Are Heat & Drought Stress Ruining Your Louisville Lawn?

It seems like it was just yesterday we put away the winter coats and boots. But here we are, in the middle of summer. And what happens to your Louisville lawn during the dog days of summer? Heat and drought stress. These common lawn conditions occur when the weather is consistently hot and overly dry, such as in July. Your lawn can have one or both at the same time. It’s important to understand what these lawn stressors are, how they are different, similar and what we can do to minimize their long-term impact. That’s why Farison Lawn Care has outlined for you all the information you need to know.thermometer showing high outdoor temperatures

What Is Heat Stress?

Heat stress is the term used for your turf grass’s response to repeated high temperatures. Here in Kentucky, we typically use cool-season grasses to create our lawns. This includes Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass, to name a few. As the air temperature exceeds 90 degrees, changes in the plant’s protein structure occur. When an excessive amount of heat touches your blades of grass for an extended period of time, denaturation occurs, destroying the protein structure. Once denaturation in the leaf tissue of the grass occurs, it is irreversible.

What Is Drought Stress?

Drought stress is your grass’s reaction to not receiving enough water. During the months of July and August, your lawn needs about one to two inches of water every week.  When it doesn’t receive enough water it will turn brown and become more prone to pest and disease infestations.

Signs That Your Grass Is Experiencing Drought or Heat Stress Include:

  • Patches of brown grass as the grass begins to wilt and die.
  • Weeds start popping up more frequently. Although this sounds odd, considering weeds need water to survive as well, these bothersome survivors can still thrive when your grass is unable to.
  • Curling grass blades. Each blade of grass is its own individual plant trying to survive, and when conditions get hot in the summer, they may start to wilt or curl.
  • Footprints are left behind in the grass after you walk on it.
  • Gaps between your sidewalk and grass.

Things You Can Do To Help Prevent Heat and Drought Stress

Irrigate Properly
When grass suffers from heat stress, it can open the door for pests and diseases to invade. Keeping your grass properly hydrated during this hot stretch of summer is essential to maintaining a beautiful yard. Encourage deeper rooting by spraying for at least 20 minutes every other night and spacing out the times you irrigate further apart. Watering longer times rather than for ten minutes every day will help encourage stronger roots. Allowing the soil to dry in between sprays encourages your grass to dig deeper into the ground to find water. ruler showing grass height

Raise Your Lawn Mower

A great trick to help your Louisville lawn retain water for a longer period of time is to let your grass grow a little longer. Taller grass provides more shade for the soil below and makes your lawn more drought resistant as a result. Letting your grass get thicker and taller also prevents new weeds from being able to germinate. And always stick to the one-third rule in mowing. Never mow more than one-third the height of the turf with one single mowing.
Proper Fertilization
Having strong roots prior to the heat and drought season will be key to ensuring your grass blades and roots can withstand this summer’s heat. If you have strong, healthy grass, to begin with, you will have a much better chance at resisting disease and infestations of lawn insects. Fertilizing your lawn with nitrogen-based fertilizers during hot weather will help promote the growth of green foliage over your roots and make your yard more tolerant of the heat.

Invest in a Lawn Care Program From the Professionals at Farison Lawn Care

Experiencing drought and heat stress on your lawn during July and August are common. How your grass handles these stress factors and the way it is impacted depends on how well you care for your lawn. Allow the trained and knowledgeable professionals at Farison Lawn Care to help. Our six-step lawn care program will give your grass the nourishment it desires, eliminate weeds and keep your roots and blades healthy and strong all summer long.

Contact us today to learn more or give us a call at 1-502-245-9422. Learn about all things dealing with lawn care by following our blog. Then check out our Facebook, Instagram, and our YouTube channel. Watch some of our latest projects unfold right before your eyes.