Picture of the Week
July 20, 2020
Streaking across the Lawn???
Glenn Hardebeck, Turfgrass Research Agronomist, Purdue University
This time of year seemingly small things can combine with
the stress of a hot dry summer to create visible problems. Even something as common as mowing the lawn
can create problems under certain conditions.
Mowing across patches of turf that are under drought stress (especially
during hot, sunny days) can destroy the integrity of the leaves to the point
that even with irrigation, the leaves will not green-up. New leaves must regrow
from the crown of the plant taking 4 weeks or more. Following are some points to consider during
- Mow only as the growth of the
turf requires (Cut about 1/3 off at a time).
- Avoid mowing during the heat
of the day when the lawn is under the greatest amount of drought and heat
- Keep the blade(s) sharp,
sharp, sharp. Dull blades give a ragged cut that increases the water loss
from the leaves.
- On an unirrigated lawn, consider
holding off mowing (as growth allows) until Mother Nature provides some
irrigation. This can help your lawn retain more color longer into the
- If mowing is necessary due to
weeds such as buckhorn plantain but the turf has not grown significantly,
consider raising the mower height so that the weeds are cut without
cutting into the turf. This can reduce the amount of water lost from the
otherwise freshly cut turf leaves.