It's hot out, so it's time to stop fertilizing with nitrogen, while it's time to start applying fungicide to prevent brown patch.
💦 How to Care for Lawns in the Heat
Cool season grasses, like Tall Fescue, do not enjoy the hot summers. Rather, they thrive in cooler temperatures. They need extra attention, like extra water, to help them through the summer.
Armed with the tips in the link below, we encourage you to become a student of your lawn and learn the way of the sprinkler.
- 🚫 Don't fertilize with high nitrogen until the autumn! Because your Tall Fescue lawn will have slow growth during the warm months ahead, it does not need any nitrogen. Seriously, high nitrogen is a waste of money at this time and it will augment problems such as brown patch.
👍 Real World Example: Stop using 16-4-8 fertilizers when it's hot. The 16 represents the amount of nitrogen. It's okay to use a low nitrogen fertilizer such as 5-10-30 if you can't resist fertilizing. We know you love to apply products, so want to take another chance to steer you toward applying fungicide instead of any fertilizer through summer.
- Review the fertilizing schedule in our Tall Fescue Maintenance Guide.
- Sign up for Lawn Coach and we'll automatically mail you all the right fertilizers when you need them (including the fungicide when you select the Champ package).
- Even though it's not a good time to fertilize with nitrogen, it's still okay to apply fast-acting lime if you need to neutralize the pH of your soil. Always take a soil test to confirm if you need to apply lime or fertilizer. Balanced soil pH is critical for your grass to be able to use the nutrients supplied by your fertilizer.
- The window for pre-emergent herbicide has closed and we're now in the season of post-emergent herbicide in Tall Fescue lawns: You can apply post-emergent liquid herbicides like Quincept and 3-Way Max for weeds you can see now in established Tall Fescue lawns. Read the label and follow instructions.
👍 Rule of Thumb: It's okay to apply a post-emergent liquid herbicide labeled for Tall Fescue lawns (Quincept and 3-Way Max) after you've mowed a new lawn 3 to 4 times.
- Pulling by Hand: When you see a few weeds, just pull them up. Sometimes a hand trowel is helpful to get them up by their roots.
- Mowing: Mow those weeds down before they go to seed. Most winter weeds are going to seed & summer weeds are sprouting so get out there with your mower today! Mowing is an effective way to suppress weeds because it cuts off flower/seed heads and that stops weeds from making more weeds, thus breaking the life cycle. If you have bad weeds, mow on a weekly routine and don't let the weeds get ahead of you.
- Mulch suppresses weed seeds in flower beds. Spread your favorite mulch 2-4" thick and keep it 1-2" away from touching the trunks or stems of your plants.
- Creeping Charlie will creep from your flower beds and take over your lawn. Read up on this common garden plant that readily becomes a lawn weed: May Weed of the Month: Creeping Charlie
Creeping Charlie is a pretty groundcover for shade - and it will form a dense patch in shady, moist lawns too!
- Mowing Height: If you cut it at 2.5-3" high over winter and spring, it's time to raise it to 3.5 to 4" for the warm months ahead.
- Mowing Frequency: During spring you were probably mowing on a once-a-week frequency (we recommend every 5 to 7 days when Tall Fescue is actively growing). During the hot days of summer, your Tall Fescue lawn will slow down, so you'll probably need to mow less frequently. You can keep on a weekly schedule to keep down any weed pressure you may experience, even though you may be mowing off very little of the Tall Fescue leaves.
🌳 How to Lay Sod Around Trees
A question we often get is, "How close to the trees can we plant grass?" The answer is complicated and technical, so we break it down in our article on How to Lay Sod Around Trees.
Laying Sod & Planting Seed
We have that blog post about laying sod around trees . . . even so, the window has closed for planting Tall Fescue seed (and sod in zones 7 and warmer). To successfully plant Tall Fescue in warm areas, wait 3-4 months until autumn.
Come back next month for July's Lawn Tips for Tall Fescue lawns!
For tips on what to do for Warm Season lawns such as Bermuda, Centipede, Zoysia, peruse this page: June Warm Season Lawn Tips.
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