Lawns grow best with regular moisture in the top six inches of the soil.
However, lawns are also very adaptable to dealing with dry spells. Cool-season grasses, for example, can go brown and dormant for a month or more in a hot summer, then green up when rain returns.
Use sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems to give lawns about one inch of water per week, split equally over three times a week. That should maintain consistent green growth all season.
Skip watering when rain does the deed for you, and scale back during cool, cloudy spells.
If your lawn goes completely brown in a dry spell and stays that way for a month, apply a 1/4 inch of water per week. That is adequate enough to keep the crowns from dying but not enough to trigger growth.
Read more on ways to reduce water use in the lawn
Bugs & Lawn Diseases
Chinch bugs, sod webworms, billbugs, and armyworms are common bugs that can damage lawns, while rust, brown patch, red thread, and dollar spot are among the most common lawn diseases.
Fortunately, most bug and disease troubles are cosmetic and temporary, and lawns often bounce back and recover when weather conditions improve or when you correct underlying problems, such as lack of nutrition.
Monitor regularly for early signs of trouble, determine exactly what’s causing the problem, then treat ASAP and accordingly with a product labeled for the diagnosed cause.
County Extension offices can help with diagnosing lawn problems, and GreenView Annual Plan members also have access to a staff agronomist.
Read more on lawn bugs and diseases
Grubs are fat, white, curled, worm-like creatures that are the underground larval stage of beetles. They’re one of the most damaging lawn bugs because they can kill large patches of grass by eating the roots out from under it, primarily from late summer into early fall.
If your grub tolerance is zero, prevent them by using a lawn spreader to apply a granular grub preventer each year.
Products with chlorantraniliprole are best applied in May. Ones with imidacloprid are best applied in June. If damage occurs anyway, apply a grub-killer in late summer or early fall (usually ones with trichlorfon or carbaryl).
It’s worth noting that grubs aren’t equally bad every year. Take your chances and skip preventers, figuring on reseeding killed lawn patches in years when they do damage or applying a grub-killer if you notice unacceptable dying patches in late summer.
An organic alternative is applying microscopic grub-killing organisms called nematodes in late August or early September each year. And some multi-year control is possible by applying milky spore disease powder, which is a bacterium that infects Japanese beetle grubs without harming people, pets, or other insects.
Read more on controlling grubs
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