Lawn Stressed? Join the club!

It seems like every call I get this month is in regards to yellowing and patchy lawns. With good reason. This August was the wettest August for the state of Texas in 100 years, and even Austin broke records in rainfall. So? That should make everything grow wonderful and happy, right? Unfortunately, no. The rain came in massive waves after a few weeks of no rain and temperatures in the 100s. This created prime breeding ground for fungal diseases. Lawns already stressed from the heat are falling victim to all types of fungi. Especially St. Augustine lawns in areas that are in full sun or that did not get proper irrigation coverage during the dry periods.
So, what can be done to help your lawn recover?

  1. Spray lawn with a organic foliage fertilizer containing molasses and seaweed. A little fish emulsion is good too. This provides much needed micronutrients that the rains have likely leached away.
  2. Topdress the affected areas with about 1/4 inch of peatmoss to battle the fungus directly.
  3. Apply Actinovate to protect the healthy areas of lawn and starve out the evil fungi. This will require some patience and repeated applications. Follow the directions on the product.

Cooler and drier weather should help as well. If your lawn continues to have problems in the same area season after season then you may want to rethink having lawn in that area. Sometimes a few lovely perennials or ground covers are the best solution for a troublesome lawn. It all comes down to using the right plant in the right place. Plus, it can be fun to move things around in the landscape every so often. To me it is like rearranging furniture. The same stuff, but in a different place, sometimes just works better.