4 Common Summer Landscaping Problems & How To Prepare For Them
If there’s one thing all landscapers can agree on, it’s that there will always be work to do when it comes to keeping turf healthy and thriving year after year. A lot of this comes down to things we talk about often—as they are not one-off problems, they are routine maintenance. As we head into the fall season, here are some common issues to keep top of mind before next summer.
Dry & Compacted Soil
Summer is a very common time to start having issues with soil dryness and compaction. Higher temperatures not only increase the chances of drought which causes soil to become dry—but higher traffic in the summer months also increases the chance of your soil becoming compacted. Compacted soil can lead to all sorts of issues with your turf starting with the root health. Here are a few things you can do ahead of time to combat soil compaction:
- Aeration is an essential practice for turf as it loosens compacted soil and allows better airflow and water absorption to the roots. Make sure you have an aeration plan in place this fall as this will help turf come back to life in the spring and be ready for the hot summer months.
- For lawns, you can add organic materials like compost or peat moss to help loosen compacted soil in smaller areas.
Drought is one of the biggest challenges that lawns face in the summer months; and although it can’t be controlled—it can be prepared for. There are a few things you can do before, during, and after to ensure your turf has a healthy foundation and survives a drought period.
Aerating is a critical practice that will help turf absorb moisture better during a dry season, if you’ve done this in the fall, your turf is likely prepared, but aerating again in the spring can also be helpful. Routine maintenance, like mowing, should continue but leave the grass clippings out during the first few mows as this can provide added moisture to the turf. Also, ensure you raise your mowing height as this will help reduce stress on the turf.
After the drought has passed, you will want to go into recovery mode. Adequate watering—which we will cover more on below—will need to take place, especially in areas that are hilly or sloped. Two weeks after watering, put down a fertilizer that includes nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—high-nitrogen fertilizers can be damaging to turf when the high temperatures return.
Proper irrigation is an integral part of any turf care routine. But different factors will determine what that looks like—such as turf variety and weather conditions. While cool-season grasses will need watering every three weeks, warm-season grasses are more drought-tolerant and require less water. But generally, turf should only be watered when it needs to be—overwatering or improper irrigation can bring with it a host of different diseases. Make sure you talk about proper irrigation with your customers and ensure they have the right setup for their turf care needs.
Weeds & Pests
With warmer weather comes every landscaper’s least favorite thing: weeds and pests. This is inevitably something you will have to deal with year after year, but you can handle these annoyances before they become problems by using pre-emergent herbicides and preventative insecticides.
Combination fertilizers are a great way to combat both of these issues in one application. Spring is a great time to apply a product like our ProScape® Fertilizer with Acelepryn plus Dimension. One application of this fertilizer gives pre-emergent and post-emergent control of crabgrass and other grassy weeds. It also controls multiple insect pests such as cinch bugs, billbugs, and annual bluegrass weevils. We don’t have to tell you that saving time saves you and your customer’s money. But with only one application, that’s precisely what this product gives you.
We know that next summer is still quite a ways off, but making sure you have a plan in place for these common problems will be vital to ensuring your customers’ turf stays thriving all year long. To learn more about our products and technologies or to consult with a LebanonTurf sales rep, please visit our website here.