Turf grass in Northeast Ohio is going into summer dormancy. Recently we’ve had some hot, dry weather in Northeast Ohio and when it’s above 85 degrees, the turf grass protects itself by going into dormancy. These last couple weeks we’ve seen daytime temperatures reach up to 97 degrees with soil temperatures exceeding 90 degrees.
All herbicides are influenced by environmental conditions and most herbicide labels caution against treatment of lawns under extreme environmental conditions.
Summer Weed Control in Northeast Ohio
What’s important to understand is that weeds can thrive during drought and temperatures above 85 degrees temperatures. When it’s hot and dry, these extreme environmental conditions will stress your lawn. Mowing your lawn too short (which we see a lot), also contributes to the stress of the lawn and can actually burn your healthy lawn which will create patches which will encourage weed growth and crabgrass.
Watering your lawn during the hottest part of the day when the sun is beaming down could also cause stress to your healthy turf because the water on your grass blades amplifies the effects of the sun. Watering too much or at the improper time may encourage lawn fungus in your turf. We highly recommend watering early morning if possible 2-3 times per week depending on your soil type and sun exposure. Long deep watering encourages deeper roots and stays in the soil longer. This is more beneficial than light, frequent sprinklings which rarely reach the root zone of the lawns and usually bake off the soil and turf in a few hours.
Broadleaf weeds will most likely not be a problem when your turf grass is established, fertilized, properly mowed, and watered. However, tightly mowed grass, short grass, thin grass, weak grass is where weeds will invade and that’s what we’re seeing. Use caution when trimming the edges of your lawn by buzzing it down to the crown of the turf. This creates the perfect environment for crabgrass and weeds to fill in these hot bare edges.
During a drought when the lawns are stressed, weeds will develop a thicker wax-like layer on the leaf surface which keeps moisture in and creates a barrier for weed control absorption, making them resistant to many herbicides. When the weed control isn’t penetrating the wax-like barrier and it’s extremely hot during the day, whatever herbicide penetrates into the plant will be reduced due to a slower rate of metabolism. Application of weed control under these extreme conditions will often result in a decrease of it’s effectiveness. This is why we only spot treat weeds as needed under these drought conditions.
The Best Time for Weed Control
The optimum time for us to apply weed control to your lawn is when the weeds are actively growing and the soil temperatures are cool with good moisture. This makes the Fall months of September/October a prime time for fantastic weed control. This is the time when the weeds are storing up energy to overwinter and thrive in the spring. A good application of weed control in the fall can prevent almost all dandelion infestations in the spring. Don’t let your lawn be the dreaded sea of yellow in the spring.
Your weed control will be most effective between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature gets above 85 degrees, your healthy lawn will experience stress from the heat and the weeds that are present will become resistant to our applications.
Don’t Mow Your Lawn Too Short
Many of us that understand lawn care as a science, have not mowed our lawns for nearly two weeks. The grass isn’t growing fast and it doesn’t look as neat and tidy as a freshly mowed lawn. However it’s green, healthy and weed-free. Compare our lawn with our neighbors that mow the lawn too short, their lawn is burnt out, stressed and encouraging weed growth. Mowing too short or tight also causes the soil to dry out much quicker. Sharp mower blades are also a trade secret to a greener healthier lawn. A good sharp, clean cut seals better and reduces moisture loss and opportunistic turf diseases.
There’s a time for mowing the lawn short and tight but that’s on the golf greens not your home turf and not during a drought.
It’s never too late to start your weed control services. We offer weed control services in Medina, Akron, Brunswick, Green, Bath, Stow, Cuyahoga Falls, Norton, Wadsworth, and the surrounding Northeast Ohio communities. Just click our phone number to give us a call and we’ll get you started toward a weed-free lawn. Call 330-861-5035 or fill out our FREE Quote form.