Rain Can Bring A Down Side To Lawn Care

By Allyn Paul, filed under Lawn Tips.

Here in the Midwest, this has been a very strange spring and early summer. Normally by now, I see lawns starting to go dull and dormant from lack or water coupled with heat related stress. In addition, lawns are stressed due to insect and fungus pressures. But this year has been different.

What I have seen this year are temperatures that are jumping from the mid 90s, back to the low 80s and then back again into the 90s. This would probably be fine in most years outside of the fact that right now we are getting heavy rain storms about every second or third day. That throws in the monkey wrench! Here’s why:

Ideally, we want the turf to get one inch of water per week and we want that water to come in the form of two soakings. I tell you guys this when I talk about lawn watering with sprinklers. Mother Nature, however, won’t listen to my advice, and just does her own thing most of the time!

The super heavy rain we are getting is not really a good thing, because that water comes so fast and so hard, that most of it runs off and doesn’t soak in. In addition, the rain comes in the evenings with the heat, and fungus is going nuts in lawns right now.

What’s worse is the run off is creating standing water in some parts of lawns, and standing, hot water rots turf roots. It really is a tough situation.

The final problem with all the rain is that you guys (and me too) are not able to mow our lawns due to the rain and standing water. This means when we actually do get out to mow, it has been too long and the grass is stressed.

What Can We Do?

I definitely recommend you keep mowing tall and keep the lawn fertilized properly. A good balance of nitrogen and potassium will help your lawn muddle through these heavy, hot rains.

You also may want to look at a mid-summer lawn aeration too. This is not something we normally do, but if your ground is soft enough, it will help.


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