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How to Save Your Lawn & Trees From Heat and Drought Stress

lawnsavers images heat stressed drought lawnMany homeowners like you want to know how you can help your lawn and garden make it through intense heat when it is sweltering hot and humid out. Summer forecasted highs in the GTA typically get anywhere from 34 deg C (93 F) to 37 deg C (98 F). Then when you add in the humidity, we are well into the 40’s C (100-115 F)! This kind of heat is the equivalent of planting your lawn into a sauna and expecting it to survive.

Here are some quick tips and reminders on how to help your lawn and valuable trees, shrubs, and flowers deal with drought and heat conditions so that they make it through these difficult times.

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WATERING TIPS DURING HIGH HEAT DAYS


1. Recognize that all plants have different watering needs, turf needs on average 1.5″-2″ of water per week over one to two waterings.  Annual flowers may need daily watering, especially if newly planted or in elevated beds or pots that dry out more quickly.  Trees need at least one good soaking every 3-4 weeks using our slow drip method (below).
2. Water deeply and regularly using our guidelines:  high temperatures and wind can desiccate the ground very quickly so the soil will need replenishing. Shallow and frequent watering causes more harm than you think.  Sprinkler systems that go on every day for 10-15 minutes don’t create healthy plants and only create a false state of security.
3. Water in the morning or early evening:  to prevent water loss from evaporation.  If watering at night, you may encourage some leaf diseases and fungal issues.  These normally won’t kill plants and are more aesthetic.  Better to water at night than to never water at all.
4. Water the soil, not the leaves:  This helps reduce disease and leaf injury from sun scorch.
5. Get a hose-end timer!:  One of the main reasons people don’t get around to watering is that they don’t have the time to hang around and turn the hose off.  Well, these relatively inexpensive devices will turn off the water for you after a predetermined interval.  Budget about $25-$100 depending on manual vs. digital.water drip watering method hose lawnsavers
6. Dont forget your trees!: They need deep watering too.  Use our slow drip method; turn the hose on just enough to achieve a slow drip or trickle, place the hose at the base of the tree and go away for a while…  Have a cold drink and only move the hose after you see the water puddling up on the surface.  Depending on the size of the tree, you may have to move it around a few times, this method ensures the roots get a deep soaking.  Spruces are particularly vulnerable to drought stress and damage often shows up in later years.  A single medium to large tree can take 3-5 hours to do this right.
7. Thunderstorms are useless!:  Seriously, just because we get 3″ of rain in 10 minutes, doesn’t mean the soil absorbed any of it!  Check for yourself, grab a shovel and check a small spot after a storm, you’ll be lucky if the water soaked the top inch of soil.  The ground becomes so hard in the summer with the heat , that soil can become hydrophobic, and actually repel water, especially clay soils.  If this is the case, water in intervals until it starts to absorb (water for 15 minutes, wait 30 minutes, repeat). I recommend disregarding thunderstorms as a source of beneficial water entirely.

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MOWING TIPS DURING HIGH HEAT DAYS


The first rule is that if you follow the rules, mowing will be easier!

lawnsavers images cut lawn height high(2)1. Throw out your calendar: Grass can’t tell if it’s the weekend or not, it needs to be mowed when it needs to be mowed.  This depends on the season and the weather, no matter how important or busy you think you are, the lawn doesn’t care…humbling, I know!
2. 1/3rd rule:  Mow as often as necessary so that you are never removing more than one-third of the blade at each mowing.  The good news is, this prevents having to rake and bag clippings.  The lawn can easily absorb and decompose clippings of this size without causing excess thatch.  It will even add some nutrients back into the soil.
3. Mow high: No not literally, we are talking about turf-grass! Keep the lawn at 2 3/4- 3″ high, not because I said so, but because whoever you believe created grass, made it that way.  It needs to be at the height to achieve a healthy root system and give you the nice lush look you want.  Anything lower, reduces the ability to produce a proper root system and also cuts off the main leaves that give you the thick lush look, plus the leaves are the food storage- If you want the look of a golf green, then buy a $4000.00 greens mower, be prepared to water daily, install a $50,000 drainage system under your lawn, fertilize weekly, have plenty of fungicide on hand and plant bentgrass or annual bluegrass that were made to grow and be mowed that short!
4.  Bag clippings when weeds are in seed: The only time you really need to bag clippings is when the weeds are in flower (seeds come right after the flower), this helps to prevent the spread of weeds and is an important tenet of organic lawn care.
5.  Sharpen your blade: One of the most common problems we see with lawns is the “torn-look” of mowing with a dull blade.  Not only does this make the grass tips look brown, fuzzy, and ragged, it invites disease by increasing the surface area for pathogen entry.
6.  Change up your pattern: Mow in different directions to prevent rutting, compaction and pr0duces a more vibrant stand of grass.
7. DON’T MOW when the lawn is stressed: especially with heavy machinery and big tires that only further rip already weak and stressed blades. Take a break, the lawn probably hasn’t even grown that much (see throw out your calendar, 1/3 rule, etc.)

Contact LawnSavers For Help Dealing With Your Heat-Stressed Lawn

Call Lawnsavers when you are looking for the best lawn service company near you to help you deal with grass that has been heat-stressed. We’ll provide you with a free estimate for our lawn care services to help you take care of the issues that could be plaguing your yard. We also have many add-on lawn service features, such as custom over-seedingwhich will introduce your lawn to a much hardier variety of seeds. These are bred to withstand higher temperatures, need less water, and resist insects like chinch bug!

Contact us today if you have any lawn maintenance questions or to set up an initial assessment. 1-888-503-5296

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“Results after Year 1 with LawnSavers was nothing short of awesome! Apart from the excellent customer service (super nice people), my lawn loved the care these guys provided. I even got compliments from neighbours. They are definitely worth every penny. Happy to address any concerns that come up and really do go out of their way to treat their customers with respect. Look forward to seeing them back for Year 2 in a month or so!”

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  • Managing within ever-changing Covid Restrictions -Covid Update: (updated 01/01/22)

    Hi Everyone, 

    LawnSavers managed to persevere through this last pandemic year with the loyal partnership of our clients, and we are extremely grateful to our loyal customers.

    We are still able and authorized to service lawns and perform pest control services in all our GTA service areas as an essential service.

    Our office remains open in addition to some remote staff.   Please note with many people working from home, our service is experiencing a higher demand and volume of calls.
    We know how much everyone hates being left on hold, so please feel free to  leave us a message,  or email  greatservice@lawnsavers.com and we will get back to you in less than 24 hours.  (you can also text us at 905-707-9994)

        Please be patient with us, we will get back to you as fast as we can and do
    our very best to help you.

    You can also sign up for all services on our website by clicking here.

    2021 is now behind us.  Together with our customers, we face Covid-19 head-on as a community-minded local small family business and are extremely grateful to be able to survive and keep all of our loyal employees working hard with us through it all.

    2020-21 important turf and tree high (and low) lights:

      • Nine days of snow, ice and wintry weather in May 2020
        2021 was the driest April May and June in 51 years See Actual GTA daily weather records by clicking here.
      • One of the hottest driest summers on record in 2020 with long spells of grass-killing heat and drought. Read more here in our 2020 summary blog.
        2021 carried on this trend with only a few days of rain in July and August, with extreme dryness and heat.
      • A bumper crop of crabgrass that germinated in the perfect (rainless) storm. As expected, even more arrived this past summer in 2021!
      • Chinch Bug numbers in 2020 were record breaking and persisted through the dry heat they love, secretly killing lawns while dormant! We can help with Chinch bug damage  Expect even more this summer!
      • Fall of 2021 provided excellent conditions for lawn that were treated through the summer with our recovery amendments to bounce back and regain their vigour. (thanks for the compliments!)
    • We put together an easy to read lawn care service timeline that you can use to know when to expect us for each scheduled service in your package. 

    Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our employees and customers.  Safety, Integrity and honesty are our most important core values.  We will continue to follow strict safety guidelines that ensure “low/no touch”.  We will not let our guard down on exercising our safety protocols!

    Thank you all for your understanding and extra patience during these challenging times. Our team works hard, so if you are met with our exceptional service from our technicians or office team members- please give them a thumbs up to make them smile or let me know through a quick email to feedback@lawnsavers.com

    We thank you for supporting our local, family-owned business of 31 years.
    We
     genuinely appreciate you and promise that we will do our part to ensure our mutual safety.

    Thank you in advance,
    Kyle Tobin
    Chief Environmental Officer