August Lawn Care Tips

August is one of the hottest months of the year. We're now entering the peak weed season for summer-annual weeds. To help control existing weeds and help prevent new weeds, be sure to mow high, water deeply, evenly and as needed, and get an herbicide application .

Watering

If you still haven't adjusted your sprinkler system, you probably noticed a lot of brown spots in July because of uneven water coverage. No system is perfect and needs readjusting at least on an annual basis.

Your lawn, like your new pet, can and must be trained! It is important to water deeply and only as needed to force a deep root system, strengthen your lawn, and help prevent new weeds!

Let me reemphasize this: Train your roots by watering deeply and only as needed to save you time, water and money; and save your lawn from weed infestations and other problems!

If properly trained, a good deep, even watering (about 10 inches of moist soil), between one and two times a week will be sufficient for your lawn. However, it may be necessary (if your soil is dry) to water more frequently during an especially dry and/or hot spell.

How do I know if my soil is dry?

First, look for a smoky green that doesn't spring back quickly when stepped upon. You can confirm dryness by probing the soil with a screwdriver. If it is relatively hard to push in and moist soil doesn't stick to the probe, it's too dry. Another option is to probe with a shovel, and pry forward a little to expose the roots. This allows you to see the soil as well and easily check for moistness.

Read more about drought

Mowing

With hotter weather, it is helpful to mow at the second to the highest setting (2 1/2 to 3 inches long). To insure that you don't remove too much green, mow off only 1/3 of the blade at a time, since most of the green in your lawn is located in the top portion of the blade.

This helps to:

  • conserve water
  • strengthen the root system
  • help crowd out potential weeds

Weeds

We are approaching the peak of the summer annual weed season. Spraying the weeds while they are young and actively growing is the best time to control them.

In August, your lawn may bear a continually increasing number of annual weeds. The broad-leaf and annual grassy weeds can be sprayed with a selective herbicide. Any existing (perennial) grassy weeds such as orchardgrass would need to be sprayed with a non-selective herbicide such as Roundup and the lawn replanted in that area.

You may start seeing crabgrass in your lawn. If this is the case, as mentioned before, spray your lawn with a good post-emergence herbicide targeted specifically toward crabgrass and other summer-annual grassy weeds.

Contact us and we'll spray your lawn to help you control your crabgrass with no hassle!

  • Clover

  • Crabgrass

  • Dandelions

  • Mallow

  • Morning Glory

  • Orchardgrass

  • Thistle

  • Violets

  • Yarrow

Insects

August is one of the peak times for insect activity. These insects are probably Billbugs or Sod Weborm, but may be White Grub or Cranberry Girdler. Recognizing them early on will be very helpful in keeping the problem under control and save your lawn before it gets out of hand.

How do I know if I have an insect problem?

If you see an area of your lawn turning brown, check for insects. Pull on these areas with your whole hand. If insects are at fault, it will pull up like rug and you will see little white larvae on the soil.

How do I solve my insect problem?

To control the problem, apply insecticide directly to the affected areas and check back weekly for improvement. Repeat this until all signs of insect activity are gone. This means that the brown spots have stopped spreading, there is evidence of new growth, and the larvae are lethargic or dead.

  • Billbugs

  • Sod Webworm

Diseases

You may notice Necrotic Ring in your lawn. It is characterized by brown ring(s) 1 -5 feet in diameter. There are no effective fungicides to get rid of it. Aerate and water deeply and only as needed (immediately before temporary drought) to both prevent and treat Necrotic Ring.

Helminthosporium, or, "melting out" may be seen in your lawn. It is characterized by a browning of the blade of grass, with purple in the margins between the brown and green areas. To help prevent and treat helminthosporium, aerate to reduce thatch in the early spring, water deeply and as needed, and mow high.

If you do see signs of helminthosporium, give Turf Plus a call and we'll come out and take care of it for you!