Managing Summer Stress in Cool-Season Grasses
Cool-season grasses benefit from nitrogen fertilization during the summer. Newer lawns typically have limited nitrogen stored in the soil. As a result, these cool-season lawns typically turn yellow during the summer. A slow-release or organic nitrogen fertilizer application in summer can be very beneficial; however, quick-release fertilizers can burn the turf and promote disease when applied in mid-summer.
If the stand is yellow and slow-growing, then an application of nitrogen and not more irrigation is usually required. If you have brown patches, then you need to determine if it’s a fungus or an insect issue. Please consult your local rep for the best recommendation needed.
Here is a list of things we can control that will help lessen summer decline to turf areas.
- Avoid the application of nitrogen fertilizers with high-burn potential like quick-release fertilizers during periods of high heat and humidity.
- Make sure the irrigation heads are working and have even distribution.
- Remember that spring seedlings need irrigation to survive the summer.
- Avoid setting the mower deck too low especially when the turf is under drought stress.
- Don’t apply herbicides when temperatures exceed 85 Fahrenheit.
- The over-application of nitrogen fertilizers stimulates shoot growth instead of root growth.
I recommend using our 22-3-11 50% XCU with Armament in the summer months or our selection of organic Nature Safe products. Please contact your ATS sales rep to learn more about recommendations for your specific needs.