Green With Envy

Green With Envy

The aroma of fresh cut grass hangs in the air. Nearly all my perennials are planted and absorbing the plentiful sunshine and occasional rainfall. And I can almost taste the smell of hamburgers that has made its way to our back porch from the grill next door.

Check your calendar: Summer's outdoor party season has officially begun.

Has your barbeque grill made its way out of storage? Is the badminton net set up for some games? Is the fire pit open and ready to roast s'mores? And is your lawn ready to withstand summer's frequent outdoor activity - and excessive heat and pests?

An outdoor gathering just isn't the same without a lush, green lawn to cushion your feet. Since several lawn pests and diseases may specifically affect your region, proper lawn management will help you treat and prevent the most common diseases in your region.

NORTHEAST/MIDWEST REGION. The Davey Tree Expert Company Tech Advisor Greg Mazur says common summer lawn problems in the Midwest and Northeast include brown patch and chinch bugs, as well as drought, thatch and crabgrass. To determine whether your lawn needs to be addressed for drought-related issues, look for dollar spot, or straw-colored, silver dollar-sized spots, during the hottest summer months, and summer patch, or reddish-brown and light tan patches, during mid-summer or drought.

Thatch, in particular, can not only restrict water, fertilizers, pest controls and air flow from reaching the soil surface, but it can also attract lawn diseases and pests. And because crabgrass tolerates high temperatures and dry soils, it tends to establish itself along sidewalks and driveways where the turf is often weaker and thinner. The result is coarsely-textured, clumpy turf. Soil compaction, on the other hand, is a result of running equipment over wet soils, concentrated traffic flow and more.

MID-ATLANTIC REGION (CAROLINAS/TENNESSEE/ATLANTA). "Watch for brown patch disease - it's coming early this year," says A.D. Ali, technical advisor for the Davey Institute in Alva, Fla. "When I visited Memphis a few weeks ago, I saw some already."

Tall fescue grass is the most prominent turf in the Mid-Atlantic region, but Ali says Bermudagrass might get infected as well. Ali explains that brown patch symptoms vary between the two grass species - isolated brown spots appear on fescue but larger circles appear on Bermuda.

family on lawn

SOUTHERN REGION (TEXAS/FLORIDA). Brown patch also affects St. Augustine grasses in Texas. It will appear on Florida's predominant St. Augustine and occasional zoysiagrasses later this summer as well. "In zoysiagrass, they call brown patch 'large patch' because the brown circles are much wider - they expand up to several feet," Ali says.

To prevent your lawn from suffering brown patch infection, consider a fungicide application and reduce fertilization. "Nitrogen can aggravate brown patch," Ali says.

Florida grasses often suffer from chinch bugs, which suck sap from St. Augustine grass and inject a saliva that will cause yellowing or wilting, then eventually kill it. Proper watering will help you manage chinch bugs that attack your lawn. Ali says you will notice more chinch bug damage in dry summer months because drought-stressed plants are more susceptible to the pest.

dog on lawn

PREVENTION. Proactive management, such as proper mowing and annual core aeration treatments, can help prevent some lawn problems, such as crabgrass and soil compaction.

Ali says proper mowing guidelines include a preferred height for each type of grass: Mow zoysia and Bermuda grasses to 1 or 1.5 inches; mow tall fescue and other cool-season turf grasses to 2 to 3 inches; and mow St. Augustine grasses 3 to 4 inches. You should typically mow high to keep your soil shady and protected from the sun.

Heat and pests can threaten the beauty of your lawn this summer, but visitors and other forms of lawn traffic can also wreak havoc on your green spaces. Well-managed turf can better withstand these issues - and it can also be an environmentally friendly boost since a healthy stand of turf can more readily soak up carbon from the atmosphere and provide evaporative cooling.

No matter the region you call home, it's important to keep up with proper maintenance to prevent pests and diseases from threatening your lawn this season. You'll be more likely to enjoy the company of friends and family, the seasoned smell of summer's grilled concoctions and, of course, the aesthetics of your landscape.

  • Process of Termites Control September 26, 2013 >I am also suffering with the problem of brown patches in my lawn . I am very thankful to you for giving the tips in preventing the problem.
  • Your Davey Arborist October 8, 2012 >Hi, Stephanie! The same pests and diseases that are providing challenges in the Northeast region are also challenging the Midwest region. Let us know if you have any further questions about specific pests or diseases, and we'd be happy to help!
  • stephanie October 7, 2012 >What about lawn pests and diseases in the midwest region?
Add a comment:
Featured or Related Blog Posts
  • 5 Smart Steps for a Winter-Ready Landscape

    From football to festivals, outdoor activity comes alive in the fall. As you marvel at the magnificent fall color on your trees, remember that this is also a great time of year to prep your yard for the next growing season. Cooling temperatures slow above-ground growth while moist soil encourages strong root development. Removing spent stems, dead branches and heavy leaf cover protects plants' overall health.

    Here are five fall landscape tips from the certified arborists at The Davey Tree Expert Company to ensure your yard is ready for winter:

     

    Read More
  • Seeing Red: What You Can Do to Protect Your Lawn From a Common Turf Threat

    Imagine that ugly, itchy sweater your great aunt knitted for you as a gift on your fifth birthday. Similar to your feelings against the sweater--distaste, dissatisfaction, shame--red thread is one of Mother Nature's more unwelcome creations that can weave itself into your lawn.

    However, despite the fact your turf may frequently put up with red thread damage year after year, its long-term effects are not so harmful. (You eventually grew out of that sweater, didn't you?)

    This summer, the signature red strands of the disease are showing up in lawns across the Midwest and East U.S. this year. The fungus, which appears as thin, red or pink-colored threads that emerge from individual grass blades, is visible to the naked eye when active.

    Read More
  • Healthy trees and manicured landscapes boost property value and curb appeal.

    Fall is here, and whether you're ready or not, it's time to begin preparing ourselves, our homes and some of our most prized possessions for the long, cold winter months ahead.

    For example, most people have a proactive plan to manage their vehicle maintenance. They fill up their cars with fuel when they need it. They change their oil on a regular basis. They have alerts that warn them of tires with low air or engines that need checking. All of this helps ensure their car investment lasts as long as possible.

    But, did you know, the average landscape investment is much higher than the cost of most cars? Not to mention, a car is not a living organism like the trees and plants in your landscape. Yet, many people don't take the same care to proactively protect their investment.

    Read More
  • 5 Garden and Landscape Resolutions for 2015

    Read the following post from Jason Evans, district manager for Davey's East Bay tree services. Evans' piece was originally published on www.angieslist.com. Lay the groundwork for your landscape now so that you can enjoy healthy trees, shrubs and plants in your yard this year.

    Gardeners are a reflective group, always looking back to see what worked and more importantly, what didn’t. And like most people at the start of a new year, gardeners are thinking about ways to improve upon last year with resolutions.

    Laying the groundwork for a healthy landscape is the key to success for those garden resolutions. To learn how to create a healthy landscape and to cultivate fresh ideas for the 2015 gardening season, try these tips:

    Read More
  • 5 Smart Tips to Receive Smart Tree Care Advice

    Davey’s Social Media Team and Client Experience Team monitor our social media channels for follower engagement in several capacities—including the insightful tree and landscape care questions you ask us! When you need a tree- or landscape-related question answered, follow the advice below to receive the most thorough and helpful response. Welcome to June; the first official day of summer will be here before we know it! Perhaps you’ve been spending an increased amount of time outdoors, observing your landscape and monitoring your trees.

    As you familiarize yourself with the greenspaces surrounding your home, as well as within your neighborhood and community, several questions may arise regarding the plant material occupying those areas.

    When you do have questions about trees—and choose to reach out to Davey for advice—our Social Media and Client Experience teams may be able to help you! We just need some specific details to help us determine the most helpful response.

    Read More

Request a consultation

What do you need services for?
Sorry, we can’t seem to find the zip code you specified. Our residential tree care offices may not service your area. If you believe this is an error, please try again. Need help? Email us at info@davey.com.
  • Email newsletter
  • Woodchips
*Please fill out all required fields.