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June 2019 News from Fairway Green

Now is the Time For Warm Season Core Aeration Core aeration removes a small plug of thatch and soil and should be completed annually on Warm Season Turf (Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede).  Core aeration is significantly important if your lawn received winter injury this year. It should be completed annually from June to August. Core… Read more »

Now is the Time For Warm Season Core Aeration

bermuda lawn with plugs taken out
Plugs Pulled from Bermuda Lawn

Core aeration removes a small plug of thatch and soil and should be completed annually on Warm Season Turf (Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede).  Core aeration is significantly important if your lawn received winter injury this year. It should be completed annually from June to August.

Core Aeration Will:

  • Improve natural soil aeration. Especially beneficial for clay soil.
  • Improve and increase water and nutrient uptake.
  • Improve root and turf health.
  • Improve turf density and help aid turf recovery from disease and winter damage.

Difficult To Control – Nutsedge

tall nutsedge grass
Nutsedge

Yellow Nutsedge is a prolific and very difficult weed to control in many lawns and natural areas. Nutsedge is not a broadleaf weed or grassy weed but is in the sedge family.  Yellow Nutsedge is a summer perennial that flourishes from April/May to around September/October. It reproduces from tubers (nutlets) under the soil and can spread from rhizomes.  Each plant can produce hundreds of tubers during its growing season. These new tubers will be new plants in the years to come. Nutsedge will have a triangle stem and is easily felt when you twirl a stem between your thumb and forefinger. Yellow Nutsedge will grow much faster than the existing turf and will have a thin shiny appearance.

Post-emergent broadleaf weed controls for weeds like clover and dandelions will not control Nutsedge.  There are limited products available for controlling Nutsedge and all of them require frequent applications over multiple years to offer acceptable control.

Proper Mowing Height

Proper mowing height is essential for proper turf health and performance. Here are the heights to keep your lawn healthy:

Fescue requires a mowing height of 3.5″ to 4.0″

  • Research has proven that maintaining a mowing height of 3.5″ – 4” on fescue drastically reduces the amount of crabgrass in the lawn. Mowing at this height will also help promote healthy turf and hold back broadleaf weeds.

Bermuda requires a mowing height between 0.5″ to 1.5″ at the highest

  • Bermuda is a high maintenance vegetative turf requiring low and frequent mowing.  Bermuda will thin and not thicken properly if allowed to grow above 1.5″. Bermuda will have a brown leafless appearance after cutting if the turf is not cut every three to four days during peak growing season. Try to cut Bermuda at 2.0″ for the last cutting of the season before turf goes dormant.

Zoysia performs best between .75″ to 2.5″ at the highest depending on the variety.

  • Zoysia should be cut every four to five days for best result.

Centipede should be cut around 0.5″ to 1.5″

  • Centipede is a slow growing turf and should be cut when it reaches the proper mowing height.

St. Augustine performs best 1.0″ to 2.5″

  • St. Augustine should be cut every four to five days when needed.

Disease Alert!

Summer is turf disease season for cool season grasses.  Brown patch fungus started in early May this year. It is always better to control diseases preventively vs. curatively.  

Brown Patch Fungus activates within a distinct set of climatic parameters.  Brown Patch will activate when the temperatures are above 75 degrees with high atmospheric moisture.  This moisture can be in the form of rainfall, irrigation or humidity.

brown patch fungus
Brown Patch Fungus

Signs of Brown Patch will be an off color similar to drought stress, lesions on the leaf blade, browning of the turf in circles or areas.  The easiest way to identify Brown Patch is to stand away from the lawn and look for a shadow appearance on the lawn. Once you identify the area of concern, look at the leaf blades of the plant for tan or brown lesions.  If you see these lesions more than likely you have Brown Patch. Drought stress can be mistaken for Brown Patch. Drought stress will make the leaves fold at the center giving the leaf blade a straw appearance.

Unfortunately, fescue has little or no resistance to Brown Patch Fungus. Several seed companies are currently trying to increase their turf type fescue varieties to have resistance to Brown Patch Fungus.  However, breeding programs take years to develop successful new varieties of turf type fescue.

There are a couple things you can do to help reduce Brown Patch activity.   Avoid watering past 2:30 pm. This will give the plant time to dry before nightfall.  Cut lawn on a regular basis and at the proper height for your type of turf. This will allow more air circulation across the leaf blade.  

A fungicide can be applied that will arrest the fungus for approximately 25 to 28 days.  If the fungicide is applied before damage is done to the leaf blade or plant, the fungicide will give the plant time to recover.   Due to the high humidity level in this part of the country, Brown Patch can go active again after the fungicide has expired in about 25 days.  Another application will be necessary to prevent damage to the plant from Brown Patch Fungus. Many people are utilizing our Preventative Fungicide Program to prevent major damage to their turf.

Heat & Dry Stress

Some lawns are struggling to recover from the hot dry period we had last month. All turf types struggled last month even if they were irrigated. Warm and cool season turf went into a dormant/semi-dormant state for about three weeks. There are several factors that contribute to how well the lawn recovers after a period of hot dry weather.

  • Turf health prior to going into a dormant state is a major factor in recovery. Turf will struggle much less if it was healthy prior and during the stressful period.
heat damage on fescue grass
Heat/dry Damage on Fescue in a 3 Hour of Direct Sunlight Area
  • Soil condition is another factor and is often connected to turf health. Soil types in our area tend to be clay mineral, which is often very compacted. Compaction will stunt or restrict turf root systems which lead to a plant unable to recover from less than ideal growing conditions. Sandy is another soil type we see in our area. Sandy soils generally produce weak root systems because of the lack of organic material and their inability to retain nutrients and moisture. Turf grown in this soil type usually shows signs of stress earlier than clay.
  • Sun/shade factor is another component in turf recovery. Cool and warm season turf have minimum sunlight requirements to grow. Cool season is a bare minimum of five hours of direct sunlight to grow. This is direct, not filtered sunlight. Cool season turf may not fully recover with anything less than four to five hours of direct sunlight. Warm season turf requires at least seven hours of direct sunlight to grow and recover.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles make their appearance this month. Japanese Beetles enjoy eating the leaves of many ornamental trees, shrubs and garden plants. Many have firsthand experience with the damage beetles can create to the desired plants. Roses, Crepe Myrtles and Cherry trees are some of the first in our area to see Japanese damage.

Fairway Green Mosquito Control Program

Safely enjoy the 0utdoors this Summer by controlling disease-ridden mosquitos at home. We all know Mosquitos transmit diseases like West Nile Virus, Encephalitis and Chikungunya. Now we have another one to worry about; Zika!
Fairway Green’s Mosquito Control program can help control Mosquitos giving you and your family peace of mind.
Receive $10.00 of your first application. *New customers only, cannot be combined w/other offers.