2018 Weather…What a year to forget!!!
It was a cold and snowy. It was warm and rainy. And every once in a while, the weather would be sunny. This is how the weather for 2018 turned out so it seemed. January and February saw temperatures fluctuate from the 20’s through the upper 70’s. March was a lost cause with snow and ice along with more rain. The spring season was 3 weeks late getting started. As for April, May and most of June, these 3 months had normal temperatures with average to above average rainfall. July through the most of August was just the opposite. Hot and dry. The temperatures were in the 80-90’s for extended periods of time with well below average precipitation. Lawns were drying out and going dormant. From the end of August through the rest of the year featured more than our fair share of rain. In fact, with the exception of the hot and dry spell mentioned above, there were only a couple of weeks in which it did NOT rain. A total of 61.4” of rain fell, which is 20-24” above normal. Some areas had upwards of 70”.
Now, I mention this only because the weather has an extreme impact on how well lawns hold up and it also affects how well the products work that I apply to your lawn. There was an above average amount of crabgrass and weeds this year due to all of the rain. The products that I use to control crabgrass usually will last through August under “normal” conditions. To say this year was abnormal is an understatement. Breakthrough was occurring in late July and required a lot of additional products to help control it. Broadleaf and other grassy weeds were also running rampant. There were times when I showed up to do the next service and found myself asking the question…Were these lawns even treated the last time I was out? It was that bad. Let’s hope the weather is better next year.
The other problem was the lawns were not able to be cut on a consistent schedule which resulted in the grass being mowed when wet and tall. This created issues with grass clippings lying over the lawn in clumps if it wasn’t bagged. Other times I would see the lawns cut too short…a big, big no no!!!
Please understand that with the exception of the first couple of cuts in the spring to remove over-wintering debris and last couple of cuts in the late fall to remove debris prior to winter, the lawn should not be cut less than 3.5” during the growing season as issues with crabgrass, weeds and over-all appearance will occur. During the summer months, the cutting height should be at 4”. I cannot stress enough to cut at the heights that I recommend on the information that is left after each service. The results from my applications are severely affected and reduced by cutting to short.
Applications are also affected by “how” the lawn is cut. Too many times I see damage from the mowers turning to sharp and “turfing” the grass and tearing it up. This is from using big ride-on zero turn mowers. Then to compound the issue, they will use a string trimmer to cut areas where the big mower can’t get into and literally cut or scalp the grass to the ground. This encourages weeds to germinate along with damaging or killing the grass. Make sure if you have someone cutting your grass, that you inform them of this.
One last thing, if anything has changed on your part, whether it is a phone number, email address or if the lawn area has changed due to installing landscaping, hardscaping, pool, etc., please let me know. If you have a contractor cutting your lawn, it would help if I knew the day you are normally scheduled to be cut…Weather obviously plays a factor in this I know.
In closing, I want to thank you for allowing me to take care of your lawn in the past. It truly is appreciated. Here is hoping that 2019 is a more “normal” year…