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