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Wild Weather in Annapolis

Lawn Care Update

From time to time we’re asked how the Annapolis, MD weather impacts the work we do – and sometimes the results we’re able to deliver. As you might imagine, when your workspace is 100% outdoors, weather can and often does have a substantial role to play – often well beyond scheduling.

Let me share these insights while the season is fresh in everyone’s mind. I don’t suppose anyone needs reminding about our exceptionally wet summer. The year started with a cooler than normal spring….and then rain, and rain, and more rain. Throughout Virginia and Maryland record upon record fell for monthly, and eventually annual rainfall.

In a nut shell, the Annapolis, MD weather in 2018 lead to significant increases, weed, crabgrass and disease pressure. While I’ll cover briefly how this record-breaking rainfall impacted area lawns in this post, please click here for an article from the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation which explains in greater detail the impact and implications from this year’s weather.

The areas where most customers noticed impacts in 2018 hinged primarily around weeds and crabgrass. As with all plants, water is essential for seeds to germinate. Generally, in the mid-Atlantic our summers tend to be hot and dry. Dry summers tend to inhibit the germination of weeds – both the grassy and broadleaf ones. In 2018 we had record breaking rainfall all summer long, this rain did three things. It increased germination, accelerated the breakdown of our crabgrass pre-emergent, and made treating both weeds and crabgrass more challenging. Neither crabgrass or weed control can be applied in the rain!

What does that mean for next year? Well, 2018 was a fantastic year for turf development, so lawns in general are healthy and thick having not experienced any summer heat or drought damage in 2018. In practical terms it’s unlikely that 2019 will be a repeat of 2018. We don’t anticipate making any changes to our weed control or crabgrass prevention regimen. We had already added a third dedicated weed control to the program in 2018 (in hindsight – thank goodness we did) and we are confident that our program is properly designed to suit the needs of our area in ‘normal’ seasons; which when you work with the weather is most anyone can ask. Build your best plan and adjust as necessary!

As an aside, there is a very high probability, to the point of almost certainty that there will be a significant increase in the pressure from white grubs in the region. In general, high soil moisture at the time of egg lay and at hatch (both of which happened in 2017 and 2018) has a huge impact in how many grubs develop into turf damaging larvae. In 2018, we saw the highest levels of grub infestations in our Winchester office ever. In short, if ever there were a year to add a preventative grub treatment – 2019 is going to be the year.

As always, thank you for your patronage. Please let us know how we can improve our service!
 

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