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June 2021 News From Fairway Green

Fairway Green Mosquito Control Program Safely enjoy the outdoors this summer by controlling disease-ridden mosquitos at home! We all know mosquitoes 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… Read more »

Fairway Green Mosquito Control Program

Safely enjoy the outdoors this summer by controlling disease-ridden mosquitos at home!

We all know mosquitoes 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.)

Mowing Height for North Carolina Lawns

Proper mowing height is essential for proper turf health, performance, and weed management

  • 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 1.0″ to 1.75″ 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 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 results. 

  • 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 between 1.0″ to 2.5″
    • St. Augustine should be cut every four to five days when needed.

This article contains valuable information about proper mowing height for crabgrass and miscellaneous broadleaf weed control.

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 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.
Plugs pulled from a Bermuda lawn

Heat and Drought stress

Heat/dry stress is often misdiagnosed as a fungus or other issue.  Signs of dry/heat stress include: 

  • a darker color to the lawn
  • visible footprints
  • leaf blades that is folded and thin looking

The grass blade appears to be almost straw like on all types of turf, including Bermuda and Zoysia. If the lawn looks ok in the morning then looks poor in late afternoon, it is probably heat/dry stress. Tall Fescue will usually go into a semi-dormant state and shut down. Most of the turf will bounce back with cooler temperatures and rainfall. It is important for the fescue to be healthy from proper fertility and a 3.5” to 4.0 mowing height before, during and after the semi-dormant state.  We have about two more months of these climatic conditions.  

Many people are under the impression that warm season turf lawns like Bermuda and Zoysia cannot experience heat/dry related injury/stress during summer.  However, warm season turf grasses are just more heat/dry tolerant than cool season turf. They generally recover from these stresses better than a cool season turf.  Warm season and cool season turf stress is exacerbated when the turf is growing in poor conditions (i.e. shade, compact soil, etc.) and/or struggling to recover from a harsh Transitional Zone winter.  Like Tall Fescue, most of the turf will bounce back if the turf was in good health. 

Warm season turf is heat/dry tolerant but not exempt from experiencing the same conditions as cool season turf like Fescue during hot dry weather. Tolerance means it can tolerate those types of conditions longer and have the ability to generally recover faster.

Difficult To Control Weeds: 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 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. Fairway Green utilizes these products on Round Three and Four turf programs

Difficult to Control Weed: Virginia Buttonweed

Virginia Buttonweed is a very difficult to control broadleaf weed in turfgrass and has become a very prevalent weed in all turf types.  This perennial weed roots deeply, produces white flowers, and spreads by rhizomes (underground stems), as well as by stem pieces cut and distributed during mowing or string trimming.  Virginia Buttonweed becomes more troublesome and thrives in poorly drained or overly moist lawns caused by excessive rainfall or frequent irrigation.

Its shiny, dark green, lance-shaped leaves are oppositely arranged on the stems and have no petioles (stalks that attach leaves to stems).  By late summer, leaves may turn yellow-green due to a viral infection.  The flowers are tubular and white with four petals, which are arranged in a four-pointed star.  If left uncontrolled, this mat-forming weed can smother out turfgrass.

Managing Virginia Buttonweed in a lawn may require two or more years of post-emergence herbicide applications.  Herbicide applications also help control the young seedlings growing in the lawn and prevent large mats of growth that can smother out turfgrass by late summer.  In late summer, older Virginia Buttonweed plants are much more tolerant of selective herbicides, making controls less effective.

Your Fairway Green technician will issue a service call to return in about 14 days if we find Virginia Buttonweed in the lawn. Multiple broadleaf weed control applications are required to control this broadleaf weed.

Disease Alert: Brown Patch Fungus

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 with prevention.

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.

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.