Tips From Toby: Treating heat stress in your lawn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If you've noticed some brown grass, don't panic. Your grass is just simply adjusting to the heat. A seed head is capable of supporting tons of grass blades but as the temps heat up the grass sheds itself of some blades to give more energy to the roots. Appearance-wise, this leads to a lot of brown blades mixed in with the green, and this can fool people into thinking they are having problems or even disease.

As long as you keep watering properly everything is going to be fine. Here's the warning though, don't start watering too much. This can lead to disease problems and you don't want that! Also, this extreme heat is where uneven watering really shows up. If you're sprinklers aren't covering properly across your lawn, now is the time to make adjustments or call a pro to make sure the heads haven't moved and are covering evenly and make sure the sprinklers are covering your plants and foundation.

Heat stress is pretty consistent across your lawn, but if you see clearly defined spots, you probably do have a lawn fungus or disease. If this is the problem you want to act fast because these disease problems can spread quickly and take over your entire lawn. So put down a good quality granular, systemic fungicide across the whole lawn because those diseases will spread. This is also the time to make sure you never mow when the grass is wet. You also do not want to mow with a dull mower blade. Both of these are a perfect combination to spread disease and damage your lawn. And if you mow on the highest notch on your mower, this protects the roots from the high heat.

Finally, don't be too alarmed if you see some of your plants and tress shedding some leaves. This is just the plants conserving energy to their roots and not being able to support all the leaves they had been holding during the wet Spring.

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