I can't believe it was just 13 months ago I posed this same question following a bunch of rain - "What now, after all these rains?" Last year, my concern was mostly with flood waters and the timing of the excessive rains so close to my scheduled "summer" application per the Fertilization Schedule.
Little did I know that this year's monsoon-like month of rain, poses a whole new list of situations off that one main precept ... What now after all these rains?
Let's start with the basic precept - The July fertilization per THE SCHEDULE. If you haven't done it yet (like me) and are waiting for the rains to stop, well this past Sunday would have been the best opportunity, but with that said, remember the GardenLine Maxim "Its Never Too Late To Do The Right Thing." So, don't panic, because I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunity to get the summer fertilization down before August. What if you already put down the fertilizer? You almost assuredly need to re-apply some time in the next 30 days. Only the second application should be at a reduced rate. Put another way, cut your broadcast dosage in half.
The next thing to wary of are fungal diseases. In turf areas that have been exceedingly wet, or especially soggy, we may need to accelerate the fungal disease application. Normally, I call for proactive fungicide applications in August, but the excessive moisture is accelerating the fungal diseases in certain areas. With that said, this is a subjective decision based on what you see. In other words if it ain't broke, don't fix it. However, if you see the hint of fungal disease and more specifically brownpatch in areas that historically get hit with brownpatch, then be proactive earlier than normal with fungicides. For a list of products to use please refer to the brownpatch tip sheet back at the main GardenLine page.
Finally, whereas last year we focused on the flood waters, this year the flood waters weren't as prevalent while the rain was so consistent. Nevertheless, there may still be some locations around town that were covered up with hours of standing water. In those cases, and still like last year, the main need is to perform a poor-man's bio-remediation. This requires lots and lots of soil activators such as Medina. This will help break down all the salts and chemicals and otherwise bad things that were brought in and settled on your lawn. You can use soil activators once a week or once every two weeks, but make sure you do it for up to 6-8 applications.
Unfortunately, the one thing the soil activators can't help with is new weed seeds that were also brought in by the flood waters. In areas of flood waters on lawns, prior to a soil activator application, you need to immediately put down a pre-emergent herbicide, and, yes, you need to re-apply even if you did the May application per the schedule.
Speaking of weeds in areas that didn't suffer flood waters, you may also be asking if there's a need to re-apply following all the rains. The answer here is a qualified "yes." If you think you didn't get too much rain (believe it or not there are some places that still only got an accumulation of 4 inches or less), maybe you don't need to re-apply a pre-emergent herbicide, but if you're worried about putting too much pre-emergent herbicide down, because you did follow the schedule and did the May application, it wouldn't hurt anything to re-apply.
Until next issue, here's to Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively, 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, only on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
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