Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It ain't no fairway, YO!


****IF THE TURF IS ALREADY SHOWING DROUGHT STRESS AND HAS NOT BEEN WATERED TO PROMOTE RECOVERY, PLEASE SKIP MOWING THAT WEEK.

I have enjoyed driving around looking at how green and "tight" the lawns have looked over the past month. However, that cool looking, low cut fescue has got to go!  I have noticed and contacted customers to let them know that their mowing height is too low when we see it. Though you can get away with a 2 inch cut on tall fescue through April, you WILL pay the price now, during heat stress and drought stress. YOUR ROOT DEPTH IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO HEIGHT OF CUT. So, if 2 inch roots seem like a good plan vs 3-3.5 inch roots, then don't listen. Fescue should be NO SHORTER THAN 3 INCHES AND NO HIGHER THAN 3.5. That extra 1-1.5 inches higher cut will also protect the plant crown by shading it. In simple terms, the plants crown is basically the "growing point" that allows grass to regenerate after mowing or other damage. If the crown dehydrates and bakes the party is over. If leaf blades dehydrate, the plant can regenerate with water and reduced heat. Think of higher cut as "umbrella" to protect your grass from "shake N bake! Though 3.5 inch grass technically uses more water, the benefits during heat and drought stress WAY outweigh water usage in my opinion.

Weeds such as nutsedge, Johnsongrass, dallisgrass, crabgrass, oxalis, spurge(basically ALL SUMMER WEEDS) proliferate much quicker when the sunlight reaches the soil due to low cut, and turf canopy thins. The saying of the best weed control is a dense stand of grass is true. If you cut lower than 3 inches, more sunlight reaches and heats soil, turf will thin and weeds will grow and thats on you. Bobby don't mow.

Guess what?  Just because your lawn mower setting says 3 inches it doesn't make it so! After you or your mowing service mows, stick a ruler in it. Make sure its 3-3.5,with 3.5 BEING OPTIMAL, especially during heat and drought stress. If we advise you that your mowing too low, please adjust it.

Why not mow at 4 or higher? Because as soon as rain comes, height above 3.5 will hold moisture in the turf canopy during day, when air temps rising. No bueno!

Brown Patch Fungus needs all these items to get busy in tall fescue = susceptible host:

1. Night time temps staying above 60
2. Moisture
3. Humidity

Reduce leaf moisture by reducing humidity in turf canopy by NOT mowing above 3.5 inches.

Thank you for helping me help you to keep grass healthy!

****IF THE TURF IS ALREADY SHOWING DROUGHT STRESS AND HAS NOT BEEN WATERED TO PROMOTE RECOVERY, PLEASE SKIP MOWING THAT WEEK.

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