Dealing with drought
Dealing with drought is one of the extremes of our region. We are either drowning in too much rain or thirsting for just a drop. Currently, we are in need of rain, so your lawn may be in a bit of distress.
With our recent extreme heat, you may notice your grass turning brown. Don’t get too concerned just yet, as most of our grass species can take three to four weeks of dormancy without dying.
Brown grass isn’t always dead grass
In a time of drought, our grasses take a break and go into dormancy. This just means your grass is stressed. If you don’t believe us, you can tell if your grass is dead or dormant by tugging on plants. If they pull out from the ground easily, they’re probably dead. If the roots hold fast when pulled, the plants are dormant. Brown grass is not the only sign of stressed-out grass, another sign is “footprinting”.
Footprinting is when you step on a parched lawn and your footprints don’t disappear right away. On a parched lawn, these are the areas that suffer first.
How does this happen?
Walking over the same areas of lawn compacts grass and soil. Compacted soil can’t absorb water.
Preventative measures to fight drought
- At the first sign of stress, begin watering!
- Your lawn needs about an inch of water or rain per week to thrive.
- If using a sprinkler, that means about 20 to 30 minutes/three times per week.
- Skip at least a day between waterings.
- Move sprinklers around to cover all areas of your yard.
- Water in the mornings, between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. Watering before the sun rises helps to keep evaporation to a minimum.
- Don’t mow the lawn too short or too often during times of drought.
- Stay off the lawn!
A little water and care will go a long way when dealing with drought in lawns.
Before you file this drought recovery plan away, remember all of the time, money, and effort you have put into your lawn and landscape. It is easier and cheaper to water your lawn now than to replace it when it’s too late.
You can always Ask Paul
We work year-round with our customers to protect their investments. Whether preventing and treating disease and invasive pests or nurturing with lawn fertilization and aeration we want your lawn to look the best it can!
At Lawn and Pest Solutions, our licensed lawn technicians can help you achieve your lawn goals and maintain them all year long. We serve the Memphis, Tennessee area as well as all over North Mississippi. You can contact our office any time of day or night.
Winter pruning is something that can keep your landscape healthy. Is winter pruning a good idea for shrubs and trees? Before you start clipping, remember that it is important to make sure you are pruning the right plants at the right time!
According to Mississippi State University Extension Agent, Gina Wills, you should prune a plant after its’ “feature has passed”. This just means that after the plant has flowered or the berries have faded. This calendar of pruning chores is very helpful for Southern homeowners.
Seven days, four seasons.
It’s an old joke, but it’s true. In the South you can go to breakfast in your flip-flops today and make snow cream for breakfast tomorrow. We have a “temperate” climate, which just means that our temperatures span greatly throughout the year. In temperate climates, plants go into dormancy.
Naptime for you, dormancy for your plants.
In the winter, our plants go into a state of dormancy. To many, it appears that everything is “dead”, but they are really all just resting for the winter. Like hibernation in animals, plants in dormancy are preparing their insides for freezing weather and lack of water and nutrients.
Prune evergreen shrubs in the winter while they are in dormancy.
Wait until your flowering shrubs or trees bloom, then you can prune them after their blooms fade.
If it’s time to prune your trees (once every three years), hire a professional tree trimmer.
Be sure to remove your clippings in the event that they have the disease or insect issues (don’t spread those around!)
There aren’t very many rules or tips for winter pruning, just follow the guides above, and when in doubt, look it up! If you are ever unsure, feel free to give us a call at Lawn and Pest Solutions. Our plant health expert can work with you on specific plants and treatments.
Our trained and licensed lawn technicians are always willing to listen to your concerns and advise you on ways to improve your landscape. Contact our office and let us schedule a visit! We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee areas with outstanding lawn and pest control.
The streets and lawns are covered in fall leaves and most people are dreading the answer to, “what do I do with the fall leaves in my lawn?” Probably because most of us already know the answer. You need to deal with the fall leaves in your lawn. You have options…
Mulch your leaves
Fall leaves are a great source of organic matter for your lawn. Ideally, you should mulch your leaves on a regular basis throughout the fall. Mowing your lawn with a mulching mower is a great way to get the most benefit from the leaves. A mulching mower chops up leaves that give your lawn air, water and nutrients over the winter and spring months. If you have been mulching your fall leaves, your lawn will thank you properly this spring.
What if my leaves are wet?
This isn’t going to be easy. If your leaves are wet, you need to rake them up. If you don’t, the wet leaves will smother the grass blades underneath. A covering of wet leaves will keep the sun from warming up your lawn this spring. The longer your lawn stays cold, the longer it takes to wake up (and to turn green).
My lawn sleeps?
Dormancy just means your lawn has gone to sleep. It does this in the cold winter months. You can tell a lawn is dormant when it turns brown, that because it is conserving water and nutrients. It isn’t dead, it’s dormant.
One more option…
You can use some of your fall leaves for flower bed coverage. A thin layer of leaf coverage is good for your flower bed. Leaves can act as a natural mulch and can protect your flower beds from weeds. Just be careful to not let those leaves get too thick.
Whatever you decide to do with your fall leaves, do it soon!
When you are still searching for answers about lawn care and services, know that we at Lawn and Pest Solutions are always here for you. We service the Memphis, TN, and North Mississippi areas with lawn care weed control services for homes and businesses. Our licensed technicians are available to consult with you about how we can best serve you.