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With temperatures going into the 90’s and no rain in the forecast, maintaining a beautiful turfgrass lawn will be difficult - even for the professionals! Hopefully, you have listened to Mark Webber and I for the last 9 months and done everything we suggested that you do to get your turfgrass deeply rooted. These practices would have included Late Season High Nitrogen Fertilization back in November or early December, and also Hollow Tine Core Aeration.
We have had a wonderful spring for growing grass and its root system up to now … timely rains and relatively cool temperatures. Your Kentucky Bluegrass or Turf Type Tall Fescue lawns have loved the weather up to now here in Ohio. But all of this is going to change!!
When we see daytime temperatures into the 90’s and night time temperatures staying above 70 degrees, lawn diseases will go rampant! Here are a few things that you can do to help protect your turfgrass from summer lawn diseases:
Watering – Your lawn requires approximately 1 inch of water each week. This can come from either Mother Nature or irrigation . Get a rain gauge and use it! Only with a rain gauge will you know exactly what amount of rainfall your lawn has received each week.
Mowing – I cannot over emphasize the importance of mowing with a sharpe , well balance mower blade. A dull mower blade shreds the turf and leaves the turf with “open wounds” which make it easy for disease to get started in the grass plant .
Fungicides – There are several good broad spectrum turf fungicides available. However, for best results, most fungicides are intended to be used as a preventive for turf disease, and not curative. Turf Professionals will apply fungicides BEFORE the disease invades the turfgrass plant. Fungicides used after the fact will help slow down and eventually stop the disease, but the damage to the turf plant has already occurred … Sort of like shutting the barn door after the horse has escaped!
Summer is when turfgrass just tries to “hold on” and make it thru the summer. Good luck!!