Summer is the time of year that almost all Canadians look forward to most. Unfortunately, we’ve had a wet start to it this year.
Here at MPS our crews have become accustomed to the intermittent rain and occasional hail storms! In this issue of the MPS newsletter we’ll cover: The Astonishing Rain statistics for 2017 Specific Summer Lawn Care for 2017 New Backyard Technology for Bird Lovers The continued Devastation of the Emerald Ash Borer Enjoy!
- The Astonishing Rain statistics for 2017
- Specific Summer Lawn Care for 2017
- New Backyard Technology for Bird Lovers
- The continued Devastation of the Emerald Ash Borer
If you’ve felt that this spring and summer has been unusually rainy, you’re not wrong! We’ve put together these graphs to compare the amount of rain we’ve received this year in the GTA compared to 2016. As you can see, we received 2x the amount of rain in May and June, and 3x the amount of rain in April compared to the previous year. Here’s hoping for a dry August!
Lawn care in the spring is all about getting your lawn healthy and green, and this year, it has been great to actually have experienced the first “real” spring we’ve had in quite a few years. The prolonged wet weather and cooler temperatures have done their bit in creating healthy turf, and now that the weather has warmed and dried out (hopefully), summer lawn care is all about keeping it that way!
Summer weather can often bring about quite a lot of stress to your grass. Hot temperatures and drought conditions can damage your lawn, as can the slower natural growth of the grass and even lots of activity on high traffic areas. That is why it is important to take the following steps to best care for your lawn during the summer months.
- Mow your lawn correctly, and that doesn’t always mean cutting it short! Set your mower blades higher (3” or more) as taller grass is far more tolerant to drought, grows deeper roots and can reduce weed growth.
- Mulch your grass clippings to help keep moisture levels steady.
- Keep your mower blades sharp to minimize stress to the turf, you want to cut the grass blades, not tear them.
- Water your lawn wisely by watering deeply and less frequently to encourage drought-tolerant roots. Water earlier in the day to reduce evaporation and fungal growth.
- Do not over-saturate when you water, this can promote disease in the turf. Most lawns will require about an inch (2.5 cm) of water per week to maintain good health.
- Don’t over fertilize your turf; applying fertilizer in the heat of summer can burn your lawn, so if you are going to apply, make sure to use a slow release product. Or wait until the fall to fertilize again!
- Weed your lawn regularly to remove them before they bloom and send out more seeds for next year. Hand (or tool) removal is still the best option for most residential lawns.
The summer is also a great time to make adjustments to your irrigation system settings if an automatic system is being used. The ability to “fine tune” the amount of water being used, at the optimal time of day is of utmost importance to increase the health of your turf.
I recently came across an innovative product that seems perfect for a fun, interesting and educational project for the yard; quite literally, a photo booth for birds!
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a highly destructive insect (originally from Asia) that feeds on ash trees, usually killing them within 2-3 years.
The EAB was first discovered in the GTA around 2005 and has continued to devastate the ash tree population ever since. It is estimated that the City of Toronto will eventually lose almost all of its 860,000 ash trees and the outlook for York region is not much brighter…