Hot summer tips

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The sun is intense this time of year. We find ourselves slathering on sunscreen and grabbing extra water, but what about your lawn? With the scorching temperatures we’ve been seeing, your lawn may need some extra care. The experts at LawnAmerica want to help ensure that your lawn looks its best during these hot summer days with these hot summer lawn care tips.

Tip #1: Ensure you are watering enough

It’s recommended that you water your lawn with one and a half inches of water per week. Longer watering, spaced a few days apart is also recommended compared to shorter more frequent cycles.

Short watering causes the roots to stay in the upper few inches of soil. These upper inches tend to be the first areas to dry out and cause the plant to show signs of stress.  Less frequent, longer water cycles tend to encourage root growth to go deeper into the soil where moisture is more readily available.

You can measure the amount of water your lawn is getting by placing empty tuna cans around your yard. Most tuna cans are roughly a half inch in height, so if you fill up the cans three times per week, your lawn should be getting sufficient water.

Tip #2: Water your lawn at the correct time

The best time to water is in the morning between 4 AM – 7 AM. At that time, it’s cooler and there is less wind, allowing the moisture to be absorbed before evaporating. It also allows the lawn time to dry as the morning progresses.

Lawns that are watered at night will stay damp and are more susceptible to fungal diseases. While afternoon watering increases the amount of moisture lost due to evaporation and rather than “cooling” the turf, it amplifies the heat and humidity.

Tip #3: Adjust your mower height  

Cool season turf, such as Fescue, needs to be mowed at the tallest possible setting. Warm season turf like Bermuda grass can generally handle being mowed at a lower level compared to Fescue.

No more than 1/3 of the grass blade should be removed at one time. For example, if your grass is 3 inches tall, cut no more than 1 inch off each time. Doing so will remove a lot of the dark green color, but will also add unnecessary stress to the plant.

Ideally, mowing cycles would be based on the 1/3 rule, not the “I cut my grass every Saturday” rule.

Tip #4: Don’t panic if your lawn turns brown

If you can’t water and your lawn starts to turn brown, don’t be overly concerned. Heat stressed Bermuda grass will go dormant and turn brown, much like it does in the winter. It isn’t dead, but it is conserving energy. Once the stress of the heat is gone, or moisture improves, color returns and recovers nicely.

Fescue on the other hand, won’t go dormant but will stop growing and tend to turn brown. Depending on the length of the heat and lack of moisture, it may recover, but most likely will require supplemental seeding in the fall to help re-establish anything that doesn’t recover.

Summer lawn care is essential in these hot temperatures. Contact LawnAmerica to help keep your lawn looking its best this summer!

 

Posted by & filed under drought, lawn care, post-emergent, pre-emergent, Weed-Control .

SpurgeWith hot and dry weather that we encounter in July and August in Oklahoma, a common summer broadleaf weed named Spurge makes its’ presence known. It can not only grow in lawns, particularly well along the edge bordering the street, but in landscape beds, small cracks in driveways, etc. It does not take much soil for Spurge to germinate in and grow, with its’ deep taproot sinking down wherever it can find a place to grow. It is well adapted to hot, dry, Oklahoma summers with thick fleshy leaves holding the water in the plant well. From one taproot, spurge can spread out like a mat into the lawn or shrub bed. The good news is that it’s easy to pull up. And since our broadleaf herbicides are not as effective when temperatures are over 90 degrees, this is really the best way to eradicate it. With the thick, waxy, and small leaves, it’s difficult for a broadleaf herbicide to adhere to the leaves and be absorbed for good control.

Spurge is one of those broadleaf weeds which the early spring pre-emergent really does not control much. It will help some, but spurge is just going to germinate during the summer.  Our Bed Weed-Control Program, with special pre-emergents applied in early spring, will actually control spurge better than our lawn pre-emergent, Barricade.  So with this troublesome summer weed, one will have to go “old school” some and hand pick the weeds in most cases.

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Every year families across the country gather together to watch fireworks light up the night sky in honor of our nation’s birth. Oklahoma has an incredible fireworks selection throughout the state, complimented by fun family festivities to enjoy before the show. LawnAmerica has picked out some of the best places to go and celebrate Independence Day!

 

Folds of Honor FreedomFest

When: July 4, 2017

Where: Veterans Park, River West Festival Park and along the Arkansas River

One of the largest firework displays in the U.S. takes place in the center of the Arkansas River. There will be activities for both the kids and the parents at Folds of Honor FreedomFest. From the Kids’ Zone inflatables and games to a precision display reminiscent of the early battles of the American Revolution 241 years ago!

 

Rockets Over Rhema

When: July 2, 2017

Where: Rhema Bible Church – Broken Arrow, OK

Don’t miss out on the event that more than 50,000+ people attend each year at Rockets over Rhema. On July 2nd enjoy food trucks, live music, car shows, and other activities for the whole family. Grab your blankets, lawn chairs and watch one of the largest firework displays in the area.

 

11th Annual Bloomfest

When: July 4, 2017

Where: Los Cabos – Jenks, OK

Looking for the one of the largest firework display in Tulsa county? The 11th annual Bloomfest is for you! Live performances from Weston Horn and Squad Live start at 2PM, along with mariachis! Fireworks begin at 9:45PM and will be launched at Jenks bridge.

 

10th Annual Stars-N-Stripes

When: July 4, 2017

Where: Los Cabos – Broken Arrow, OK

Get the family together and head to Broken Arrow’s only 4th of July fireworks extravaganza! Starting at 5PM, enjoy live music from Local Spin Trio, balloon artists, and of course fireworks that light up the Broken Arrow sky!

 

Grand Lake Fireworks 2017

When: July 1, 2017

Where: Disney, OK

This 6th annual celebration is known as one of the most accessible fireworks show and wouldn’t happen without contributions throughout the community. Starting at 9:30PM, watch fireworks blast off on the water between the Spillways in Disney.

 

Gather the family and celebrate our independence!

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The news has been buzzing about the decline of our bee populations, and the dramatic consequences their loss could have globally. According to pollinator.org, an estimated 1/3 of all foods and beverages are made possible by pollinators which is nearly $20 billion worth of products annually.

Without bees, the produce section would be a lot smaller but did you know that you can help protect the pollinators by creating a pollinator-friendly habitat? LawnAmerica wants to spread the word and share two of the easiest ways to make your space more pollinator friendly.

 

Plant a Pollinator Friendly Space

Choosing an assortment of plants with overlapping bloom periods will provide food for pollinators throughout the season. Here is a list of some native shrubs, trees that bees and other pollinators LOVE:

Flowers –

Early Bloom:  Antelope Horns Milkweed, Cream Wild Indigo, Prairie Penstemon, Prairie Spiderwort, and Scarlet Globemallow.

Mid Bloom: Blanketflower, Lemon Beebalm, Mexican Hat, Narrowleaf Coneflower, Narrowleaf Mountain Mint, Purple Poppy Mallow, and White Prairie Clover.

Mid-Late: Baldwin’s Ironweed, Dotted Blazing Star, Leavensworth’s Eryngo, and Wholeleaf Rosinweed.

Late Bloom: Aromatic Aster, Azure Blue Sage, Giant Goldenrod, Maximilian Sunflower, and Showy Goldenrod.

 

Shrubs and Trees –

Early: Chicasaw Plum

Mid: False Indigo bush

Mid-Late: Buttonbush

You can find more about these plants at here.

 

Create a Hydration Station:

Don’t forget, like us, bees and other pollinators need water. A single bee visits at least 2,000 flowers daily so as you might expect, bees need lots of water to keep going. During hot summer days, bees will use the water throughout the day to cool down their hive, dissolve crystallized honey, and hydrate after a busy day.

You can help bees stay cool and hydrated by taking a plastic bowl and filling it with water and glass marbles or even rocks. The marbles provide the bees a nice place to land while hydrating.

You can find instructions to build a hydration station here.

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With ample early rainfall and summer temperatures here, it’s a great time to aerate a bermudagrass or zoysiagrass lawn in Oklahoma. The root system on these warm season grasses is very active during the warmth of summer, so roots will absorb oxygen from the soil efficiently and new turf roots will grow into the new holes in the soil created by the aeration equipment. Our service will remove thousands of small soil plug about 3.4” wide by 2” deep, and deposit them on the surface.

These plugs are produced by an aerator machine, which allows water and fertilizer to penetrate deeper into the soil. The soil plugs that are left behind break down naturally and disappear back into the lawn after a few rainfalls. The soil microbes that the cores contain will break down thatch, so make sure you don’t rake them up as it’s another benefit of lawn aeration.

Aeration provides several great benefits to the health of your turf:

  • Lessens soil compaction and allows better absorption of oxygen by the root system
  • Promotes the growth of a denser root system
  • Allows water to more easily penetrate into the soil preventing runoff
  • Deposits fresh soil micro-organisms on top of the turf aiding in the decomposition of thatch

Many golf courses aerate their fairways at least once annually. While this may not fit into the budget of some homeowners, we’d recommend at least every two or three years to aerate your lawn. At LawnAmerica, we provide this service from June through September. Cool season turf, such as Fescue is best aerated in fall, in conjunction with fall fescue seeding. In this case, we go over the lawn twice with the aeration equipment, which with all the loose soil provided, really helps with seed germination.

Contact LawnAmerica to get your summer aeration scheduled.