While this year has been a challenge for all of us, it has been a great year for our plants! We are roughly halfway through our growing season, so it’s time for a mid-season report for 2020.
The cool wet spring provided an opportunity for the lawns to build their health and recover from the difficult, hot tail of the 2019 season. Heading into the summer months, lawns were healthy and looking strong.
Despite the hot, dry spell in June, lawns are still growing quickly due to recent rains, and have remained healthy overall. I am still mowing my own lawn twice a week!
Insect control has been a challenge this year due to the warm winter as well as the consistent rains we have had through the season. Over the last few weeks, I have noticed that things seem to have gotten better in this area, though. I’ll keep watching, and if insect populations begin to rise, I’ll consider treatment options.
I have noticed some hot spots, and I have certainly seen some disease this summer in lawns. Patch disease was active during the hot period, but I have seen it taper off in the last week or so as temperatures have leveled off to normal highs.
As the patch disease is tapering, off I am beginning to see some dollar spot in lawns. But I prefer to see dollar spot, as it is less likely to cause permanent damage to the turf. The lawn will grow out of it with a good nutrition program, and without the need for fungicides or anything extra.
I am seeing a lot of weeds coming up as well in recent days with the wet weather we have had. This is a good sign, as it shows overall health in the lawn’s soil! I am actively spot treating weeds on each visit and will switch to blanket application of weeds at the beginning of September.
While we have plenty of moisture in the soil now it won’t take much to dry it back out — especially if we get up into 90s again. Be prepared to water the lawn when it starts to show some drought stress.
Lawns that are healthy will continue to fight off disease, so it is important to continue a regimen of nutrition and insect control, if necessary. And a healthy lawn will produce more weeds, so weed treatment will need to be adjusted accordingly.
Keep up your lawn care program with these things in mind as the season continues.
Your lawn will thank you for it!