Though the recent rains may help grass flourish, homeowners may be faced with the troubles of extra weeds, fungi and fire ants in their yards. | Submitted
Though the recent rains may help grass flourish, homeowners may be faced with the troubles of extra weeds, fungi and fire ants in their yards. | Submitted

Archived Story

Heavy rains may pose lawn problems

Published 11:21am Friday, July 5, 2013

­During a typical Alabama summer, most homeowners have to worry about how to take care of a lawn when there is a lack of rain.

However, according to Tallapoosa County Extension Coordinator Shane Harris, lawn caretakers may see an opposite problem in the coming weeks.

“With all the rain, they’re going to be mowing, mowing and mowing some more,” Harris said. “It’s been a pretty good year. Yards are going to thrive with all the moisture. It’s usually the case where it’s too dry and the yard is suffering, whereas right now we’re maybe getting too much water.”

Harris said the county extension typically recommends that grass get an inch of rain per week – but with recent weather patterns, most people will begin to see grass flourish much more than is typical for the season.

“People tend to want to cut their grass, ideally, every two weeks, but with it growing so well, I’m honestly having to cut mine once a week because it gets out of hand,” Harris said. “People need to get the notion to cut more frequently. If it’s high or tall, it will be more difficult to cut because (the lawnmower) will clog.”

One concern that comes with plentiful rains is the risk of fungi.

“With the warm days and the moisture in the air and on the ground, you may have fungal spots pop up,” Harris said. “People need to keep an eye on it … because if there is a history of it in your yard, it can easily become rampant.”

Harris said if brown or yellowing spots begin appearing in the yard, it is time to apply fungicide.

“As much rain as we’re getting, these diseases start peaking and becoming an issue,” he said. “You are going to have to go ahead and put it out as a preventative measure. Normally fall is when fungus really becomes rampant with the warmer temperatures and extra moisture, but with the way it’s been going right now, people are definitely going to see some spots show up.”

Another creature that can seemingly take over a yard overnight is the fire ant.

“You will find new colonies (in your hard) that seem to pop up overnight because they like this extra moisture – it helps the colonies thrive better,” Harris said. “The ant hills pop up … after a good rain, but honestly they’ve been there for a while.”

In order to combat the potential of extra weeds, fungi, fire ants and other unwanted entities, Harris recommended turning off your irrigation system while the rainy pattern continues.

“They make timers with rain sensors,” Harris said.

Overall, Harris said the most important thing to do is not to let any one problem get out of control.

“Regular maintenance will keep your yard in check,” he said.


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