*Photo Credit – weather.gov
It’s been one hot, rainy summer here in New Jersey, with some areas topping more than 75% of our average rainfall. According to Rutgers’ Center for Turfgrass Science at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, over the past month, over 12 inches of rain have fallen in several counties in Northern New Jersey. That’s almost triple the 30-year average of approximately 4 inches of rain for this period in a normal year!
Usually, summer rain is a welcome event in helping to keep lawns lush and green here in the Garden State, reducing or eliminating the need to water them ourselves, and in turn, saving us time and money. But this summer we’ve simply had too much of a “good” thing, and our cool-season turf grasses aren’t happy.
The rain has left soils highly saturated. Add to that our high humidity, and the result has been an extended period of grass blade wetness that’s been an invitation for disease and pest infestation. This has resulted in a thinning of desirable turfgrass, giving certain weeds an opportunity to take over. If you’ve noticed a recent uptake in the appearance of weeds in your lawn, you’re not alone.
For weeds that escaped pre-emergent control applications early in the season, the hot, wet weather has allowed them to flourish, making post-emergent controls challenging. Crabgrass and goosegrass, in particular, are very difficult to control once they’ve reached the 5-7 tiller (lateral root development) stage of growth. Additionally, weed control applications made early in the season have been compromised due to the torrential downpours we’ve experienced. Sandy soils, sloped terrains, high traffic areas and compacted soils were especially vulnerable and negatively impacted.
But all is not lost for your lawn! Here at Farmside Landscape & Design, we can assess your turf problems and create a plan to revitalize your lawn and get it back to an optimal state of health. Along with working on eradicating existing weeds, now is the best time for us to use fertilization and cultural practices that encourage the recovery of your cool-season grasses, giving them a competitive advantage against winter annual weeds and next year’s crabgrass. Call us today and get started on getting back the lawn you’ve loved!