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June News From Fairway Green

Mowing Height 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… Read more »

Mowing Height

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 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.

This link contains valuable information about proper mowing height having the ability to offer excellent crabgrass and miscellaneous broadleaf weed control.

Now is the Time for Warm Season Core Aeration

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.

Heat and Dry Stress Could Be Around the Corner for all Turf Types

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, and a leaf blade 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 rain fall.  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.  

Heat/Dry Stress on Fescue (note the rolled leaves)

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 warm 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 type of conditions longer and have the ability to generally recover faster.

Difficult To Control – 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. 

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.

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.

Close up of Brown Patch Lesion

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.

April & May Starts the Spring Grub Season

White grubs are the larvae of Scarab beetles.  There are several beetles that produce the grubs we see while digging in our lawns and natural areas.  Grub species in North Carolina include Southern and Northern Chafer, Japanese, Asiatic, Green June and the May beetles.  Grubs are identified by their cream off white colored body and off brown color hind part and head.  Grubs have six legs and are from ¼ to 1½ inches.  They are often seen in their C-shaped position in the soil. 

White grubs create damage in turf by eating the root system of the host plant.  Turf damage is usually observed in late spring through fall with an off color wilting appearance. Many times it is misdiagnosed as disease, heat or dry stress.  The lawn may have a spongy almost loose feel to the soil under the turf.  In severe cases, the turf may roll up when tugged on from the lack of roots holding it to the soil.  Activity from birds, raccoons, skunks and moles could indicate a grub infestation.  To determine the extent of grub activity and the need for control, you will need to use a spade to remove the upper 3 inches of soil in a 12” x 12” area.  Cut back the turf sample to count the number of grubs and inspect root damage.  If nine or more grubs are observed, take immediate action utilizing proper products.  All turf types are susceptible to grub feeding and damage.  

Fairway Green Mosquito Control Program

Safely Enjoy the Outdoors this Summer by Controlling Disease-Ridden Mosquitos At Home

We all know Mosquitos transmit diseases like West Nile Virus, Encephalitis and Chikungumya.  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.