Relax folks...your cool season grass is OK!
This has been one crazy summer with the weather. Hotter and drier then normal all June, normal July, and now a very wet and cooler then normal early August. What this makes for is a good lesson in that no 2 years are the same around here. Dr. Lee Miller's news letter from the Extension Service is a must read for those who want to stay educated on what is happening in our region. MU Turf Pathology Announcements MUTURFPATH-L@PO.MISSOURI.EDU. He will remind us that our memory is very short and we want instant results for our cool season grass (if you can't grow warm season grass in this weather...it's time for new job) and that just isn't going to happen. It's called a "cool season" for a reason.
Here are some time proven tips and expectations related to what is going on right now:
*Mow at 3.5-4". Any shorter and you are inviting weeds. Anyone who mows shorter and doesn't have weeds is a miracle worker. Mowing high all summer is very important! Tall grass shades the soil, encourages deep roots, helps prevent weeds and fungal activity!
*Fungicide use can help with lawns, but not nearly as much as aerating and over seeding. Try to never skip these steps and you'll have a healthy lawn next summer.
*Soil test can tell us nutrient availability. Cheap tool to use and too many people don't use it. If your pH isn't right, than certain nutrients aren't available to the grass! Test it!
*Organic fertilizers are proving over and over to be essential to a successful looking turf. Any form: human, poultry or plant based improves soil structure and helps keep it green.
*Nutsedge, crabgrass and purslane along edges are running rampant. Expect to spray 2-3 times before aerating and over seeding in 3-4 weeks.
*Be sure you are not over watering. Mowing when the ground is saturated can mess up turf. The general rule is to not mow if you are "rooster tailing" with the lawn mower.
I hope this helps you with what is going on. Please send pictures of your turf or call me and we'll talk you off the ledge. Remember folks...it's just grass!