Updated May 20, 2020
The rainy spring is starting to come to an end, Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, and hopefully by now you’ve completed your May lawn care schedule. If so, your lawns should be a deep dark green and growing like crazy. Now as warmer temperatures are rapidly approaching, it’s time to think about how to care for our lawns in June.
This how-to lawn care calendar is a month-to-month guide for cool season grasses – Turf Type Tall Fescue and Perennial Ryegrass. Following LawnPhix’s monthly lawn care guide will help you kickstart your turf health, vigor, and color this spring, and set your lawn up for success this growing season.
June Lawn Care Maintenance Schedule
- The first day of summer is June 20, 2020
Jumping right into it, the two most important things you can do this month is to begin a preventative strategy in treating against grubs in your lawn (or sod webworms) and fungus (like brown patch). Be sure you have the best grub killers & grub control products.
If you or your neighbors have been impacted by grubs in the past, then you especially absolutely, positively need a preventative strategy. Even if you haven’t, it is highly suggested! These little buggers can wreak havoc on your lawns. Evidence of the young larvae eating the roots of your grass will be: brown patches of dead grass that grow over time (not to be confused with fungus). This brown grass can be easily peeled away like a carpet. There you will see the grub on the outside of the brown patches, working their way to the healthy, greener grass roots.
A product like Merit contains imidacloprid as its active ingredient, and is most effective as a preventative. But it’s very important to do this sooner than later. Waiting too long after the beetles have laid their eggs will require a more reactionary and curative approach. Dylox, which active ingredient is trichlorfon, can cure active grubs if used correctly. Read the label and apply the recommended rates and water-in immediately. This will kill the grubs so you can stop the bleeding and think of a recovery/reseeding program (coming in the fall).
Bayer Advanced also sell smaller bags that, again, are more readily available at your local hardware and big box stores.
Whichever product you choose, just make sure you’re treating the right insect (sod webworms, grubs) and at the right stage (prevention vs. killing).
- Merit (granular)
- Quali-Pro Imidacloprin (granular)
- Prime Source Imidacloprin (liquid)
- Scott’s Grub Ex (granular)
- Jonathan Green Grub Control (granular)
I’ve created a spreadsheet here listing about a dozen of the best fungicides and the cost per application. And if you want to learn more about fungus in more detail, check out how to prevent and treat brown patch fungus.
But in June we need to stay on top of lawn diseases – particularly melting out, dollar spot and brown patch. Continue to apply preventative rates of fungicide, and alternate between different FRAC groups. Examples of FRAC Group number and fungicide:
- Group 1: Thiophanate Methyl
- Group 3: Propiconazole and Myclobutanil
- Group 11: Azoxystrobin
Diseases can become resistant to the same fungicide if it is used over-and-over. Do not apply a FRAC group more than twice in a row before alternating to a different FRAC.
Stick to cultural practices such as mowing with a sharp blade. A dull blade can tear the grass blades, leaving it more susceptible to diseases. Avoid overwatering, as funguses thrive in hot and damp environments.
- Prime Source Propiconazole (liquid)
- Myclobutanil 20EW (liquid)
- Strobe G (granular)
- Scott’s Disease Ex (granular)
As we mentioned back in May – mowing your lawn is the single-most important lawn care task that you can control to build a thick, healthy turf. The same applies fir June. Try to keep in the habit of mowing twice per week and mulch your clippings whenever possible. Frequent mowings will allow you to keep up with the fast-growing turf, encourage more growth, and allow you take take off no more than 1/3 of the grass blades at a time.
For example, if you’re away on vacation and skip a week of cutting the grass and come back to eight inch blades (8″) you’re going to want to jack your mower all the way to the highest setting and And it’s unlikely that 2″ grass clippings will actually mulch, so it’s probably a good idea to use your bagger to pick up that grass. Leaving long blades of grass on your lawn is not going to do any good – so bag ’em.
Weed Prevention & Weed Killers
If you’re following the split application approach to pre-emergents, then you should have already put down your second and final application as soil temps have approached 65-70 degrees. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label, and make sure you stay within the bag rate’s annual limitations. Example, I put down prodiamine at 3lbs./1,000 in early April when my soil temps were are around 50 degrees. I just applied my second application – this time using Lesco 19-0-7 with Dimension – over memorial Day weekend. Soil temps were over 60 degrees, and the historical temperatures were steady at 65 degrees. This should get me through the summer safely, barring any more torrential downpours of rain.
These Dithiopyr and Dimension products have some post emergent herbicides that will kill crabgrass and dandelions up to the three-leaf stage, which is why I opted for this instead of a second dose of prodiamine.
No matter how on-point you are with pre-emergents, you’re still going to find weeds no matter what. If you still need to spot-spray, be sure to read your labels. Generally these products should not go down if the outside air temperatures exceed 80-85 degrees. Also, there’s a limit to how much and how frequently you can apply – generally at least two weeks in between applications (for blanket spraying). Also adjust your mowing schedule to accommodate the recommended applications times between mowing.
A product like Bayer All In One Weed Killer is a good choice for spot spraying, and something readily available in big box stores like Home Depot. However, if you want to try something different, the best herbicide I’ve ever used is SpeedZone – which is also available on Amazon Prime.
Apply more Nitrogen fertilizer in June. You can continue to use an organic, or a blend of synthetic (quick release) and organic (slow release). Check out our post for some great Milorganite alternatives. Throw down ~4 weeks from your last application, aiming for roughly 1/2 – 3/4 lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 ft2
Need help calculating pound of N per 1,000 ft2? Use our free nitrogen calculator.
Aa always, it’s a great idea to incorporate both humic acids and other micronutrients such as sea kelp, amino acids and molasses into your lawn care plans. These, unlike your standard fertilizers, are generally safe to apply during the hot summer months. I’ve been using Kelp4Less Extreme Blend and Organic Humic Acid recently and am very pleased with the results. Each of these powders are under $20/lb. (with coupon codes) and can be easily mixed for backpack sprayer applications.
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Pic of my current front yard progress:
June Spring Lawn Care Summary
- Start your grub prevention now
- Resume your fungus prevention
- Begin to raise your mower deck in preparation of the summer stress and heat
- Aim for 1″ – 1.5″ of total water each week.
- Apply more organics such as Milorganite or Bay State at full application rates
- Find other Milorganite Alternatives
- Check out our Month-to-Month Lawn Care Calendar