Campus News

Plan for a healthier home lawn

The following management practices will help achieve vigorous, healthy turf and reduce disease problems:

• Prepare the soil properly by taking soil samples to determine proper lime and nutrient requirements.

• Remove debris such as rocks and stumps.

• Provide proper drainage.

• Plant a locally adapted, disease-resistant turfgrass.

• Purchase high-quality, disease-free seed, sod or sprigs from a certified producer.

• Mow turfgrasses often enough so that no more than 30 percent of the leaf blade is removed in a single mowing. If more plant material is removed, the grass can become stressed and more susceptible to disease-causing organisms and insects.

• Keep mower blades sharp.

• Raise the mowing height during stress periods such as drought.

• Apply water when signs of moisture stress are observed on 30 to 50 percent of the lawn. Apply enough to wet the soil 6 to 8 inches deep.

• Apply fertilizer and lime according to soil test recommendations.

• Raise the mowing height in shaded areas to help the turfgrass absorb the light that does penetrate the tree canopy.

• Design landscape plantings so that trees and shrubs do not restrict light penetration or air circulation to the turfgrass canopy.