While we think of summer as a time when grass and plants naturally grow lush and green, in reality very high temperatures can have a detrimental effect on your landscaping. Grass in particular is very susceptible to changes in temperature, and many varieties simply will not grow at all if the temperature rises too high. It is important to understand the life cycle and growth of your landscaping plants so that you can make the right decisions when it comes to lawn and garden care throughout the year.
If you want a lush, green lawn, one of the first things you have to understand is the growth cycle of the grass you have in your yard. In order to learn more about your grass’s growth, you must first establish what type of grass you have and if it is a warm season or cool season grower.
Warm season grasses generally germinate in temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. These types of grasses, which should be planted in the spring, include Bermuda, St. Augustine, buffalo, centipede, and bahia. They will germinate easily in the mild temperatures of spring months, then bloom into full, lush beauty during warmer weather.
Cool season grasses, on the other hand, will usually germinate in temperatures under 65 degrees Fahrenheit and, while they may tolerate cooler nights, will often wither and die when the temperature rises above 75. Therefore, cool season grasses are more appropriate for those living at higher altitudes or for growth during the winter months. Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass are all examples of cool season grasses.
Summertime temperatures in the San Diego area average about 77 degrees, so it is important to keep this in mind when choosing grasses. However, you should also be aware that an average temperature does not indicate highs and lows very accurately, so days when temperatures soar into the 80s or even 90s might impact your choice of grass for your yard.
In addition, it is important to understand the difference between root growth and stem growth. While you need strong root growth, which only occurs in certain temperature ranges, for healthy grass, you also want stem growth, which is what is visible in your yard. Each species of grass has a particular temperature range for maximum root and stem growth; these two ranges may not be identical.
One of the easiest ways to navigate the fine line between too warm and too cool is to plant a variety of grasses as ornamentals in your yard. This also allows you to control watering and fertilizing easily, and to maintain your grass at its peak of health, no matter what the weather.
Juniper Landscape Company is ready to help you choose, plant, and maintain the right grass and plants for your particular landscape needs. We have decades of experience helping San Diego residents create beautiful, environmentally friendly yards. Give us a call today to learn how we can help you choose the right plants to make your yard its most gorgeous, no matter what the season!