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Maintaining the Lawn

Maintaining the Lawn

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Maintaining the Lawn

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  1. Maintaining the Lawn Modified by Georgia Agricultural Education Office June, 2002

  2. Maintaining the Lawn • Applying lime • sulfur • fertilizer

  3. Lime • Should be applied when necessary to keep the pH between 6.0 and 6.5 • Late fall and winter are the best times to apply lime

  4. Lime • moves through the soil slowly at a rate of about 1/2 to 1 inch per year

  5. Sulfur • should be used on soils that are alkaline to adjust the pH

  6. Fertilizer • annual applications of fertilizer are needed • Nitrogen leaches through the soil and must be replaced regularly

  7. Fertilizer • Lawns require high N fertilizer

  8. Nitrogen • can be applied in an organic form which acts as a slow release nutrient that does not burn the grass and supplies N over a longer period of time

  9. Fertilizer • should be applied with a spreader just prior to the active growing season

  10. Mowing • two types of mowers; • reel • rotary

  11. Mowing • close mowing of 1/2 to 1 inch is done most efficiently with a reel mower

  12. Mowing • most lawns are cut too short because the homeowner believes that the lawn looks best when short

  13. Mowing • a very short cutting reduces the leave area of the plant so much that it cannot make enough food

  14. Mowing • Cutting the grass too short also encourages weed growth • Cool season grasses should not be cut shorter than 2-3 inches

  15. Mowing • Warm season grasses are cut 1/2 to 11/4 inches depending on the variety • Warm season grasses grow faster in warm weather

  16. Mowing • Warm season grasses are better able to compete with weeds.

  17. Mowing • Lawns should be mowed often enough that no more than 1/3 of the top is removed.

  18. Mowing • mower blades should be kept sharp at all times so the grass blades are cut not torn off

  19. Mowing • Mulching mowers eliminate the need to remove clippings from the lawn and reduce fertilizer needs by 50%

  20. Mowing • lawns should be cut so that they are cut at right angles to the direction of the previous mowing.

  21. Mowing • This eliminates compaction, gives the lawn a more even appearance and reduces thatch build up

  22. Mowing • Each pass over the lawn should slightly overlap the previous one • If lawn is too tall clippings should be collected and removed

  23. Mowing • Heavy build up on the lawn shades out light and kills the grass. • Causes a thatch build up that reduces soil aeration

  24. Mowing • damages roots and provides a breeding place for disease and insects

  25. Growth Regulators • Can be applied by spraying on the lawn which will slow the growth of the grass and reduce the number of times the lawn must be mowed.

  26. Growth Regulators • An example is PRIMO

  27. Watering • At least one inch of water should be applied in each application • one inch of water is equivalent to 1/2 gallon per square foot

  28. Watering • Applying less than one inch does more harm than good. • Watering shallowly, the plants root system is not forced to grow deeply into the soil

  29. Watering • A healthy lawn can go dormant and withstand a great deal of dry weather without being damaged.

  30. Watering • The grass will become green and actively grow after the next good rain

  31. Problems • Weeds: • If lawns are heavily infested with weeds, chemical herbicides should be used to eliminate the problem

  32. Weeds • are usually an indication of poor maintenance practices • two types of weed killers used on lawns are pre-emergence and post-emergence

  33. Post Emergence • herbicides are applied after weeds sprout and begin to grow • Many chemicals are selective and only kill certain types of plants

  34. Selective herbicides • make it possible to select a chemical that will kill almost everything but the grass

  35. Diseases • most turf diseases are caused by fungi - parasitic plants • Fungi live in and on dead grass and in the soil where they attack the grass and rob the soil of nutrients.

  36. Diseases • Fungus diseases are spread easily by mowing or simply walking across the infected area especially if the grass is wet

  37. Diseases • for fungal diseases to cause serious problems, there must be: • grass plants on which fungus can live

  38. Fungal diseases • fungus spores and a means of spreading them to the grass • temperature and moisture conditions favorable to the growth of fungi

  39. Disease prevention • do not over use N • maintain a pH of 6.0-6.5 • avoid thatch buildup

  40. disease prevention • water only when necessary and then water deeply • mow frequently, remove only 1/3 of top growth

  41. Disease Prevention • keep trees pruned to allow sufficient light for good growth

  42. Insect Control • can cause serious damage to lawns • spraying of application of granular insecticide may be necessary

  43. Lawn renovation • Reasons lawns fail • wrong species or variety of grass

  44. Reasons lawns fail • improper mowing • cutting to short, not cutting frequently enough

  45. Improper fertilizing • applying fertilizer too late in the spring for cool season grasses. • Apply a few weeks before the grass begins its active growing stage

  46. Fertilizing • Use slow release, high N fertilizer according to soil test results

  47. Improper Watering • failure to apply enough water to soak the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches • Water one inch per week

  48. Heavy Traffic • plant varieties that are known for durability such as the tall fescues

  49. Excessive shade • plant shade tolerant grass or other ground cover • Improper soil preparation prior to planting

  50. Infestation • of weeds, diseases and or insects