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March 2022 News From Fairway Green

Your spring lawn gameplan is here.

Dealing With Large Patch Fungus

Large patch fungus is a harmful disease for Zoysia, Bermuda, Centipede and St. Augustine turfs in the fall and early spring. It’s similar to brown patch fungus on Fescue. Fairway Green is seeing more cases of this disease every year in our area. Damage occurs before you can even be aware of it and will not be visible until green-up in the spring.

Controlling large patch fungus requires two applications of preventative fungicide in the spring and fall, or when ground temperatures are between 50 and 70 degrees. This is the only real way to handle the disease.

When Will I Know if My Warm Season Turf Was Damaged?

You’ll usually know if your Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede or St. Augustine turf received winter damage by the end of May.

In the transition zone, which a large portion of NC is in, warm season turf generally won’t start growing until this time (when ground temperatures start being ideal for 24-hour plant growth and activity). This gives us the best idea of potential warm-season turf injuries.

Of course, some lawns will look green or somewhat green before this time. Several new varieties of Bermuda and Zoysia break dormancy earlier and stay active longer into the fall. Centipede may also try to break dormancy earlier than this and can get damaged by spring cold spells. However, in most cases, these turfs will not be actively growing yet.

If you are really concerned about a part of the lawn that just isn’t looking right, here’s what you can do:

  • Cut out a small piece of your lawn (be sure to dig at least 3” of soil).
  • Bring it inside and place it in front of a window that gets at least 6+ of sunlight a day. 
  • Wait approximately two weeks:
    • If you observe greening, the turf is probably fine.
    • If you don’t observe greening by week three, the turf is probably damaged.

Why Do My Broadleaf Weeds Still Look Alive After Treatment?

A common misconception is that the weeds should turn brown and die within a couple days of treatment. However, this is often not the case, as most weed species can take a couple weeks to show signs of control. In fact, even if it’s under control, the plant may not turn brown. More often than not, the plant will just start to shrivel up and disappear, leaving behind a very small skeleton.

Managing Moss

Moss continues to be a major topic for property owners. This is mainly due to the above-normal rainfall we’ve had for the past two years. This can also be in tandem with other conditions that are favorable for moss development. For example, a mixture of excessive shading and moisture, poor draining and compacted soil not being able to dry properly. 

Conditions that create moss also create a poor growing environment for quality turf. While moss does not generally kill grass, it can take over lawn areas where turf is thin or unable to grow properly. 

As a non-vascular plant, regular weed controls can’t help. There is also no reasonable chemical control option to remove moss either. Ultimately, controlling moss comes down to eliminating the conditions that create it. For the best preventive measures and direct actions you can take, check out our blog.

Why Do I Get Poa annua (Annual Bluegrass)?

Poa annua (Annual Bluegrass) usually stands out from late April to May. This is due to the large amount of tan-colored seed heads the plant produces during this time. However, above-average ground temperatures means seed heads may have already started appearing. 

As a wild annual grass, it can show up anywhere. Its hardiness means it can grow in poor conditions where desirable turf will not. This includes areas that have poor/compacted soil. However, being that it is a common grassy weed in our area, you may even find it in the middle of your yard.

Common areas it can show up include: 

  • Along roadways
  • In “Devil Strips” (strips between sidewalks and roadways)
  • Along the sides of driveways where you often walk on turf to get in and out of your vehicle

Poa annua germination starts in late August and goes through the winter (this is around the same time you see Fescue). Because of Poa annua’s maturity during pre-emergent Crabgrass applications in January, February and early spring, it’s not controlled by them. Poa annua will generally end its life cycle in late May and June. As a prolific seeder, seed is generally viable the following year. 

We can control about 70-80% percent of Poa annua in warm season turf (Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede). We do this with a split application in November and December with a product that provides good control. Again, this split application will control roughly 70-80%, as 100% control is not possible.