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Spring's arriving, Summer is Coming! Ever wonder when to mow your grass, water it, or feed it

I believe most of us like to imagine our lawn as a plush, green and pleasant area to look at and enjoy. Well that sometimes is not the case. Big concern and questions we get asked this time of year is how to care for and keep cool-season lawn grass such as Ryegrass, Bentgrass, Bluegrass and Fescue grass disease free when the heat, dryness, and moisture of summer attacks it. Thought I'd share parts of an articular from this month's Landscape Management Magazine that provides very basis information, but may help! Still have questions, please don't guess, consult a licensed professional to help you identify and recommend a treatment for the area of concern before it becomes a big costly problem.

Fielding a strong defense: Seven practices to strengthen your lawn clients’ environment

The first step is to understand the players. Disease pathogens require a vulnerable plant host and assisting environmental conditions to mount an attack. A disciplined defense—one that keeps these three vital players from coming together—is the best way for defeating disease pressure across the season.

Be disciplined in the following lawn care management practices to ensure your conditions favor strong turf and resist the spread of disease. Maximizing all cultural advantages to allow exceptional turfgrass growth is key to maintaining a healthy disease-free lawn.

1. Plan ahead.

It’s important to be proactive. Implement targeted preventive fungicide applications based upon your experience at the site and be sure to scout and closely follow the weather conditions to set your application schedule. The combination makes for a strong foundation of a disease-free lawn.

A well-timed preventive fungicide application for diseases such as fairy ring and summer patch will lessen or eliminate problems when the pathogen has yet to damage the turf or is in an early and vulnerable stage.

2. Proper mowing.

Recommend that your clients maintain sharp mower blades to reduce plant damage and mow regularly to attain the proper height for your turfgrass type. Encourage them to reduce grass height by no more than one-third in a single cutting.

Mowing too short disrupts nutrients and weakens plants; meanwhile, leaving grass too tall inhibits sunlight and provides an excellent environment for fungal diseases to thrive.

3. Wise watering.

Poor irrigation practices, whether over- or under-watering, invite disease activity. Be vigilant in suggesting your clients address overly wet or dry areas, which can strongly weaken turf and assist disease.

4. Focused fertilization.

Nutrient-depleted turfgrass is more prone to disease. Over-fertilization can run the same risk, raising the plant’s susceptibility to various diseases. Lawn and landscape managers should soil test to gauge nutrient needs. Depending on the soil sample results for each site, apply slow-release fertilizer in the spring, generally leaning toward lower application rates.

5. Canopy health.

Compacted soil limits root growth, leaving turf susceptible to disease. Cultivation with coring or aeration reduces compaction and is best done when grass is in high growth, before temperatures reach stress levels. Promptly reintegrate core segments using drag equipment. De-thatch to further support root health.

6. Strategic seeding.

Cool-season grasses are often prone to summer disease. Select a turfgrass type well suited to your conditions. If your turfgrass type isn’t optimal, consider introducing or seeding a new variety that demonstrates a higher level of disease resistance while also producing more consistent desirable qualities such as density, uniformity and color.

7. Accurate identification.

Frequently inspect your turf for early signs of disease. Once disease is present, it’s important to identify the causal pathogen so you can determine the best course of action. Lawn and landscape professionals can consult reference materials, ask an expert or send a sample for testing to determine the pathogen. Once identified on site, act quickly to apply an effective curative fungicide treatment according to label directions.

This page was produced by North Coast Media’s content marketing staff in collaboration with Nufarm. NCM Content Marketing connects marketers to audiences and delivers industry trends, business tips and product information. The Landscape Management editorial staff did not create this content.

Copy from Landscape Management Digital Magazine April 1, 2018.

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