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May 2022 News from Fairway Green

Get your lawn in summertime shape with the right tricks, tips and help for success.

Winter Injury/Damage on Warm Season Turf

Fairway Green has been treating several cases of winter harm on warm season turf. As warm season turf like Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede start to grow through May and June, we can see the extent of it. Corrective action for any damage ultimately depends on its extent.

Centipede

damage-3

Centipede is the most cold intolerant of all warm season turf. That said, it tends to green up sooner than other warm season turf. To help it along, sod is your best bet (fertilizer won’t actually get it to spread faster).

Bermuda and Zoysia

Both of these tend to look more injured than they actually are and can actually fill in quicker/spread faster than Centipede. They will both generally fill back in with proper fertilization if damage is not severe.

When Will I Know the Full Extent of Damage?

Please keep in mind that it’s difficult to know the full extent of injury until June. This is when most any lawn will be fully out of dormancy. However, the exact timing will be on a case-to-case basis. You may see a neighbor’s lawn break dormancy before yours simply because of the amount of sunlight it receives. This is especially true when you have cool spring temperatures deep into May like we have seen this year. As a side note, fertilizer will not help turf green up unless it is ready to start actively growing. Its active growth depends on air/ground temperatures and the amount of daylight a lawn receives.

To help with lawn recovery, core aeration can be your best bet (see the next section).

Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede Turf Core Aeration

Once your warm-season turf is actively growing, it’s time to consider core aeration. This annual key management practice will go a long way for improving the quality of your turf and soil. It involves creating small holes in your soil (done by removing thatch and soil). 

Core aeration will:

  • Improve natural soil aeration (this is especially beneficial for clay soil).
  • Improve water and nutrient uptake.
  • Improve root and turf health.
  • Improve turf density and help aid turf recovery from winter injury and disease.

We’ve Published Two New Blogs!

Be sure to check out our recent blogs on Mosquito Control and Brown Patch Fungus if you haven’t yet!

Spring Grub Season Is Here

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Image provided by NC State’s Turffiles

All turf types are susceptible to white grub feeding, but what exactly are they? White grubs are the larvae of several beetles seen on/in lawns and natural areas. You can identify a grub by its off-white body and off-brown hind and head. They typically have six legs, grow anywhere from ¼ to 1½ inches and are seen in a C-shaped position in the soil. Grub species in North Carolina include:

  • Southern and Northern Chafer
  • Japanese
  • Asiatic
  • Green June
  • May Beetles

White grubs create damage in turf by eating through root systems. This damage is usually observed in late spring or fall as an off-color, wilting appearance on one’s lawn. As it’s commonly misdiagnosed as disease, heat or dry stress, you can confirm you’re dealing with white grub damage by:

  • Checking if your lawn has a spongy, almost loose feel to its soil.
  • Seeing if your turf rolls up when tugged.
  • Being on the look for an increase in birds, raccoons, skunks and moles near your home.

To determine the extent of your 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. Then, cut back the turf sample to count the number of grubs and inspect root damage. If you see nine or more grubs, take immediate action utilizing proper products. We can also be off assistance in developing a custom plan of action.

Proper Mowing Height Reminder

Cool-Season Turf

For cool-season turf, mowing season is officially underway. Proper mowing height will help you control and prevent weeds. For Fescue, research has proven that maintaining a mowing height of 3½ “- 4” can drastically reduce Crabgrass. Mowing at this height will also help promote healthy turf and hold back broadleaf weeds.

Warm-Season Turf

Many warm season turf lawns struggle to thrive due to improper mowing heights. Mowing your type of warm season turf properly will drastically improve the overall quality and appearance of the lawn.  

  • Bermuda requires mowing every few days at 1.0” to 1.75”.  For hybrid Bermuda, use an even lower setting to encourage denser turf and spreading. Otherwise, your lawn will look thin, grow upward and be more susceptible to damage.
  • Zoysia requires a mowing height between 1.5” and 2.5” (based on your particular variety). A safe bet would be around 2.25”.
  • Centipede needs to be cut low around 1” to 1.75” to perform well.
  • St Augustine requires a mowing height of 1.75” to 2.25”.