John C. Fech - Extension Educator
Following are effective strategies for managing lawns during periods of hot and dry weather:
1. Learn to recognize wilting in turf plants. It is relatively easy to recognize wilting on a houseplant. The leaves droop and the stem may wither, and the whole plant may have a “dull” appearance. Because turf plants are much smaller and thinner than houseplants, it is much more difficult to recognize drought stress in turf plants.
In your lawn is overly shaded and/or has poor drainage, moss may be a problem. Moss is a fast growing, shallow rooted plant that covers the ground, smothers grass and exhausts food reserves from the soil.
When moss appears in a lawn, it is usually because growing conditions for turfgrasses and landscape plants are adverse, usually too little light and air circulation. Other conditions favorable for moss invasion include soil with poor aeration and percolation, compaction, low fertility and high acidity or alkalinity.
Regardless of the mix, the goal for green minded gardeners is to grow, plant and care for healthy landscape plants and turf. One of the most important factors in the success of these endeavors is getting to know specific needs of the plant material and how they can be combined effectively in a landscape without compromising the needs of each component.