I remember one summer in my youth that was unbearably hot and unusually dry. I had no care or concern about crops, grocery prices, climate change or anything else but the fact it was too hot to even play outside. Things being much different now, it’s quite obvious that climatic extremes effect much more than playtime.
This past season was extremely hard on landscapes. Not only did lawns look horrible (some still do) but even healthy trees and shrubs fell victim to the conditions. An example of this locally would the many arborvitae both young and old, which are now dead. Their demise more a result of prolonged extreme heat then the lack of moisture.
It was hardly June and we could already tell where the lightest soils were. Adding insult to injury were Southern exposures, compacted soils and microclimates created by concrete and brick. New lawns, lacking any decent soil quality and without a deeply established root system, were hit especially hard. If watering was implemented early the result was hardly a blemish and fertilizing aided in quick repair. For those who did not water, over-seeding was required. If over-seeding wasn't done, the areas too big to fill in naturally will do no more than grow weeds in the coming season.
Other than the absence of water, improper mowing played the biggest part in a lawns health. Those who kept the grass long found that it responded to irrigation much better. Cutting too short, cutting when too hot, improper watering and heavy traffic were but a few things to worsen situation. Aside from the dormant or even dead grass, the above scenario also caused coarse fescue to spread. Coarse, or “clump” fescue is still present from pre-construction in many lawns. As it's much heartier than bluegrass (sod) it will spread quickly in adverse conditions and the absence of vigorously growing turfgrass.
In our efforts to reduce the injury caused by the drought conditions of 2012, we found a product that provided excellent results in retaining all forms of available moisture. Moisture Manager is a wetting agent that will offer benefits in a wide range of scenarios from newly planted trees and shrubs, new sod and seed, and reduces the frequency of required watering of irrigated and non irrigated lawns. This is not only helpful during drought conditions but will save resources by reducing required irrigation in normal conditions as well. Information on Moisture Manager is included and we can offer pricing to those interested upon request.
Please let us know if you have concerns about any areas of your landscape. An assessment can be made and we can layout the best coarse of action. Please note that if anyone installed seed last Fall or plan to this Spring, we need to know prior to applying our first treatment this Spring. Best wishes to all with anticipation for a spectacular 2013.