Thursday, July 26, 2018

Summer 2018 has left its tracks on lawns

The summer lawn season of 2018 has literally left many tracks across the lawns in Northern Lake County.    As we had numerous rain days and service delays in June, July started off with a bang.  We then witnessed and are still investigating a heat tracking event that occurred July 13.

 Beautiful Lake Villa lawn watered in summer

 The difference between watering regularly adn not watering- notice the heat stress on right

Warmer temperatures hit around the holiday week and have continued along with minimal rain for the rest of the month.  This has left a lot of lawns turning brown form heat and moisture (lack of) stress.  Once again this year the heat tracking phenomenon has hit the area hard.  On Friday July 13 many instances of heat tracking occurred across the area.  As I have posted heat tracking in previous year’s blogs, this year the damage was even worse.  Since the event took place on Friday July 13, most of the damage was done by lawn mowers as many lawn care service providers mow on Friday afternoon in a dry week.  Therefore most of the damage occurred from both commercial and residential lawn mowers that mowed in the afternoon that eerie Friday the 13th.

Heat tracking on Lake Villa lawns by lawnmowers


 More heat tracking from lawn mowers in Lake Villa

As previously posted in years past, heat tracking on lawns appears as a fertilizer or herbicide burn from tires across the lawn.  The damage occurs from heavy compaction on the lawn leaf tissue at the peak heat of the early afternoon on heat stressed lawns that are at a wilting point.  Some other common traits that we saw this year was that occurred on mostly bluegrass and fine fescue and heavy clay soils that get direct sun at midday.  Although this phenomenon is rare it has occurred each year the last 3 seasons as I have been writing this blog.  If your lawn is browning and showing signs of heat stress - bluish or purplish color, leaf tissue not bouncing back after foot traffic then we highly suggest minimizing any contact with the lawn during peak sun times of the day.  This would be between Noon and 3 P.M. on a very dry day with temperatures at or above 90 and no rain for 3-5 days in a row.  

We would highly suggest watering during the morning hours every other day for a good hour or two to help lower soil temps and prevent heat tracking on the lawn.  If you have any other questions about heat tracking on your lawn or think that this may have happened to your lawn on July 13 this season please contact the lawn professionals at Lawn Doctor of Antioch for a free evaluation.  

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