18 Apr April Turf Health Tips:
In this months Lawn Health Blog we discuss the best practices to help your lawn recover from winter conditions and green up quickly.
April showers bring May flowers, or they say…
With Spring in full swing April marks, the beginning of the transition period for warm season grasses in Arkansas. You’ll notice the grass starting to peak through the dormant growth from last season as the grasses break winter dormancy and convert their energy to top growth. New growth will begin to stretch out into bare areas from last season from weed die out, fungal damage from fall, dry spots that died back, or area thinned by late season shade. And the time to begin feeding the lawn is fast approaching.
“Timing is Everything”
Fertilizers shouldn’t go down to early to reduce the risks of fungal growth, and fungicides should be incorporated into your management plan if you notice spotty leaf blades, or fungal growth in the lawn. Fungus is best controlled when it is actively growing and healthy just like weeds. Timing is everything when it comes to complete and effective control of fungal growth especially in wet areas, zoysia lawns, and St. Augustine varieties. Fungus thrives in warm, moist conditions so you can imagine the mild nights and high rainfall amounts contribute to healthy fungal reproduction.
“Easy on selective weed control”
Transition periods are the delicate times for turf grasses and its important to understand the effects your selective herbicides will have on your young transitioning turf. At this point in the season we are approaching the end of the Winter Annual life cycle and weeds like poa annua, henbit, and dead nettle, are approaching the end of their annual life cycle. It’s important to take it easy on selective weed control applications and strictly follow the application rates on the label to avoid delaying green up of your lawn.
“No Irrigation needed”
Its almost time to open the irrigation system but, not quite time to water yet. The rainfall amounts we see this time of year is usually sufficient to give what the grasses need. When we do begin to water remember the Rules of Effective Watering:
1. Never water in the evening
2. Avoid watering in the heat of the day
3. Always Water Deeply and Irregularly
“Let’s break that down…”
NEVER water in the evening… Watering in the evening allows the excess water to sit on the leaf blade, stems, and soil encouraging fungal growth and disease when coupled with mild temperatures and high humidity.
AVOID Watering in the heat of the day… Two reasons here, efficiency and health. Water applied in the heat or middle of the day will evaporate much faster requiring a lot more water to get deep into the root zone 4”-6” deep. Water droplets can also form a lens, magnifying the suns rays and burning the grass blades.
ALWAYS Water Deeply and Irregularly… Applying a heavy downpour 2 or three times a week is preferable to 5-6 shallow watering’s per week. The gaps allow the soil to dry out and force the roots to stretch deep into the soil in search of water. This makes the grass strong and resilient to drought later in the season.
Why Turf Defenders Inc?
If you have any questions about your lawn’s health remember, Turf Defenders Inc provides 100% FREE Lawn Health Assessments and can get you a customized turf grass management plan to help take your lawn back from the weeds and insects. We provide a customer first service experience and the highest quality control around. Check out our Homepage for more information or schedule your FREE Lawn health consultation today!
Written by: Roy Summers