this is hot so if you are in Virginia or anywhere
near Virginia especially south of Virginia you know that it is getting
crazy hot all of a sudden this week it’s like the Summer Sun heard may was
approaching and it rang the dinner bell and brought all of its appetite for
scorching heat this week and I know grandmother ladies don’t sweat they
glisten but I’m sweating because I did not see this heat coming it was 70 last
week and now all of a sudden the 90s are not what I’m feeling the only thing that
hates sudden heat waves more than I do is probably going to be your fescue turf
if you recall from like half of her videos that we’ve done so far
fescue is a cool season turf unlike warm season turf grasses like Bermuda and
zoysia fescue hates the summer it doesn’t do well on the heat it does best
in the cool parts of spring and fall as you can see from this awesome chart that
I borrowed from Oregon State University the growth rate of fescue turf in
relation to temperatures is a very even bell curve where it doesn’t grow very
well when it’s too cold and it doesn’t grow really well when it’s too hot we
see only a quarter of the same rate of growth once it gets to be around 90
degrees so all of that crazy high growth that we saw that peak is right around 70
degrees Fahrenheit that crazy growth we’ve been seeing for the last few weeks
is gonna slow down pretty rapidly now that we’re getting these hot
temperatures especially if they end up being sustained over the course of the
next couple of weeks the good news about this heat now that we are getting into
the second half of summer is that your poet is going to die that’s the good
news poet absolutely hates the heat it is
officially too hot for it so if you have any pot annua or poet
Revie alice that we talked about in the video up there then you will see it
starting to turn pale shriveling up and dying off some of it might come back at
the end of the fall this year especially if it’s poetry because it likes to
regenerate itself but if you’ll remember the whole point is that early fall when
we over seed heavily with fescue and fill in those bare areas it’ll have less
room to grow in this is actually why fescue is the
season grass of choice for transition zone areas like Virginia as far as cool
season turf grasses go turf type tall fescue is very Hardy when it needs to
stand up to warm temperatures especially when they are only a pretty short
duration like we get in Virginia so since we are tending fescue up here
there’s a few things that I want you to know about how the heat affects your
fescue what to watch for and how you as a homeowner are going to be the biggest
asset to making sure it does well this summer
the fertilizer program that we’re putting down and even the seed that we
use when we do your fall seeding is going to be a big asset to making sure
that your fescue lawn is healthy through the summer and able to survive episodes
of drought and high heat waves at a much more consistent rate so that you see
less of a variability and kind of that rollercoaster up and down depending on
temperatures and rainfall as you know we’re really focused on soil amending
products as well as long-term nutritional correction of the soil to
make sure that the turf is able to self maintain and self-regulate basically
independent lawn situation where it can feed itself throughout the summer so
that you see fewer peaks and valleys but it’s not the full picture we can’t do
everything so that’s where we need your help as a homeowner in charge of your
fescue lawn between our visits this comes down to two things mowing and
watering I know for their own reasons neither of those is the most popular
thing that you have to do in your yard but they make a huge difference when
they’re done correctly to make sure that your fescue has the best chance at
surviving and staying green and healthy throughout the summer especially
June July in August where mowing is concerned this is one of those times
where height really does matter we’re not just telling you to mow on the
highest setting for aesthetic reasons even though yes for fescue it does look
better but also because it’s better for the health of the plant the taller that
your fescue grass is the better it is able to shade its roots and keep a
healthy root system throughout the summer this shading of the surface layer
of the soil also holds in moisture a little bit longer which is going to be a
key as we’ll explain in a second with your watering schedule the ideal height
during this is around four to four and a half inches
any higher and you might start to risk the fescue lying over especially if it’s
starting to wilt a little bit because of the heat so it’s just something that you
have to play a little bit by ear and customize with your lawn remember when
we talk about the highest setting on your mower having it on knotch five
isn’t going to necessarily mean five inches those notches do not always
coincide with an inch measurement so it’s a really good idea to get out the
good old-fashioned ruler and measure the height of your deck and where those
blades sit compared with the ground so that you know exactly what your mowing
at some residential mowers their highest setting is three and a half inches and
this isn’t terrible but it’s not ideal so you really want to know what you’re
working with so you can have a more educated understanding of the impact you
can have on your grass a side benefits of mowing tall if you are battling weeds
or Bermuda grass that’s mixed in with your fescue is that most weeds and
especially Bermuda grass do not like shade they don’t like it they don’t want
it that’s not what they exist for so having your fescue tall shades other
grasses like your Bermuda or other various weeds and reduces the risk of
them out competing your fescue and possibly smothering it out especially if
we get any periods of drought and remember be consistent with your mowing
now that it’s slowing down it’s gonna be easier to be able to mulch those grass
clippings if you’re still mowing on a weekly schedule and not leave any chunks
behind remember a little bit of thatch is a good thing it helps with insulating
those roots in that soil layer but mowing and consistently or too
infrequently ends up really stressing out your grass if you’re taking more
than a third of the blade of grass off at once so if your grass is getting up
to six inches tall that’s when you want to mow it down to no lower than four
inches without risking taking too much off at once so consistency is key height
is key that’s gonna be a big part of making sure your lawn is successful over
the next few months now this is where watering comes into play
and the situation on watering just like with mowing is unique for each lawn
depending on its history needs and layout next Tuesday our video that we’re
going to be putting out is going to be all about watering I’m gonna go into a
ton of detail on how to you’re inground or your above-ground
irrigation system how much water fescue needs how to measure how much water
you’re putting out in your lawn how to make sure your coverage is even all the
good stuff that you really need to know to be able to maximise on that success
most years we recommend pushing your fescue until Mother’s Day as much as
possible before turning your irrigation system on and starting to water it so
that you’re training those roots to drive deep and that’s the important
thing but we’re already seeing in multiple properties what looks like heat
stressed and thirsty grass where it’s starting to pale a little bit in color
looks a little brittle almost that kind of brown or even purple color and that’s
the sign of heat stress that we’re worried about and needs to be intervened
with before it starts to shut down and really stress and thin out too early in
the year one of the things that makes turf type tall fescue unique in the cool
season grasses that we normally see in ornamental lawns is its ability to
develop a really deep intricate root system fescue has the ability to drive
roots two to three feet deep into the soil but most lawns end up don’t
achieving that early because they have debris or a shallow rock bed too close
to the service that prevents those roots from going that deep or because they are
being watered and properly watering the wrong way can have a disastrous effect
on your fescue and can actually do more harm than good
when we talk about watering the wrong way we normally mean watering too
frequently too heavily to not heavily it can all be an issue and that’s why it’s
really important to know exactly what you’re doing fescue likes one inch to
one and a half inches of water per week on top of standard rainfall last year in
2018 was not standard rainfall it was insane we got drowned most people didn’t
have to water their grass except for a few weeks that’s not how this year is
shaping up we’re not seeing that crazy rainfall yet knock on wood so it’s a
good idea to go ahead and get your irrigation system ready to go as soon as
you start to see a change in color or a brittleness to your fescue like I said
I’m going to go into a lot more detail about proper watering in the video on
Tuesday of next week so please stay tuned subscribe and get notifications
ring that bell if you haven’t already to make sure
you stay up to date on that video it’s something that a lot of our clients new
and old have been asking me about in the last few weeks so I want to make sure
that you guys know exactly what you need to make sure that your watering system
is primed and ready to run on time to maximize on that fescue success
aside from mowing and watering correctly the big thing that you can be doing this
time of year as well is to monitor your lawn for any signs of disease or other
kinds of trouble associated with the summer this time of the year is when we
start to see signs of fungus or grub issues if they are going to develop so
little early for grubs but we’re already seeing several yards that have developed
a little bit of a red thread problem if you remember from our fungus video red
thread is just cosmetic so it’s not anything to be alarmed about but it does
end up putting fungus on our radar in general because we know that signs of
brown patch are gonna be soon to follow and any properties that are at risk of
them brown patch grubs and nut sedge are all summer issues that you may or may
not end up seeing in your yard but it’s important to know what to watch for so
be sure to check out that three-part video series that we publish at the end
of April if you haven’t already so that you know exactly what you as a homeowner
should be watching for in between our visits so I talked about watering mowing
diseases I think that’s it I think that’s it but if there’s anything that
you have questions about when it comes to your fescue or any other kind of lawn
in regard to summer temperatures or anything else be sure to give me a shout
so I can make sure that you guys are covered and set up for success this is a
great time of the year when we see lawns generally looking amazing and I know
that’s the case for most of our clients if your lawn doesn’t look amazing yet
then talk to me about it so we can figure out why you know maybe it’s just
not been enough time we signed you up yesterday and I know you want that in
something just doesn’t happen like that or maybe
it has been a while but you’ve got really terrible soil or not fungus last
year whatever it is we want you to be happy and we want you to have success so
be sure to let me know if there’s anything I can help with I already said
it but I’m gonna say it again be sure to stay tuned for our video next Tuesday on
proper watering it’s gonna be all the details that you probably don’t already
know so that we can make sure again that you guys are covered I appreciate you
guys tuning in to talk with me about the crazy heat that we are having here like
I said I’m sweating but I hope your lawn is looking stellar and I’m really
excited to see the kind of success we get this summer stay tuned we’ll talk to
you soon and have a picture-perfect day you