Wow! This year has been one of the most difficult years to keep a beautiful, green lawn. In fact, if a homeowner had a perfect looking lawn during this summer, they’d wonder if they were doing something wrong. In my 39 years of working in lawn care, I have NEVER experienced this before. You may wonder what has changed; are we using different products? Are the fertilizer rates the same? I can assure you that we continue to use the same products and rates that have given us success in years past.
What has changed?
I don’t necessarily like to point fingers, but Mother Nature has given us a windy, dry, and hot year. The grasses that make up our lawns in Northern Utah are considered “cool-season-grasses”. When we think of temperatures, we automatically think of the high, mid-day temperatures; however, when it comes to cool season grasses, it’s the night-time lows that are the culprit. When we experience night time temperatures above 80 degrees, our grasses don’t get to cool off, which they need. Imagine how well you’d perform day after day when your air conditioner goes out and you can’t cool down inside your home. It’s not pretty. We would want to take a cold shower or jump in a pool to cool ourselves off.
With recent water restrictions, our lawns can’t even get that! It doesn’t take long to see where our sprinkler systems’ inefficiencies are. Whether it’s low pressure, clogged nozzles, or not watering long enough to get water into the root zone, our lawns quickly go into dormancy to protect themselves.