Maintaining the Lawn • Applying lime • sulfur • fertilizer
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
Lime • moves through the soil slowly at a rate of about 1/2 to 1 inch per year
Sulfur • should be used on soils that are alkaline to adjust the pH
Fertilizer • annual applications of fertilizer are needed • Nitrogen leaches through the soil and must be replaced regularly
Fertilizer • Lawns require high N fertilizer
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
Fertilizer • should be applied with a spreader just prior to the active growing season
Mowing • two types of mowers; • reel • rotary
Mowing • close mowing of 1/2 to 1 inch is done most efficiently with a reel mower
Mowing • most lawns are cut too short because the homeowner believes that the lawn looks best when short
Mowing • a very short cutting reduces the leave area of the plant so much that it cannot make enough food
Mowing • Cutting the grass too short also encourages weed growth • Cool season grasses should not be cut shorter than 2-3 inches
Mowing • Warm season grasses are cut 1/2 to 11/4 inches depending on the variety • Warm season grasses grow faster in warm weather
Mowing • Warm season grasses are better able to compete with weeds.
Mowing • Lawns should be mowed often enough that no more than 1/3 of the top is removed.
Mowing • mower blades should be kept sharp at all times so the grass blades are cut not torn off
Mowing • Mulching mowers eliminate the need to remove clippings from the lawn and reduce fertilizer needs by 50%
Mowing • lawns should be cut so that they are cut at right angles to the direction of the previous mowing.
Mowing • This eliminates compaction, gives the lawn a more even appearance and reduces thatch build up
Mowing • Each pass over the lawn should slightly overlap the previous one • If lawn is too tall clippings should be collected and removed
Mowing • Heavy build up on the lawn shades out light and kills the grass. • Causes a thatch build up that reduces soil aeration
Mowing • damages roots and provides a breeding place for disease and insects
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.
Growth Regulators • An example is PRIMO
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
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
Watering • A healthy lawn can go dormant and withstand a great deal of dry weather without being damaged.
Watering • The grass will become green and actively grow after the next good rain
Problems • Weeds: • If lawns are heavily infested with weeds, chemical herbicides should be used to eliminate the problem
Weeds • are usually an indication of poor maintenance practices • two types of weed killers used on lawns are pre-emergence and post-emergence
Post Emergence • herbicides are applied after weeds sprout and begin to grow • Many chemicals are selective and only kill certain types of plants
Selective herbicides • make it possible to select a chemical that will kill almost everything but the grass
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.
Diseases • Fungus diseases are spread easily by mowing or simply walking across the infected area especially if the grass is wet
Diseases • for fungal diseases to cause serious problems, there must be: • grass plants on which fungus can live
Fungal diseases • fungus spores and a means of spreading them to the grass • temperature and moisture conditions favorable to the growth of fungi
Disease prevention • do not over use N • maintain a pH of 6.0-6.5 • avoid thatch buildup
disease prevention • water only when necessary and then water deeply • mow frequently, remove only 1/3 of top growth
Disease Prevention • keep trees pruned to allow sufficient light for good growth
Insect Control • can cause serious damage to lawns • spraying of application of granular insecticide may be necessary
Lawn renovation • Reasons lawns fail • wrong species or variety of grass
Reasons lawns fail • improper mowing • cutting to short, not cutting frequently enough
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
Fertilizing • Use slow release, high N fertilizer according to soil test results
Improper Watering • failure to apply enough water to soak the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches • Water one inch per week
Heavy Traffic • plant varieties that are known for durability such as the tall fescues
Excessive shade • plant shade tolerant grass or other ground cover • Improper soil preparation prior to planting
Infestation • of weeds, diseases and or insects