Current Conditions Lawn Tips

Conditions are favorable for

Ascochyta Leaf Blight

What it is -  Ascochyta Leaf Blight is a minor fungus that lives on the leaf blade. The fungus enters the leaf blade through the cut end (when you mow or other traffic areas). It causes the blade to quickly turn a straw-color and appear dead.  

 

Why the fungus happens or how it works is not well understood by researchers.  It does seem to coincide with seasonal changes from cooler wet, to hot, humid, and dry periods.

 

Mowing during the heat of the day, mowing off more than 1/3 of the grass blade, and dull mower blades seem to intensify the damage.

 

It mainly affects bluegrass, but can still be found on some rye and fescue lawns.

 

You might notice -  Straw-colored wheel track patterns from mowers or other equipment, or areas of heavy foot traffic to be more noticeable than other areas. In effect these actions slightly bruised the grass blades creating a welcoming host for the fungi (which was already present) to invade. Thus, creating some pattern like areas. Also along concrete are common areas to notice the blight and sometimes they just appear to be random spots.

 

The good news -  Ascochyta leaf blight does not typically affect the crown and roots. Therefore, with a little time, patience, and regular watering (hopefully some natural precipitation) the lawn should recover to its former state. This should happen with in 2-4 weeks in most cases, depending on weather and watering.

 

What to do now -  Watering:  You want to water infrequently yet deeply, 2-3 days a week for 45min - 1hr in each area. Avoid watering with less than 2 hrs of daylight left in the day do not water at night.

 

Mowing:  While fungus is present reduce mowing frequency and increase mowing height. Avoid mowing during wet weather as it may harm the turf and provide more infection points for the pathogen. 

 

*Avoid mowing in the heat of the day and time mowing to be a day or two after rain or watering. 

*Keep your mower height at 3”–4” tall and keep the blades nice and sharp. 

*Leave the clippings on the lawn as long as it does not leave clumping.

 

 In the future -  Having your lawn aerated every year or two will help reduce your chances of disease and fungus. It reduces your thatch layer, allows better water penetration, and air circulation.

This is not a weed

What it is - It is just the grass going through its normal plant cycle and going to seed. As you continue to mow and the temperatures warm up it will stop it's seeding phase.

 

Summer Watering

As the hotter temperatures and rain are becoming unpredictable, be sure to be ready to water your lawn when needed. The lawn should be watered 1-3 times a week depending on rainfall. It’s best to water for longer periods at least 45min - 1hr in each area.

 

Our fertilizers will not burn your lawn if it is not watered. They have a poly coating, which inhibits the breakdown and release of the nutrients until it has been water activated.

 

So, does it have to be watered in? NO

 

Will it help activate and give you better results if you do?  Yes

Are your Mower Blades Sharp?

 

Dull Mower Blade Damage:

Now that we have got through the heavy and wet spring mowing season, you should consider having your blades sharpened again to get you through the rest of the season.

 

Issues caused by dull mower blades: As you can see in the photo, the grass blades on the right are what they should look like and the ones on the left are from a dull mower blade. This can cause several problems that you want to avoid.

 

*It gives the lawn almost a brown cast over the whole lawn and will not look as green as it should. You should be able to tell that something is wrong.

 

*It will lead to water loss and increased disease susceptibility.

 

*If the condition persists into the hot summer months your lawn will have a much more difficult time coping with heat stress and could lead to severe damage.

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