Extreme heat and arid conditions throughout the summer months can sap the life from even the heartiest plants and lawns. Unlike its commercial landscaping caretakers, your turf cannot simply take a quick dip in the pool or enjoy a refreshing margarita at the end of a hot day. It requires diligent attention and irrigation to remain healthy, vital, and hydrated.
Do you recognize the symptoms of heat stress and/or drought? Any of the following could be signs that your commercial property is in need of a nice, long drink:
- Slow growth
- Footprints that remains hours after mowing
- Brown patches (These spots, it should be noted, can be a sign of insect damage. Cinch bugs and grubs are usual summertime suspects. If you tug on a brown patch and it does not easily separate from the soil, chances are you are dealing with drought conditions.)
If your lawn appears to be suffering, contact a professional irrigation contractor, and follow these commercial landscaping care tips to correct and/or prevent heat stress in your property’s lawn and landscape.
- Use regularly maintained mowing equipment and DO NOT cut grass too short (try 3-4 inches throughout the summer months). Remember: dull blades do not cut, they maim. Make sure your mower is equipped with a sharp blade. Irregularly trimmed or damaged blades of grass will not be able to retain water, and will be susceptible to disease. Properly mowed lawns foster deeper roots and stronger grass plants.
- Avoid overwatering. Constant dampness can rob soil and plants of oxygen and contribute to disease.
- When your property’s lawn drought stressed, cancel mowing operations. Mowing when your turf is already overwhelmed by the heat will hinder its ability to recover. Wait until after a substantial rainfall to resume mowing, but be cautious not to mow when grass is still wet – or you risk clumping.
- DO NOT fertilize. Like mowing, stimulating growth with already heat-exhausted grasses is, in a word, overkill. Wait until cooler days when your turf has a chance to rebound.
- If at all possible, keep foot traffic at a minimum. This will help to prevent compacted soil.
- If all else fails and drought is significant, allow your grass to go dormant for the season, while still watering weekly.
Inconsistent watering during extreme heat may do more harm than good, and could hinder recovery once the rain returns. Proper irrigation is the key. Lawns typically require at least an inch of water per week. Infrequent, deep watering during the early morning hours is a good rule of (green) thumb.
For additional commercial landscaping care tips and assistance, call GroundsCare Landscape at 888-588-8451. From rotary sprinklers to flood systems to micro-irrigation, our certified and professionally-affiliated specialists can map out a strategy to help your commercial turf beat the heat this summer and every summer from now on.