Seasonal changes can cause a lot of stress and damage to your lawn, and the hot, dry heat of the summer months can really take its toll. Heat stress on your lawn can turn your once lush green grass into a splotchy brown dead lawn.
To prevent further damage to your lawn from heat stress, it is important for you to become familiar with the signs and treatments of the issue. Not only does heat stress cause your lawn to look less attractive, but it could also invite a variety of unwanted pests and weeds to infest your lawn.
SIGNS OF LAWN HEAT STRESS
Luckily for homeowners and business owners alike, heat stress is fairly quick to identify. In the very early stages of heat stress on your lawn, you can test whether your lawn could benefit from a proper watering session by conducting the “footprint” test. The “footprint” test is an easy test you can conduct yourself to determine if your grass needs to be watered. To start, test your lawn by simply walking on it. If the grass bounces back, then your grass has proper hydration. If your footprints stay in the grass then your lawn could benefit from a good watering.
As the heat starts to put stress on your lawn you may notice full brown blades of grass or grass with brown tips. They may have begun to curl. This can turn into brown patches which can have a severe impact on your lawn. Often this is due to improper watering to keep your lawn healthy. Other signs and symptoms of heat stress include the following:
- Compacted lawns make it hard for moisture to reach the root and would greatly benefit from aeration. To check your lawn, you can take a knife or screwdriver and stab it into the lawn. If it does not go in smoothly, this is a sign that your lawn is stressed.
- Lawns that are suffering from an infestation can be lifted almost like a carpet. This is due to the insect larvae eating the grass’s roots. A healthy lawn can support more grubs per square foot which is why a heat-stressed lawn shows signs even faster.
- A lawn that has become brown can also potentially be the result of Chinch bugs or other similar insects. Chinch bugs work by sucking the moisture directly from the blades of grass.
TREATING HEAT STRESS
For lawns to truly flourish, it requires a proper watering technique. If you are watering your lawn lightly each day, you are actually doing more harm than good. This technique creates shallow roots that are not equipped to handle hot, dry weather. It’s recommended that you water your lawn only 2-3 times a week. If this is something you struggle with you may consider having Grasshopper Gardens install an irrigation system to help prevent this issue.
Lawns that experience a lot of foot traffic, heavy mowing equipment or other heavy equipment, are more likely to become compacted. This then creates difficulty for your lawn to receive the air, moisture and nutrients it needs to thrive. To relieve this stress, and create air flow, your lawn will need to be aerated. Aeration opens up spaces for air, water and nutrients to reach the grassroots.
Whether you should allow your lawn to become dormant or not will depend on the specific situation you are facing. Conditions where the heat has become too much for your lawn to overcome, it may go into a dormant state until cool, moist weather returns. However, if you have a newer lawn, it may still have shallow roots, in which case it is essential to maintain a healthy watering routine. Each case is different, and it is best to discuss the needs of your lawn with a landscape professional before deciding on your own.
As we move past the heat of summer and fall brings periods of cooler weather, your lawn will be able to recover from any heat stress damage it may have endured during the peak summer months.
Proper maintenance and technique are essential to the success of a healthy lawn that flourishes from year to year. To ensure your lawn remains healthy, consider an annual lawn care program from a reputable lawn care company. The experts at Grasshopper Gardens will give you a great looking lawn you are proud to show off, no matter the season. Get an instant quote online now.