Category Archives: Aeration

Does your turf have Snow Mold?

It’s no secret that we had record setting amounts of snow this winter in the Treasure Valley. We’ve seen many lingering winter stresses on lawns throughout the Treasure Valley, the largest and most obvious is Snow Mold.

So what is Snow  Mold?


Snow Mold is a fungi that attacks turf under snow or in cool, wet weather.

There are two different types of snow mold that affect grasses. Pink snow mold and grey snow mold, and the symptoms for both diseases look very similar.

Symptoms first appear in the lawn as circular, straw colored patches when snow melts in the spring.  These patches continue to enlarge as the grass remains cold and wet. Grass within the patch often has a matted appearance and colored fungal growth.

Historically, we haven’t had extreme enough winters here in the Treasure Valley to create this issue.  In the last month, since all the snow has FINALLY melted, we’ve identified Snow Mold in 95% of all of the lawns we maintain.

How Can I Fix It?

This disease can be managed by cultural practices and proper turf health care.

  • Fungicide can be applied in speed turf recovery
  • Overseeding of turf will speed turf recovery
  • Apply fertilizer to promote new turf growth
  • Mow lawn in the fall after dormancy
  • Aerate each season to prevent thatch build up
  • Maintain balanced soil fertility and a low soil PH
  • Avoid placing large snow drifts or piles directly on turf
  • Spread out snow to help prevent snow mold from growing
  • Lightly rake any matted areas of turf

Summer Lawns provides high quality Lawn and Tree Care to the entire Treasure Valley, and we can guarantee we can fix your Snow Mold!

Request a free analysis and quote on our website at www.summerlawnsinc.com or give us a call at 208-939-8469.

Spring Lawn Care Tips For The Treasure Valley

Check out these tips to ensure that you’ll have a healthy lawn this spring.

#1: Light Raking. Rake your lawn to protect from snow mold damage. Snow mold is a fungal disease that appears in spring after winter weather, although it is not always actually caused by snow damage. The first symptom of snow mold is straw colored patches in your lawn that are anywhere between 3-10 inches in diameter. This needs lightly raked as soon as possible. Raking will break up the matted areas to allow the turf to breathe and discourages fungal development. Snow mold typically will go away on its own, but there is a chance that patches of your lawn could die off and seeding would be necessary.

#2: Spring Aeration. A spring aeration is the easiest and most important part of maintaining a healthy, beautiful, green Treasure Valley lawn. This simple step needs done on a annual basis. During the spring, aeration promotes healthy root growth, which can withstand hot temperatures and drought conditions. Aeration also helps control thatch, improves soil structure, creates growth pockets for new roots, and maximizes water and nutrient absorption.

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3#: Fertilization. Apply fertilizer in the early spring to promote spring green-up, root development and help recover from winter stresses.

Summer Lawns provides high quality Lawn and Tree Care to the entire Treasure Valley. Request a free analysis and quote on our website at www.summerlawnsinc.com or give us a call at 208-939-8469.

Fall is a great time for a turf aeration!

Annually aerating your turf is one of the best things you can do for your lawn. Our lawns struggle from soil compaction and a thick thatch layer. An aeration will will resolve compaction issues and allow the soil access to air, water and nutrients.

aerationbenefits
Thatch is a brown, spongy, organic layer of living and dead roots and stems that accumulate above the soil surface. Typically thatch build up begins when the turf produces organic debris faster than it can be broken down. Other factors that contribute to thatch build up can be grass clippings, improper fertilization and Mother Nature. This prevents water and nutrients from getting below the soil surface and becomes a breeding place for both insects and disease. What is considered excessive thatch? Thatch layers over 1/2 inch thick is considered excessive.

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Soil compaction is a common problem in turf quality. Compaction can be caused by heavy traffic and other factors. Compaction causes reduced oxygen levels and root systems become shallow. Compacted soil does not allow grass roots access to needed water and nutrients.

Overseeding those bare or thin areas after aerating is a great idea. An aeration will also loosen the soil to help seed germination.

Request a free analysis and quote on our website at www.summerlawnsinc.com or give us a call at 208-939-8469.

Drought Stress & Proper Watering

The hotter than usual summer weather in the Treasure Valley has caused major stresses to our lawns. These hot temperatures shattered the current record of consecutive days over 100 degrees measured at the Boise Airport. It was also the hottest June ever in Boise.

This hot weather without proper watering will turn a green lawn into a crispy brown lawn in no time. Like any plant, turf will react to the high temperatures and lack of water with browning, wilting and even possibly death.

If your turf is turning brown here are some things to look for:

  1. Lightly pull up the grass. If it pulls up easily from the soil and is not properly rooted, it’s likely brown from drought stress
  2. Push a soil probe or screw driver into the brown and green areas of turf. If the probe goes into the soil easily in green areas and will not penetrate into brown areas, the soil is dry.
  3. Stand back and look over the entire lawn. When you suspect drought, brown spots appear randomly and in rough patterns. Turf near a sprinkler head may be green, while turf away from the head is brown. This would lead you to assume poor sprinkler coverage or a broken/plugged nozzle.
  4. Other signs of drought stress are footprints on grass after its walked on, a grayish casting or darker color and even wilting of grass blades.

During hot, dry conditions lawns can go into summer dormancy without proper watering.

To achieve the best lawn possible, proper watering techniques are a necessity throughout the year. Lawns have a minimum water requirement and any quantity less than the minimum amount, limits the vigor and health of the grass. Obviously during high temperatures, the water necessity increases dramatically for turf. An aeration will also increase water penetration, mitigate soil compaction, rapid runoff, and will promote deeper rooting, all of which will help use water more efficiently.

sprinklerAmount of Water: For best results, your turf needs to receive 1.5″ of water, each time your sprinklers run. If your turf receives 1.5″ of water each watering cycle, that will moisten the soil to a depth of 5 to 7 inches. Making sure your water reaches a depth of 5 to 7 inches encourages deeper roots, and better turf vigor. When temperatures are above 90 degrees, a pop up sprinkler zone should run 30 to 45 minutes, and in temperatures around 75 degrees, the same pop up sprinkler zone should run for 15 to 20 minutes.

Frequency: Depending on soil and weather conditions, your lawn should be watered 1 to 3 times per week during the spring and fall, and when temperatures are above 90 degrees, your lawn needs to be watered 4 to 5 days per week. Depending on the capabilities of your sprinkler system your lawn may need to be watered 6 to 7 days per week during hot weather, if you do not have head to head sprinkler coverage.

Best times to water: The most effective watering time is during the early morning hours. This conserves water that would evaporate if you were to water later in the day, but also allows your turf to dry before evening. Turf that remains wet for long periods of time is more susceptible to disease development.

 

 

Are You Suffocating Your Turf?

Annually aerating your turf is one of the best things you can do for your lawn.  Our lawns struggle from soil compaction and a thick thatch layer.  An aeration will alleviate compaction issues and allow the soil access to air, water and nutrients.

aerationbenefits

Thatch is a brown, spongy, organic layer of dead roots and stems that accumulate above the soil surface.  Typically thatch build up begins when the turf produces organic debris faster than it can be broken down.  Other factors that contribute to thatch build up can be grass clippings, improper fertilization and Mother Nature.  This prevents water and nutrients from getting below the soil surface and becomes a breeding ground for both insects and disease.  Thatch layers over 1/2″ thick is considered excessive.

Soil compaction is a common problem in turf quality.  Compaction can be caused by heavy traffic, animals, and other factors with repetitive motions.  Compaction causes reduced oxygen levels and root systems become shallow.  Compacted soil does not allow grass roots access to needed water and nutrients.

If you have bare or thin areas in turf, over-seeding those areas at the same time as an aeration, will help to increase seed germination, and the effectiveness of over-seeding.

If you don’t want the hassle of aerating your own lawn, you can request a quote on our website at www.summerlawnsinc.com or give us a call at 208-939-8469, we’d love to help you out!

The Affects of Winter Foot Traffic and Dead Leaves

The effect of foot traffic on your lawn during winter months can be detrimental to the health of your turf.  Constant traffic can cause dead turf areas, and will require sodding, or an aeration and overseeding in the spring.

If you have any leaves or debris that have been sitting on your lawn all winter, cleaning up that debris will allow nutrients and sunlight to reach the soil and roots. Trust us, your lawn will appreciate the good head start to spring.

Summer Lawns can help you aerate and overseed the turf to assist getting nutrients to the roots of your turf.  Let us help put your lawn on the fast track to a green & healthy spring.