Louisville Lawn Care Blog
Following a lush and verdant spring green-up, late spring now brings with it certain undesirable conditions that directly affect our turf. For the most part, lawns in our area fall under the category of “cool-season” turf. This includes tall fescue, bluegrass and rye grass varieties. These turf grasses tend to thrive in spring and fall. However, once 80-90 degree temperatures arrive, along with higher humidity levels and the occasional late-evening thunderstorm, our lawns and plantings become susceptible to diseases.
Lawns specifically see such problems as:
- Red thread - this is the most prevalent fungus we are seeing now!
- Dollar spot
- Brown patch
- Necrotic ring spot
- Slime molds
- Fairy ring
To minimize disease outbreak, follow these guidelines:
- Mow at a 3”-4” cutting height
- Keep your blade sharp! A dull blade tears the grass and makes the plant more open to disease entry
- If you irrigate, water your lawn in the morning. Evening/nighttime watering keeps the leaf surface wet and more prone to the spread of disease during the active overnight hours.
- Consider a fungicide application. While the product can be costly and the control limited, it is an option and may be especially recommended for newer stands of turf that can suffer permanent damage from disease.
In most cases, the brown spots disease can cause are more of a visual nuisance that the lawn will grow out of as weather patterns change.
Many of our valuable landscape plantings have recently had major freeze damage. Our record warm temperatures this winter pushed the new growth of our trees and shrubs out early this year. We then had 2 extremely hard freezes back to back (more frost predicted ahead!), and this tender new growth has been affected. Here are some of the main trees and shrubs we are seeing with the freeze damage:
- Japanese Maples
- Smoke trees
- Ornamental grasses
- Crepe Myrtles
- Butterfly bushes
- Taxus yews
The damage that presents varies with the plant affected but you will see the tips of the leaves turning brown or black with severe curling of the leaves. Some leaves, like on the Japanese Maples, look completely shriveled up.
So, what can be done? Nothing yet. Though you may be tempted to prune the damaged areas, do not do this too quickly. Give the plant several months to recover. Only time will tell if the damage is reversible.
During this period of great uncertainty as regards the pandemic of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), our staff at Lawn Cure are proud to continue serving residences and businesses with ongoing lawn care, helping to maintain the safety, sanitation and operation of the properties we care for on a scheduled and ongoing basis.
As responsible Green Industry members of our community, we are committed to “best practices” as we deliver the scheduled services to your homes and businesses. Lawn Cure has in place complete sanitizing and cleaning regimes for the protection of both our staff and clients. Our lawn technicians are in a unique situation in that they work alone every day. They maintain social distancing, working outdoors, not entering our customer’s homes or businesses. We provide ongoing education for our team members as we work together through this unprecedented event.
Our wish is for all of you to be safe and remain well!
The Lawn Cure Team
The drought we experienced in the late summer/early fall of 2019 caused some of our lawns to have bare spots and even larger areas of dead, matted grass. In addition, the lack of a true winter in 2019/20 will also cause weeds to flourish in these thin, bare areas of our lawns. We encourage all of our clients to follow these helpful suggestions as we move through our spring season:
Spring Spot Seeding
- After we have applied your 1st application of the year, wait at least 7 to 10 days before doing any lawn seeding.
- Rake through bare spots, removing any dead, matted grass. Turn over the dirt in these spots to break up the pre-emergent compounds (a garden weasel is a great tool for this!).
- Add Tall Turf Fescue grass seed to these prepared areas - Call Lawn Cure for help on picking the perfect seed!
- You can (though it’s not required) add some top soil and/or compost to these seeded areas to help enrich the soil and encourage seed germination.
Important to note: Applying pre-emergent to your lawn in early spring is critical to help control crabgrass, but the pre-emergent will also kill any desirable grass seed that is applied if you don't prepare the soil with the steps listed above***
Reminder: Regular lawn fertilization and weed control applications are essential in assisting your lawn in its drought recovery efforts!