The Grasshopper's


“RAINDROPS ARE FALLIN' ON MY HEAD"                                                                    SEPT 2019


We have all heard that you can have too much of a good thing.  This has been the case this summer with, RAIN.  This summer has broken so many records; The retention ponds are full and numerous golf courses had to close to allow for water displacement.  With the rain comes some very specific lawn challenges.


Some turf damaging insects will thrive in this exceptionally wet summer.  One of these is the sod webworm.  Sod webworm damage is very distinct.  The damaged grass appears as thought it was cut.  You will see an asymmetrical spot in an area with taller grass blades surrounding it.  There is also some noticeable yellowing along the boarder of the healthy grass next to the damaged.  Another moist grass threat is the white grub.  Grub damage looks very similar to chinch bug damage but the damaged thatch layer will easily slide off exposing the little white grubs below.


All this rain causes more than just flooding and a muddy mess.  It can also affect the health of your grass.  The constant watering your grass is receiving is doing root damage and washing away vital nutrients from the soil.  As you may or may not remember from 7th grade life science, plants, like grass, take up the majority of nutrients from their roots.  When their roots are left to sit in water they begin to breakdown and rot.  This makes it harder for the grass to absorb the nutrients needed to grow and be beautiful.  Also, a less known fact is that grass roots need oxygen.  They get this oxygen from the air circulating in the soil, which is why aeration is important.  When the soil surrounding the roots is constantly holding water, the air can’t circulate and the roots of your grass don’t get the oxygen they need to thrive.  The massive amount of rain also dilutes any and all necessary nutrients that grass needs to thrive.  Some of those are Nitrogen, phosphate and potash.  When your lawn is experiencing so much moisture those nutrients need to be added back to the soil at the proper time, in the proper amount and using the proper method.  This takes research, knowledge and staying up to date with the University of Florida’s best management practices.


According to the University of Florida, fungal pathogens cause most of the turf grass diseases.  Fungal pathogens lay dormant in almost all turf grasses just waiting for their opportunity to grow and cause damage. They are waiting for any weakness in the grass caused by mechanical, chemical, insect injury,  drought or overwatering. The rain we have received has caused a weakened root system that enables the fungus to take hold.  Without the resistance from a normal, healthy root system, your lawn will suffer.  This is why is it VERY important for your lawn care company to have the knowledge and skills necessary to care for your lawn properly.