COOL SEASON LAWNS: I know that as I scan across our LCN groups, I can see lots of heat stress hitting you guys across much of the midwest and over to the northeast. Cool season lawns definitely struggle when it’s over 85 degrees. In case you missed it, I talked all about heat stress and watering in last week’s email which we turned into a blog post for you to review if you need to. Read it HERE.
This week, I have an UPDATE from one of the Lawn Care Nuts featured in that post! One of the examples in that article was from Jason P - his cool season lawn in Southeast PA had been shocked and left hungover with 90 degree temps earlier in the month. He has a professionally installed, in-ground irrigation system, and had been running it regularly. This is what his lawn was looking like then:
He was frustrated because he was doing everything right and still his lawn checked out. My advice to him was to run a cycle, then go out after and dig a hole in those brown areas and see just how far/deep the water was penetrating - then adjust the coverage and length of the cycle from there. The idea is to run the irrigation long enough to get the water to penetrate 4” down. (This is the same if you have manual sprinklers too)
Here are some quotes from him as he looked to make the needed adjustments:
“So my irrigation system is a Rainbird system with rotary and spray heads professionally installed. I began running them last month for the season about 20 min a zone. I ‘felt’ this was a good time length. So after running it today, [I checked it] and the ground is essentially bone dry. I was shocked. So I am seeing if spreading out the spray pattern and going longer does the job.”
After his test he added this:
“Update: actually I learned that my sprinklers weren’t dumping a lot of water despite looking that way!!”
He made an adjustment, watered longer/deeper and got some good recovery in just a couple days:
“She’s making a comeback. Water and STX.”
I love it when you guys literally “learn your land” and your lawn responds. As I often say, it’s just like any relationship - when you make the right adjustments, things get better! You will see that he also mentions “STX” which is “StressX,” our summer stress fertilizer from Carbon Earth. This one was developed by the guru, Matt Martin himself and is key to helping lawns deal with heat. This goes for any lawn, warm or cool season.
Potassium helps the lawn maintain turgor pressure, which essentially is the balance of water inside and outside cell walls. When you have this balance in homeostasis, the grass plant stands up better and isn’t wilted. Potassium plays a huge role in that balance.
On top of that, StressX (STX DIY) also has high iron to give the lawn a deeper darker green color without pushing growth. Of course, just like with all Carbon Earth products, it’s got the bio-char infused with chicken litter which pulls in a host of micronutrients and is fortified with peptides to push deeper rooting.
You could apply this product at labeled rates 2-3 times this summer, 4 weeks spaced apart and keep the lawn looking good with minimal growth push.
Centipede Lawns: Centipede grass responds VERY well to potassium and in fact, STX is perfect for you all summer and even into the early fall. STX is also higher in iron to give your Centipede a darker color than your neighbors. Apply every 4 weeks at labeled rates (3lbs/1000)
Bahia Lawns: Same with you, your turf will respond very well to STX DIY as it doesn’t want to be pushed but could benefit from the added potassium support and iron to keep the darker color you are looking for. Just so you know, it is possible to have a nice, thick, bahia lawn. I’ve been working on a small section at my church and will show you the results in an upcoming video.
St Augustine Lawns: I have fert bans here so it’s different, but for those of you who are wide open, you could use STX DIY or XGN DIY for a slow play option, or continue to push with CX DIY (CarbonX). In my video this past weekend (time stamped, just watch for 4 min) you can see what the CarbonX did to my St Augustine out at the racetrack. (app applied May 31 before fert bans, pick taken June 19)
I was actually stunned at the results myself! After I applied the CX DIY, I didn’t get back out to the Freedom Factory for a couple weeks and we had 7 days of rain in between so I was afraid maybe all the fert got leached out - in this video here from Chuck, you can see my reaction when I saw how DARK the lawn actually was.
Bermuda Lawns: if you are cutting with a rotary mower at 2” or higher then the CX (CarbonX) is just fine for you, too. Your bermuda loves the heat and prefers to be pushed.
However, if you are cutting low or reel mowing, you want something with super small prills that will get down into the canopy easier and that is where the XGN shines for you. It’s also pretty high in potassium at 8% (higher than almost every other fert you will find) and is loaded with iron.
As my friend Connor Ward says “this stuff stinks like iron” because I guess he doesn’t appreciate that level of scent in the success. He even comments that there is so much iron in it, you can taste it. I’d say that is a pretty good endorsement! Now he has Kentucky Bluegrass, but it’s a reeled mowed, super low lawn. Many of you with Bermuda are into the reel mowing and you need a fert to support that - one with small prills that is loaded with iron. Iron will make your Bermuda (or any low cut turf) blue-green for sure. Get your XGN DIY here.
Attention Lawn Pros
So I know there are a bunch of y'all in my audience. You are the guys and gals who make your living servicing customers daily through mowing and maintenance, or spray work, or both. I very rarely talk to you all directly but today I am because I have a great opportunity for you. As you know, I am Toro's biggest fan and over the years I have worked hard to develop a partnership with them that involves access more than sponsorship. Recently they let me demo a new business software they have developed called "Horizon 360.
From routing to billing to accounting, it's got everything you need to stay organized in our paperless world. No matter how large or small your customer base, Horizon 360 will work for you. I worked in technology for many years so I was super interested in looking more at it and I have to tell you, they have done it right. It's got the right amount of functionality without being clunky. The interface on both mobile and desktop is smartly coded.
I know there are those of you in this audience who live to optimize. Incremental improvements in efficiency can add up to big dollars over time and this software will give you the visibility you need to make real change. If you are a smaller player looking to compete with the older, established big boys, this is a way to do it.
Right now, Toro is looking for beta testers who will start using the software and provide feedback to help shape future iterations. It's super cool to have a voice in something new from a respected company like Toro.
If you are interested, they are looking for several more beta testers and you can sign up right here. No business is too large or too small.
One caveat: There is a slightly lengthy list of qualifying questions to get through as you sign up, so make sure you have a good 20 minutes to give it the time required so you are set up right from the get-go. As a beta tester, you will have full access to Horizon360 for free until the end of 2020.
Lots of stuff in this email this week, I hope something here was helpful! Don’t forget, my video coming out this week is all about spraying liquids with the Ortho-Dial-N-Spray and I am going to show you all the easy mods to make to get it to work much better for you! I’ll also show you some summer cocktails you can spray out to help the lawn during this heat!
I’ll see you in the lawn!