Ask Jay, The Lawn Care Expert
With every change in season and temperatures, our office receives a flurry of calls from homeowners who are concerned about their changing lawn. Most of the changes causing concerns for homeowners are normal for lawns in our region. We hope to answer your questions and alleviate these concerns with a new blog series we are launching– Ask Jay, The Lawn Care Expert.
My grass looks like wheat on the end, with a rough, thick stalk? Is my lawn full of weeds?
In early Spring, your lawn goes through many changes. When the tops of your lawn look like wheat, it is in the seeding process, and what you are seeing are seed heads. This is a natural part of the seasonal growing pattern for grass. Different varieties of grass may seed at different times during a season, but every lawn is an ecosystem and it will undergo various changes throughout the season, depending on the environment. The seeding process can occur over a few weeks, surging and waning, depending on temperatures and moisture.
The grass will form a thick, rigid stalk to support the seed head, and the stalk may turn brown after mowing. This is due to the stalk decomposing, and it is normal. The grass will green up again. It is not uncommon for a lawn to look blotchy, because the grass may not seed at the same time. We recommend normal watering and mowing at this stage. Don’t cut your lawn too close, and water when the soil appears dry.
With regular maintenance, watering and mowing, your lawn should stay healthy and beautiful through the season.
How often should I be watering and mowing my lawn right now?
This is a question we get often in the Spring, and the answer depends on the weather! Mother Nature typically takes care of the watering for us in April and May, and this year has been no exception. We have had a healthy amount of rain in recent weeks and your lawn is likely conditioned to the cooler, moist weather. As dryer weather moves in, your grass will need to harden off. When we have temperature swings of 60’s one day, to 90’s the next, the grass is not allowed to harden off, and it will become distressed. This does not necessarily mean that the lawn needs to be watered, so hold off on the sprinkler until the soil appears dry. The grass will eventually harden off as the temperatures gradually rise.
Regular mowing at this time of year is important for the long-term health of your lawn. Mowing a wet lawn is not ideal, but it is better than not mowing at all and letting it grow too long, which is hard on the plant. We recommend taking no more than a third of the blade with each mowing, so it is OK to set the mower height a little higher now, and mow about once a week.
Do I need a fungicidal treatment?
This is the time of year to treat your lawn with a fungicide if it has been a chronic problem for your lawn. We are treating lawns now as a preventative measure because once the lawn is infected, it is impossible to bring it back without seeding and a lot of time and care. It is much easier to prevent than to cure, so if you have concerns about fungus, don’t delay treatment. Call us today with questions.
Call us today if you would like the Turf Care team to help keep your lawn healthy and beautiful all season.