When temperatures rise you may see tire tracks in your lawn that look dead. We had a customer once describe it as it looked like we poured gasoline on the tires and then mowed the lawn. Well, this is not caused by gas, Roundup, or fertilizer applications. This is caused by traffic on your lawn when it is at a wilting point.
When temperatures rise, your lawn can experience heat stress and therefore is susceptible to heat tracking. There can also be a fungus involved called Ascochyta. The fungus blooms in these conditions and is spread easily by water and mowers. When these conditions occur the weight of the tires of a lawnmower or even foot traffic on your lawn can cause heat tracks. The good news is, the grass plant is alive and well, it is just the leaf that is dying. It can take 2-4 weeks for the grass to recover depending on weather conditions.
There are a few measures you can take to lessen the chance of heat tracking. First, this tends to occur in younger lawns. Lawns that are over 10 years old are less likely to have occurrences of heat tracking. So as your lawn matures, this will be less of a problem. Second, heat tracking occurs more often in lawns that are in full sun. Adding trees to your yard will shade your grass and therefore lessen the impact that the sun has on it. Third, your lawn needs to be mowed with sharp blades. Here at John’s Home and Yard Service, we maintain our equipment including sharpening our mower blades. Fourth, you can set your mower to a higher cutting height. Once the weather gets hot, we move our mowing blades up to prevent stress on your lawn. Fifth, make sure you are watering your lawn in the early morning. And last, having your lawn aerated at least once a year will help your lawn receive more oxygen and be more resistant to heat stress.
It is not recommended to use a fungicide for heat tracking. Letting mother nature do her thing and letting your grass recover naturally is the best know treatment. If you would like to schedule a spring or fall aeration treatment, just give us a call and we will get you on our schedule. If you would like to add trees to your yard, you can give us a call for that too and our landscapers will be happy to discuss with you what type of trees will be best to fit your needs and wants.