Stressed Out Grass

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As I drive around the area, I notice that there are a lot of lawns that are turning gray and crispy. This isn’t inherently bad or good. It means the lawn has gone dormant during the summer. While that isn’t unheard of during the summer, it does mean the grass is really stressed. A good soaking rain or an irrigation cycle that delivers about 1 inch of water to the area will wake the lawn up and keep it growing for about a week or so.

Weeds in the lawn should also be going dormant without moisture to help them grow. The bad news is that when the lawn gets water the weeds also get water. The good news in this scenario is that if the weeds are actively growing again, they can be sprayed with a lawn weed control product and they should die pretty quickly.

If there are only a few weeds, the water in the soil should have loosened it up to make it a little easier to pull those few weeds. These deeper roots should help them to be less affected by the drought than plants with a shallower root system. This isn’t always the case. For example, I have a river birch tree in my yard that has been dropping leaves like it was the middle of the fall. There are also a few other plants that will also drop leaves in response to drought.

I mentioned spider mites in the introduction to this article. While they are usually knocked off the plants by the rain, this year I’ve noticed spider mites on my citrus tree and some of the other perennial plants in the garden. It’s not always necessary to spray with a pesticide to control them. Often a good hard spray with the water hose will knock enough of them off the leaves to reduce the damage and the webbing caused by this pest.