Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Kentucky bluegrass, Fescue, Rye and Bent, etc
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andy10917
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Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by andy10917 » September 13th, 2020, 10:28 am

I truly hope that this thread doesn't lead to arguments and defensive postings, but I'm going to say what I see based on a combination of early-Fall postings and local observations...

I see a significantly elevated level of "I lost some/most of my lawn postings over the summer" over other years, and local observations are the same or worse in my area. Those that did not irrigate regularly didn't fare well, and those that did irrigate did pretty well. In my area, lawns that didn't irrigate are not emerging properly or on-time.

It's the worst I've seen in 5-6 years - really, I'm wondering if people cut back on irrigation as part of general belt-tightening due to the economy, or if the disease pressure was higher than normal.

What do you think? What's your take on what you see in the forums and in your local area, and do you agree that it seems to tie strongly to the major differentiator being irrigation, or something else? If it's something else, please describe what you think it was?

bentleyvt
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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by bentleyvt » September 13th, 2020, 11:02 am

For myself, I did my best job ever irrigating through the very dry July (Rachio said 60 hrs of watering for ~20K sq ft, wallet felt it!) AND putting down fungicide starting around Memorial Day every 4-5 weeks. As a result, lawn looks better than every heading into the Fall. When I had stress in the summer, I put fungicide down heavier in certain areas and stayed up on watering.

We moved into a nicer neighborhood this Spring and 9/10 yards have professional lawn companies. Most of these lawns showed signs of stress in July due to the drought, but have since recovered after a wet August. I did notice many lawns watering in the 4-6PM range - my assumption is its just a set and forget irrigation controller (water M/W/F for 10 mins a zone) and not a smart controller - where the Rachio actually adjusts the schedule and timing based on the weather and always done in the AM.

So for Central VA, I think for those that didnt increase irrigation in July and really stay on top of their fungicide treatments, their lawns definitely are limping into Fall. Overall though, I think most are doing better than usual because of the very wet August we had.

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andy10917
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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by andy10917 » September 13th, 2020, 11:15 am

I didn't want to be the first poster to answer my own question, but (with 1" to 1.5" irrigation per week and the proactive biofungicide program), I had a hard-time keeping up with the lawn's growth, and it exploded again with growth with the Labor Day app of Urea. 70% of the lawns in my area that didn't irrigate seem to have areas that are not reemerging well from dormancy.

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by MorpheusPA » September 13th, 2020, 2:22 pm

Bite me. ... :-)

I didn't irrigate, just like any other year. Dormancy was deeper than average, which was fully dormant over about 20% of the property, with deep shock to light dormancy over most of the rest of the 80%. June and July were brutal, with rainfall resuming in August and into September.

Restoration was about normal in late August, with a few spotty regions still coming back. But those are fairly normal (the north side of the driveway is never back until early October and I threaten to turn it into xeriscape every year...if I didn't need a place to pass the mower through).

My feeding schedule was normal-ish. An organic in early August to decay in as the rains hit it. This year, September was a combo of an organic and synthetic. I'm about to drop Milo at a light rate to begin the September/October feeding. More go down in a week or two. I'll apply more synthetics October first to round that out, then after that, it's the winterizer in November.

Surrounding lawns look OK, but aren't coming back as easily as other years. Some look downright ratty.

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by bpgreen » September 13th, 2020, 3:27 pm

The controller for my irrigation system died some time over the winter. We also had a drier than usual summer (and our summers are dry to start). I think we had no measurable precipitation from 6/29 until the last week of August. And those were .25 and .16 inch respectively.

I decided to just let it go and hands watered a few spots where I had relatively young native grasses to give them a better chance of making it until they could get fully established.

Large swaths of grass are brown (even some native grasses). Time will tell whether they're dead or dormant. If they're dead, I'll dormant seed some blue grama (that seems to do better than the other grasses I've used).


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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by turf_toes » September 13th, 2020, 3:44 pm

I irrigate. Other than a few dog urine burns, my lawn has never looked better.

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by Orangehills » September 13th, 2020, 9:10 pm

I agree with you Andy, this summer was tough. Most summers, my local climate is humid as I am one mile from the LI Sound, but this summer seemed more humid with many consecutive nights with high temperatures than previous summers. I irrigated but did not use any fungicides and the results are too many dormant and dead spots. I overseeded an 1100 SQ FT area today and for the remaining area for the first time I started an aggressive urea regimen after waking the lawn up 10 days ago with milo. I'll get back to basics and anticipate a decent fall recovery.

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by northeastlawn » September 13th, 2020, 9:37 pm

This year was tough, we missed every large rain event, we have had maybe 4-5 days of 1/2” of natural rain sine May. Add to that the local news reporting we had a record hot summer. I installed a DIY irrigation system and it was the only reason the lawn got through the summer.

Last year I almost lost the lawn stretching the watering to once a week, this year 1/2” every 4 days was perfect. I had to bump that up to every two to three days at the peak, but 80% of the lawn made it through. After last year I couldn’t chance wiping the lawn out again, it took me until last June to get it back.

Except for a stretch by the sidewalk, the lawn is really taking off with the fall fertilizer program. I don’t see much evidence of the KBG popping new rhizomes outand spreading, but it’s growing fast and I do see new blades coming off the established grass.

On the other hand last fall I did a Reno for my sister with PR, it looked great in the spring. She made a a heroitic attempt at trying to get it through this summer by hand watering, but she probably lost the whole thing.

I firmly believe now that the first requirement of any Reno is figuring how you are going to consistently get an 1” Of water a week down on your law. Our area has just gotten too hot and dry to gamble on Mother Nature.

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by Masbustelo » September 13th, 2020, 10:17 pm

In North Western Illinois we got1/10 of an inch from 1st of August until a week ago. I have a lawn that I maintain that is a perennial rye mix with some Mazama. The rye turned brown like straw, the Mazama looked stressed but kept it's color and looked much healthier. Now after a week of rain it is all coming back to life, but the KBG looks way better than the rye. No irrigation.

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by Jackson » September 14th, 2020, 2:01 am

Masbustelo wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 10:17 pm
In North Western Illinois we got1/10 of an inch from 1st of August until a week ago. I have a lawn that I maintain that is a perennial rye mix with some Mazama. The rye turned brown like straw, the Mazama looked stressed but kept it's color and looked much healthier. Now after a week of rain it is all coming back to life, but the KBG looks way better than the rye. No irrigation.
Same. I don’t irrigate. By August 15th my lawn was dry as a bone and dormant although still greenish. Our trees dropped so many dried leaves that it looked like fall and I was mulching leaves so they wouldn’t smother. After some rain and cooler nights the lawn has rebounded and looks better than ever.

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by Masbustelo » September 14th, 2020, 3:17 am

I wanted to add that I always mow pretty much at 3.5 inches. Part of the reason being that I assume a tall large plant probably has a more healthy and deeper root system than short mowed plants, I also assume than when drought stress comes these plants will be better able to weather the storm. I see and understand that lots of people like short mowing heights. I suspect that without irrigation this causes lots of drought problems.

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by Paul » September 14th, 2020, 9:30 am

We have had a very dry and hot summer and continues to be dry. I needed to mow twice a week and my lawn stayed very green all summer long. I was watering about every 4 days in the heat of the summer applying about 0.5 inches at each watering. Now I'm applying 0.5 pounds/1K sqft of Urea weekly and the lawn is really starting to grow fast but still mowing about every 3 to 4 days at 3.0 inches. I want to get the HOC down to 2.5 inches soon.

The rest of the lawns in my neighborhood don't look good. They water daily, but the lawns are half brown with allot of weeds and bare spots. I have had many people ask me what my secret is, but after explaining what I do, they seem to lose interest about 5 minutes into the conversation.

My lawn went to the next level when I decide to renovate with 100% Bewitched, it's like night and day from my old lawn. It was the best thing I ever decide to do.

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by Pway » September 14th, 2020, 11:06 am

My lawn is in its worst shape in the 30years I’ve been here. July and early August were very hot and humid with almost no cool down at nights. Despite irrigation, three preventative fungicide applications (seemingly not enough) and mowing at 3.5 inches, I got some drought stress and fungus. On top of that, they stopped allowing deer hunting here in the ‘70s and there is deer crap every where. I have bent grass and triv that I believe was introduced by deer and bird droppings. I’m thinking of a full renovation next year but wonder if it’s worth it (the aforementioned deer problem, the neighborhood is turning over and maybe 10% of the lawns do anything but cut it now and again. It’s very frustrating. I used to have neighbors constantly admiring my lawn and now they ask what happened...

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by Adam_M » September 14th, 2020, 11:38 am

This year was terrible for my lawn. I started to irrigate in early July, but gave up when it was evident I wasn't going to be able to maintain it - and I lost probably 6k of grass. Interestingly, the areas I lost are areas with the worst of the terrible soil I have (spoils from the house construction - all decomposed shale) and there was a literal line between where there was even a little native topsoil and none - it looked like I sprayed roundup the kill was so complete and the edge so sharp. on the + side - NOTHING grew in the area outside of a couple patches of sedge, so the Pre-m did it's job too.

...so, I'm a week into my unplanned 2020 partial reno... I tried to wait the grass out but there were large areas showing no signs of waking up, so I got the power rake, ripped out the dead grass and roughed up the surface to break any of the remaining pre-m barrier and got to it. No grass babies yet. soon though.

The worst part was when I lost the yard I got so disgusted with it that I let the mulch beds go too - and now they are more work and will be more work next year too.

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by jskierko » September 14th, 2020, 6:37 pm

Paul wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 9:30 am
My lawn went to the next level when I decide to renovate with 100% Bewitched, it's like night and day from my old lawn. It was the best thing I ever decide to do.
Your reno thread/results was a very large contributing factor on me taking the plunge this fall to a Bewitched monostand (albeit only half the yard) :good:

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by Coop_V » September 15th, 2020, 5:54 am

Other than the bermuda in my lawn this is the best my lawn has made it through the summer yet. We had a crazy hot/dry July here in northeast NC. I didn't even try to water. I wanted to see what would happen. I did however treat the lawn twice with bifen and propiconazale, once in July once just a week ago. There was a couple spots that went dormant but all seem to have recovered and this is fescue. Overall I'm really happy with how my lawn looks this year considering the last 3 years its looked terrible this time of year. I would say 98% of my fescue is still kicking it.
Image

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by Paul » September 15th, 2020, 8:49 am

jskierko wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 6:37 pm
Your reno thread/results was a very large contributing factor on me taking the plunge this fall to a Bewitched monostand (albeit only half the yard)
Thanks jskiero, hope things turn out well for you.

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by Hammbone81 » September 15th, 2020, 11:24 am

I came into 2020 doing well. (I have very sandy/calcareous soil) I put down compost last fall right before the Halloween snow fall, then urea in November. In April I put down all the products in the Earthworks Aerification program. May and June my lawn looked the best it's ever looked. By July I had some sort of disease pressure on my 100% KBG lawn. I never quite identified it. It's either melting-out or Ascochyta leaf blight. It's a peppered look throughout the lawn and I "think" it killed off 1 or 2 of my cultivars completely.

I do not have an irrigation system, but I moved 5 hoses/sprinklers around non-stop all summer. I'm done with that. I FINALLY bit the bullet and the irrigation system will be installed in a couple weeks.

I did mechanical aerate yesterday (I know, I know, shame on me) and overseeded with a mixture of elite KBG's. I also put down Earthworks Aerificaiton products again. (Man that's expensive!)

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by Tarank » September 15th, 2020, 2:56 pm

I didn't water much during the summer but I started to a little bit when things started to get really dire. I had a few sections die off completely but I re-seeded them a couple weeks ago. Probably not more than a couple hundred sqft. Things are looking pretty good now except where the grass still needs to fill in. Might do a little more watering next summer

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Re: Thoughts on 2020 Summer Sesaon Results

Post by KBGkicksazz » September 15th, 2020, 3:19 pm

Combined issue. I was slow to react to initially thinking lack of water. It was both.

New Hampshire is in a severe drought and many lawns are toast.

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