What you can expect
We want our customers to be well informed so that they know what to expect from their lawn and what to expect from us. When your lawn looks incredible in April, we get too much credit, and if your lawn is struggling in August, in most cases, it’s out of our hands. The “uncontrollables” listed below have a profound impact on your lawn each summer. July and August will always be the most stressful months of the year on fescue. Your lawn's condition during these hot summer months will be closely related to our weather and your soil quality. We believe our turf program to be the best in the Nashville area because the products we use are second to none in our industry, and our technicians take great pride in the service they provide. However, no management plan is going to give you a great late summer lawn without a significant positive contribution from the “uncontrollables."
The truth is every fescue lawn in Middle Tennessee is different, having its own inherent strengths and weaknesses based on its environment. They all have the same needs: fertilization, weed control, disease prevention, aeration & over-seeding, deep & quality soil, sunlight, water, proper drainage, correct mowing practices and favorable weather. Will some lawns we treat always look better than others? Absolutely. It depends on how many “controllables” are practiced and how the “uncontrollables” affect each lawn. Weather has a huge effect on your lawn’s condition. Cool season grass like fescue thrives during the cooler months, especially during the spring. It’s the late summer months when the “uncontrollables” can really wreak havoc. That’s why aeration & seeding during September or October is so important. It will revitalize the damaged areas and make your lawn ready for the following spring.
Here’s a monthly guide for what you can expect from a typical fescue lawn in Middle Tennessee:
Fescue still holds some green color if the weather isn’t very cold. Temperatures below 0°F will cause the grass to turn almost completely brown. No need to worry, it will be fine.
Cold temperatures are still common, but the color of your lawn has improved slightly. Spring is getting near. Now is the time for your first pre-emergent application.
The warmer weather this month allows your lawn to wake up and grow. Color will be much improved toward the end of the month, and lawns will begin to look outstanding.
Fescue lawns look their very best this month. The seedlings from last fall have matured, and the lawn is thick and healthy. The warm days and cool nights are the perfect growing conditions for fescue to thrive.
Fescue is still thriving this month. By mid-month nighttime temperatures will rise above 60°F. Brown patch disease will begin to be an issue for lawns not receiving preventative treatments. This month fescue will begin its (hopefully very slow) decline until September when cooler weather arrives. How fast each lawn declines and how severe the decline is will depend greatly on the weather and soil quality.
The higher temperatures could begin to stress your lawn. Non-irrigated lawns will begin to struggle without regular rainfall. Brown patch disease could become more prevalent.
Heat and disease pressure can begin to take a toll on the lawn, and difficult to control grassy weeds, such as Dallisgrass and Johnsongrass, could pop up. The only way to remove Johnsongrass would be to apply a non-selective herbicide like Roundup. The spring pre-emergent can’t prevent these two established weeds. Fast-growing Nutsedge can pop up seemingly overnight.
This is the most difficult month of the year for cool season grasses like fescue. Summer heat stress and Brown patch may have weakened the stand, and grassy weeds are starting to invade those weakened areas. By now, pre-emergent that was applied during spring has worn off, and crabgrass can pop up on edges and thin areas in the lawn. This is why our August treatment is completely focused on getting rid of weeds before fall aeration & seeding.
The temperatures have cooled, and the lawn is beginning to recover from the stresses of summer. Now is the perfect time to aerate & seed your lawn. The new seedlings will repair the areas that were damaged by summertime stresses. Due to the seeding process, we are unable to treat for any weeds because doing so could adversely affect the new seedlings.
This is still a great time to plant seed. The lawns that were seeded in September are beginning to thrive with regular rainfall or irrigation. Some broadleaf weeds may show up during the seeding process, but it's important not to treat them at this time. New seedlings need time to mature before any weed control products are applied.
The seeding window usually closes the first part of November. Your new seedlings are quickly developing their root systems before winter begins. Your lawn may lose some color with the cooler temperatures. A few broadleaf weeds may have popped up during the seeding process. These will be quickly dispatched with the final treatment of the year. Try to keep the fallen leaves off your lawn as much as possible to prevent damaging the new seedlings.
Your lawn is preparing for winter dormancy. Color will depend on how warm the weather will be. Roots are slowly establishing themselves and storing nutrients for the winter.