Many weather-related problems crop up in turfgrass during spring. Some lawns are affected by low temperatures, while others by rainfall. When new plantings of fescue get wilted and yellowed, they are likely not responding well to watering. Insufficient root system can also be the culprit in this case.
When it comes to over-watered lawn, the plants flourished during warm weather without establishing the lively root systems to sustain them in hot weather. Warmer temperatures are accountable for the wilting of the turf.
However, there may be other causes for poor root development. Inappropriate lawn watering is the most common one. The gardener can create an overly long and wet springtime by an excessive use of the lawn sprinkler.
Wet soil can inhibit root growth by having the air driven out of it. However, you cannot avoid hot weather with a lawn sprinkler and lawns with short roots will probably suffer when the weather gets too hot.
When you notice the first signs of drought stress, it is the perfect time to water the lawn. If you water your lawn at this time you will manage to avoid permanent damage to your lawn and, at the same time, encourage the development of a vigorous root system.
If you want to keep a shallow rooted turfgrass alive, you will want to water your lawn more frequently. A slow weaning from this will be difficult to manage, but it will be essential for developing a healthy lawn.
On the other hand, long-term overwatering can produce a weak and succulent lawn that will respond poorly to heat. A thatch layer will be created that may contain nearly all of the plants’ roots.
You must adapt your lawn care schedule to weather changes. During this transition, you must not set the automatic sprinkler system on the same schedule for the entire growing season, but rather change it to reflect the weather changes. Even old and established lawns can suffer when cool and wet weather suddenly changes into hot weather.
In order to help the lawn survive this sudden weather transition, you will need to apply light waterings more frequently. The biggest challenge is to recognize how often, and how much, is enough. The lawn should show some stress, but not extreme wilting between waterings.
During early summer, you should water your lawn once every week. Pay close attention to your lawn. It will often show noticeable stress symptoms in the heat during the day, only to recover during the night.
In case cool-season lawns have a long-lasting spring growth season, they might lose color resulting from nutrient deficiency. At this time, you may fertilize irrigated cool-season lawns using one pound of actual slow-release nitrogen per 1000 square feet. If using fast release nitrogen, you should lower the rate to 1/2 pound.
If you apply iron fertilizer, your lawn will get a quick, deep green color. Applying nitrogen fertilizer with iron added is also a good idea (iron for color and nitrogen to sustain it).
When the turf is dry, you should also apply granular fertilizers, watering lightly after application. Keep in mind that you will need to water a lawn more frequently, as well as mow it, after application of fertilizers.