How To Care For Your Lawn After Heavy Rains
August 17, 2019
-By: Amanda Griggs
Courtesy of Ahead of the Grass, Inc.
As you may have heard, we are experiencing a record amount of rain here in central Florida. This rain is wreaking havoc on the schedules of anyone who works or plays outside. This weather is also making it more difficult to properly care for your southern turf. The two most common lawns here in The Villages are St. Augustine and Zoysia. While they both need water to survive, too much water can be detrimental to their health. Here are some professional tips and tricks to keep a healthy lawn, even during monsoon season.
1. Turn Off Your Irrigation
This may seem like a no brainer, but as we are driving through The Villages looking at lawns we are surprised at the number of sprinklers we still see running. Please make sure your irrigation is either off or your have a rain sensor functioning properly.
2. Don't Mow
I know this is difficult sometimes, but, it is very important to not mow the grass in or directly after, heavy or constant rain. The extra moisture stays in the thatch layer and soil. Mowing while a lawn is saturated will cause more damage than good. The mower, even a push mower, will displace the wet, soft soil and not only leave ruts, but, it will rip the already delicate grass roots as it make those indentions. I know the lawn may look a little shaggy, but, it is temporary. Trust me, it is better to have a tall lawn now then no lawn this fall.
3. Stay Off The Lawn
This one can be difficult to do as well. It is just as important to not even walk on the lawn if you can avoid it. Just walking across a saturated lawn can damage it and possibly leave dead spots when the delicate grass was walked on.
4. Seriously, Just Leave it Alone
I mean it. You will thank me later. I completely understand this is like the "don't touch the red button" scenario. Once you are told, "no", all you want to do is touch the red button. I am one of those impulsive people and I truly do understand more than most. My best advice for you is to find something to do, not thinking about your lawn, just not golfing since the good courses are all closed for the same reason. Maybe go bowling, check out a new movie, learn a new craft. I heard watching Bob Ross paint can be very relaxing.
This fall, aeration will be extremely important. This process breaks up the compacted soil and thatch layer helping to create draining around the roots of your turf. This allows for better air circulation, giving the roots the access to oxygen to help them regain their strength. We know we are going to have a busy fall with aeration and are already compiling a list of the lawns that need it most. Those are any new construction homes and any lawns that experience standing water or excessive rainfall. Please visit http://www.aheadofthegrass.com/aeration.html for more information about aeration.
All this rainfall weakens the grass which leaves an opening for dormant fungus to occur. It is strongly recommend to use the appropriate fungicides to mitigate the damage. Some fungus is easy to see, like fairy rings, others like brown patch will only show as the weather changes, when the damage is already done.
When a lawn is watered excessively, it requires more nutrients. The water will dilute and wash away vital nutrients for your turf. When we experience this amount of rainfall, your lawn will need an extra boost to stay healthy and green. There are specific laws and EPA guidelines that must be followed to ensure safe fertilization of the turf without contaminating our precious aquifers. This is why it is extremely important to make sure all laws and labels are followed.
We understand it can be very hard to have a "hands off" approach, especially when the grass looks tall. This is when it is best to trust the professionals and leave it alone for now. As soon as the weather lets up and the soil has had time to dry out, the grass will be cut, sometimes twice, and it will look amazing. If your neighbor's lawn is cut, but, yours is skipped, think to yourself, "hummm maybe mine is holding more water and it isn't safe to mow yet." If you ever have any questions or concerns please reach out to us.
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