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  • Matt Keenan

Why Kingston lawns die in July

On average, July is Kingston's driest month leading to drought stress for your lawn. Drought in itself is enough to cripple a lawn but where there's drought there's almost always another problem.



How drought is behind all your lawn problems:


Crabgrass

Each year, dry lawns suffer from hideous crabgrass invasions, while your lawn is suffering from a lack of water, the crabgrass seems to thrive. This is because crabgrass is what we call a C4 plant, all you need to know is this gives the crabgrass an advantage in the hot summer months.

The fix:

  • Water your lawn deeply and infrequently to meet your turfs water needs, crabgrass can't invade where healthy turf is occupying

  • Mow above 3.5" to encourage deeper turf roots and shade crabgrass seeds from easy germination


Turf disease

Turf disease is rarely addressed because it's not something lawn owners consider but diseases are fairly common in the professional turf industry because of the way traditional lawn care is carried out. Overfertilization in the spring will lead to depleted plant roots dry soil and the right conditions for disease.

The fix:

  • Water your lawn deeply and infrequently, drought stress will make plant diseases more severe in the hot and humid summer months

  • Apply compost annually to be proactive against diseases dominating


Chinch bug

These tiny insects suck out the moisture from your turf when their surroundings are dry, they also leave behind plat toxins which kell the drained grass blade.

The fix:

  • Water your lawn deeply and infrequently to maintain resilient turf, healthy turf contains natural pest inhibiting chemicals slowing down the pests


Iron deficiency

Iron may be the most important micronutrient concerning plant health, especially for photosynthesis. Iron reducing bacteria in your soil are partly responsible for your lawn's iron requirement, but are only active in an "aquatic environment". You'll quickly lose the lush colour from your lawn without plant-available iron.

The Fix:

  • Water deeply and infrequently so that certain minerals in your soil don't become insoluble.

  • Apply plant-available iron to the turf if deeper colour is desired





How you can keep your soil from reaching the wilting point


Watering deeply infrequently

Overwatering and underwatering are equally detrimental to your lawn. Overwatering will suffocate plant roots inhibiting growth while underwatering will signal your lawn to conserve water and become dormant.


Organic fertilizer

Two for one when using organic fertilizer. Applying fertilizer will help your lawn to grow thicker and more robust in the spring, the growth in spring is responsible for summer survival. When using organic fertilizer, you're also contributing organic matter to the soil, building soil structure, and increasing water holding capacity.


Compost

Applying compost to your lawn annually will greatly benefit your lawn. Good compost is mostly broken down and will benefit the soil for longer than organic fertilizer which will break down much faster.





Wrapping up

You can put an end to dry Kingston lawns in 2022, armed with the right information and choosing drought-resistant lawn care products or services. If you choose a natural lawn, you can keep your lawn green all summer long.

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