When the dog days of summer roll around, we might be tempted to avoid our yard and garden chores. The key is to pick a cooler time of day to get them done.

Next time you have a nice day, consider mowing the lawn. Keep the blade at the proper height.

At the same time, remove any weeds from flower and shrub beds – but put away your pruning tools. If you start pruning at this time, the new growth might not have a chance to harden off before the cooler months set in. 

Our lawns can have a few problems that might appear at this time, with one of them being brown patch. This disease starts out in a circular pattern the size of a dinner plate and spreads outward. 

You can control this problem with a fungicide spray, but spray only if you see the problem. If you do a preventive spray, the disease can build up resistance to the fungicides ingredient and then you will have to use stronger and different chemicals. 

The other problem we can see is St. Augustine grass turning yellow in areas and spreading outward in no set pattern. This problem is caused by chinch bugs that are sucking the life out of the plant. If not controlled quickly, you can lose a reasonable amount of lawn. 

Other lawn problems that can occur at this time are sod web worms that eat the blades of grass off in a circular pattern, while army worms will just chew on the blades of grass and mow quickly through the lawn, giving the grass blades have a chewed appearance. 

All these insect problems can be controlled with an insecticide. 

One other insect you should not forget about is the mole cricket.  These insects eat the fine roots of your grass, making the grass unable to absorb water or nutrients. Once the grass is weakened, brown patch can also develop in the affected areas.

Edward Poenicke is a retired Chatham County extension agent. This article is provided in collaboration with Lawn Doctor of Beaufort County.