They are also subject to pests. The same pests do not affect all lawns. Even within the lawn, some areas are more pest prone. These cultural practices help reduce or prevent pests and aid plant recovery.
Not all lawns need the same cultural intesity. Turf care depends on species, quality of lawn wanted, intended uses, and time, effort and money available.
1. Select species or cultivars adapted to the site and the intended use.
2. Ensure the proper soil conditions, including adeqate surface and subsurface drainage.
3. Establish turf correctly.
4. Water prperly. The longer grass remains wet, the greater the chances of disease problems occuring. Apply enough water at one time to provide adequate moisture for a week and wet the soil six to eight inches deep.
5. Remove excess thatch in the spring or fall of it is more than one-half inch deep. Thatch is a tight layer of living and dead stems and roots of grasses that develops between the leaves and the soil surface. Too much thatch keeps water from prnetrating the soil, prevents deep rooting and makes some pest problems worse. Thatch is often an ailment of intensive turf care. Grasses differ in their inclination to develop thatch.
6. Mow upright grasses, such as bluegrass and fescues to 2 1/2 or 3 inches high in the summer. Creeping grasses such as bent, Bermuda and Zoysia can be mowed to 1/2 inch or less.
7. Mow frequently enough so not more than 1/4 to 1/3 of the leaf surface is removed at a time. Mow the lawn throughout the fall until the grass stops growing.
8. Core compacted areas, using hand or power equipment. These use hollow tines to remove soil cores that leave a hole or cavity in the soil.
9. Fertilize according to recommendations and a soil test. Recommendations vary with the species grown and their use. Do not over fertilize to promote fast, lush growth in hot, humid weather or early spring.
10. Follow suggested pest control programs for local conditions and grass species.
11. Avoid planting grasses that are not adapted to this area. Be careful of seed mixtures that contain "weed" grasses. Plant at recommended rates.
12. Listen to the KSL Greenhouse every Saturday.
More information is available from your local Utah State University Extension Service office or from a turf specialist.