watering early in the morning is the best as it keeps the leaf blades drier as opposed to being wet all night with an evening watering.
If watering regularly you may encounter Red Thread , Dollar spot or brown patch disease . We can add a disease control to help control this disease as well as add an organic biostimulant to help promote turf health during these hot days to aid in recovery. On highly maintained / irrigated lawns we generally recommend a 3 step plan for best results during the high heat and humidity summer conditions. Prevention of disease with this program is best as your lawn is protected no matter what ohio weather conditions dish out.
Last but not least be on the lookout for Japanese beetles- this copper colored intruder will stick around for 2 weeks to eat shrubs like plums, sand cherrys, weeping cherrys, roses and many other landscape plants. After eating your once lovely plants they will lay their eggs to begin munching on the turf and the skunks will soon come to begin rolling up your once thick health turf. Act now as we currently have a free flea and tick application with our summer grub and insect control.
This can all be overwhelming- but hey, thats why you hired the professionals @ Portage Turf Specialists right? Please reach out if you lawn is looking off this summer or if you would just like to schedule a consultation to review the progress of your lawn or landscape plantings.