Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why your Bermuda or Zoysia lawn looks like crap right now

We are getting a lot of calls about how terrible customers Bermuda or Zoysia lawns currently look. Here is the situation. We apply pre-emergent to prevent winter weeds. Unfortunately we did not have a winter this year so the pre-emergent ran out before it was time to apply the spring pre-emergent. Also we are normally able to apply low rates of Roundup to warm-season lawns in February to eliminate unsightly cool season grass clumps such as annual ryegrass, perennial ryegrass, fescue, wheat, and annual bluegrass(poa). Roundup only damages plants by entering green foliage it is not active in the soil. Although the leaves of the Bermuda in Zoysia turned brown, the lateral stems called stolons remained green because of the extremely warm winter and could not be treated without doing serious harm to your warm season lawn. If we did do the treatment we normally do, it would have taken your warm season lawn at least an extra month to fully green up. We have been able to control most of the broadleaf weeds such as Clover dandelion and chickweed by carefully applying low rates of broadleaf weed control. Bermuda in Zoysia are only partially green at the moment. This time is called the "transition period" applying herbicides for grass control during the transition period Is a unacceptable practice because of the damage it can do to your lawn. Here's my recommendation. Have the grass cut low at least twice a week to stress out the cool season grasses. In early May the Bermuda in Zoysia should
be fully green and Beyond the transition. When warm season grasses are completely green and actively
growing, they are very tolerant of herbicides applied to remove cool season grasses. One other factor to consider. There is a disease which is basically a cool season Brown patch which is currently attacking Bermuda in Zoysia Lawns. That disease occurs during  transition when we have wet weather and cool nights. Applying heavy amounts of nitrogen during this time of transition would definitely increase your chances of this disease doing damage to your lawn. So we will not fertilize warm season grasses with nitrogen until they are completely green and it is past the time frame where that particular fungus does the most damage. I'm basically asking you to give me three weeks before we can safely control all the weeds that are unsightly including grasses and before we can safely promote those grasses to Green up and start growing. Thank you for your patience. Please let me know that you received this message in your email box and understand it. Sincerely, Robert Stroud The Turf doctor


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