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2020 Drought

To Our Valued Customers,


CareFree would like to take a moment to reach out to all of our customers about their lawns and the conditions each are facing during the current conditions.


Drought

Starting around the end of May our region began to experience a severe drought. This means that your turf has been under extreme stress from high temperatures and a lack of moisture. As such, CareFree altered its program to match the conditions that your lawn was experiencing.


Recently, depending on where you live, some areas have had a little rain. Lawns are trying to recover, and we have begun to return those lawns back to the program we normally use as it has worked so well for our area in the past.


However, for many lawns the rain they have had is not nearly enough to make a difference on its own. The damage to these lawns from this extreme drought ranges from minimally damaged to heavily damaged depending on the care customers give in between our visits.


Lawns with damage will need your assistance to recover.

  • If your lawn has “Bent Grass” it will eventually recover.
  • Lawns with “Heavy Thatch”, with brown areas lying down, most likely will not recover and will require reseeding and watering. Now is the time to start getting it back in shape.
  • Not all areas of grass recover at the same rate. This is because most lawns have different varieties of grass and soil, each handling the drought differently.
  • Each plant is an individual plant and it will not all grow the same.
  • If your soil is compacted or has heavy thatch, this can kill the root system of your grass further affecting the deteriorating conditions of your lawn.

Your Lawn Technician can evaluate your lawn to determine the best course of action.


Weeds

The weeds that lawns are now experiencing are called Summer Annual Weeds (meaning they only come up in the summer). As it gets hot, if the lawn is thin (especially along the edges) the weeds will pop up and grow.


Crabgrass

Some lawns have a small amount of crabgrass which is a result of the crabgrass barrier breaking down. Barriers are breaking down due to the extreme heat and photo degradation is setting into these areas turning them brown (especially along the driveway) and crabgrass is filling in those areas.

 

What CareFree does for your lawn is only 25% of the process. The other 75% is up to the customer if they want to maintain a nice lawn. The best defense against any weeds or drought is a properly mowed, thick and hydrated lawn.


Mowing

Mowing too short and too often will spell disaster for your lawn. CareFree would like to recommend for future, when we go through extended dry periods:


1. Raise your mowing height, especially during dry conditions. Blades should be a minimum of 3 ½ inches (no lower) because the grass blade stores the moisture and food for the plant, and it helps protect your soil as well.

  • All lawns that were mowed at the recommended height (or higher) during the drought have recovered nicely and are looking good.
  • Lawns that were mowed too short have damage.

2. Mow less frequently. Lawns that are mowed too often during a drought period will be damaged further. Remember, the drought put the lawn under stress, every time you mow the lawn during stressful period, your lawn will experience additional damaging stress

Watering

Water your lawn deeply, just once a week. We recommend you water to around an inch into the root system. Do not water for short periods daily as it causes the roots of the plants to turn towards the surface and it stresses it out faster and can cause even more damage.


This fall is going to be a critical time to get these lawns to recover. If you do not have a fall treatment scheduled, please call the office. We know people have concerns about the mowing in the fall and the leaves, but it’s going to be more important to give the grass plants some food to stimulate root growth to help the lawns recover for the Spring.


Also, any lawn that was diagnosed with chinch bugs, we strongly recommend you add an insect application to your program for 2021. Please call the office.


Rest assured nothing has changed in the quality of service you have received. The only thing that has changed this year is the weather, which is out of our control.


Thank you,

Tom Daniels

Owner

To read more on the drought conditions we are facing,
check out WKTV News Channel 2 Meteorologists reports below.


MID-JULY DROUGHT UPDATE, reported 7/16/2020

RECORD BREAKING SUMMER WEATHER, reported 8/31/2020

LOW WATER LEVELS AT DELTA LAKE, reported 9/4/2020

Heading towards the end of September, the dry weather is continuing. Rainfall for September so far is 0.94" and this could make the list for the top 5 driest Septembers.
Source:
PUMPKIN SEASON COMES EARLY THANKS TO THE WEATHER, reported 9/21/2020