Streaking across the Lawn???
Glenn Hardebeck, Turfgrass Research Agronomist, Department
of Agronomy, 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 the summer:
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 stress.
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 summer.
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.