MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the National Climate Data Center, the continental United States has experienced the warmest consecutive 12-month period since record keeping started in 1895. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts have tracked the drought effect on landscapes for months. Lack of rainfall, combined with steady evaporation caused by dry weather, leads to dormant and potentially damaged, lawns this year and next spring.
When daytime temperatures rise into the 90s and night temperatures stay in the 70s in the Northeast and Midwest, grass root systems have a hard time surviving. Dead or thinning areas in lawns can result in heightened potential for runoff of sediments containing nutrients that increases pollution risks to surface water sources.
"Weeks of heat and low precipitation have definitely damaged lawns in Midwest and Northeast," Scotts turf scientist Eric Nelson agrees. "The good news is late summer and early fall often provide more frequent precipitation and cooler temperatures to encourage seed germination, making it the best time to repair lawns."
With the change in season approaching, homeowners can take a few simple steps this fall to encourage vigorous growth next spring. If the lawn has bare spots, loosen the soil in those areas and apply an all-in-one seeding mix. Repair thin spots by aerating and reseeding with a seed blend appropriate for the region and that matches the existing lawn. In the Northeast and Midwest, look for a grass seed mix of hardy Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue for shade and perennial ryegrass. Feed the entire lawn with lawn food to nourish existing grass and new seedlings.
"Start by selecting the correct grass type for your region, let Mother Nature do the watering, but supplement to keep seed moist and young seedlings from drying out. Feed young grass with lawn food to help growth. Grasses planted during late summer and early fall develop stronger plants and root systems to hold soil in place during the rainy season," Nelson advised. "Next spring you'll see the results of this autumn lawn care, and the grass will be able to tolerate next summer's stress."
Healthy grass naturally helps keep soil in place, protecting water resources. Repairing lawn damage this fall can help grass spring forward next year, ensuring stronger, more resilient, green spaces next spring.
About Scotts Miracle-Gro
With approximately $3 billion in worldwide sales, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligene® and Substral®. For additional information, visit us at www.scotts.com.
SOURCE Scotts Company