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Summer Lawn Care

Lawn Care: What to watch out for during the summer months

Chinch Bugs

These small but voracious turf insects usually start damaging lawns in mid to late June and can continue through mid August. The damage first appears as small, sunken straw-coloured patches that can expand in size quickly. There can also be multiple areas of infestation in your entire lawn, usually found in sunny areas that are susceptible to drought stress. If left untreated, damage can be extensive. Fortunately, there are some pre emergent and post emergent treatments available. If you suspect you may have chinch bug damage, contact your lawn care provider for an inspection.


This unsightly, annual weed grass usually becomes visible by late June, and by mid August, will start to develop a seed panicle. Unfortunately, there are no silver bullets for treating crabgrass available in Ontario. Individual plants along curbs and walkways can be successfully dug out before mid August, without the plant regrowing. Larger areas of crabgrass populations more than 75% will need to be renovated for best control.

Mowing Issues

Many of the topics I have touched on above can be directly related to improper mowing practices than just about any other factor. Lawns should be maintained at a minimum height of 3” to 3 ½”. However, if you enjoy mowing, even better results can be seen on lawns mowed at 4”. When turf is maintained at 2 ½” or less, it is always more susceptible to drought stress, which can be the root cause of many lawn problems. This free, simple practice can also significantly reduce broadleaf weed populations

Repairs, Renovations, Reseeeding

This practice is best carried out between mid August and early September. Typically, Eastern Ontario tends to receive slightly cooler and wetter conditions during this time. This timing will also allow for less competition from new broadleaf weeds and other weed grasses, while allowing for sufficient germination prior to the first frosts in late September or early October. The size of the area to be repaired will determine the best repair approach, which can be topsoil and seed or mechanical slit seeding options. Again, check with your lawn care operator or landscaper for the option best suited for your property and budget.