Yellow spots on the grass, dry and scalped areas. Does all this sound familiar to you? You are not alone.
During the summer, our lawn suffers much more stress than usual. Temperatures and hours of sunshine increase, which can cause the leaves to dry or burn. In addition, it is more often trampled, which weakens it.
In September the grass goes through a "second spring", a warm period in which its activity increases before entering dormancy for winter. That is why this is the ideal time to fix the damage caused by the summer and prepare it for the cold season.
In this article we are giving you some tips to revive your lawn after summer.
How to recover the grass at the end of the summer
If the lawn has grown too much, first of all mow it at a low height (2.5 or 3 centimeters) so that we can work more comfortably. Remember to sharpen the mower blades to ensure a clean and precise cutting.
Next we will check out all the lawn. Thus we will determine which are the most affected areas and will choose the most appropriate treatment in each case.
These are the most common problems of the grass after the summer:
Yellow or brown spots
In summer, the grass usually goes dry. A lack of watering for just a week or two will cause these spots to appear.
In order to repear the damage, increase the frequency of irrigation for about 15 days, with deep and long watering. Always avoid waterlogging, which could cause the appearing of fungi. After that, keep irrigating as usual.
Recovery can be a bit slow. However, if you notice that as the weeks go by, the yellow spots do not disappear, and even grow in number, perhaps your garden is suffering a worms pest. In this case, you can solve it by using a specific insecticide.
Sometimes the yellow spots that appear on the lawn are round and localized. This might be a signal of fungi pest. Depending on the fungi species, you could also find white dust or moss over the leaves.
Usually, these pests are caused by excess water, due to waterlogging or leaks in the automatic irrigation system.
Fungi are resistant and reproduce quickly, so it is best to apply a fungicide to eliminate them once and for all.
Scalped areas are a common sign of compacted soil.
Compaction occurs when grass clippings, roots, dry leaves and soil form a dense layer (called ‘thatch) on the turf. This layer prevents oxygen from reaching the grass and makes it more difficult for water to penetrate to the roots. Compaction is favoured by trampling, so it often increases during the summer.
To dethach the soil, we must scarificate it. This consists in scratching the surface of the lawn with a rake or scarifier to lift the thatch layer.
Scarification is an aggressive process and can make us think that we are damaging the turf. But in reality it is a very necessary work to keep the lawn healthy. After scarifying, we will remove the remains of thatch with a rake, being careful not to close the grooves that we have opened in the soil.
Then we can also areate the turf, which consists of perforating the soil with spikes. This leaves deep holes that will allow oxygen and water to enter.
Scarifying and aerating are tasks that must be done in autumn throughout the lawn to clean it and prepare it for the winter. After the summer, we can do it just in the most damaged areas.
Once we have done these tasks, we will fill the gaps with sand or with a mixture of fertilizer and sand (gravelling) to maintain soil drainage. Before doing this we could also reseed, but we will better do this in autumn.
If you need help to recover the state of your lawn after the summer, in Viveros González we can help you. Get in touch with us and we will advise you.