• 50°

Blackwelder: Time to get your fescue in order

SALISBURY — It’s almost a week after Labor Day, and now is the perfect time to renovate and maintain fescue lawns. Rowan County lawns have suffered through another summer of unusual heat and humidity, which has weakened strong lawns and virtually eliminated those that were seeded late or those with weak stands.
Tropical rain storms made it plausible to proceed with much of this seemingly unending renovation project. Below are a few questions homeowners often ask via phone or email about fall lawn renovation.
Q: You often suggest using a fescue blend of three or more fescue types. Why is it so important to use a turf-type fescue blend?
A: Through years of testing, agronomists have learned that using different types of fescue provides better survival rates from droughts or fungal diseases such as brown patch. Agronomists have discovered that mixing different types provides better disease resistance through different genetics.
Q: What are the seeding rates for fescue seed?
A: Over-seed with 3 to 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet for thin or weak lawns. A new lawn or lawns with completely bare areas should receive about 7 to 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
Q: You always recommend core aerating lawns in the fall. What is wrong with using a spike type aerator?
A: Spike aerators make holes, but the spikes compact the soil. Clay soil benefits from plugs of soil pulled out of the earth to allow better aeration and root expansion. Core aeration should be done every other year and only in the fall. Aeration in the spring encourages weed germination.
Q: What’s a good fertilizer for fall lawn renovation?
A: Pre-measured specialty fertilizers are designed to provide maximum growth for fescue and other turf. These contain slow-release fertilizers with high percentages of nitrogen and phosphorus for maximum root growth during the fall and winter. Grade fertilizers such as 10-10-10 are also acceptable, but often do not contain slow-release fertilizers, requiring more frequent applications.
Q: How soon after my fescue germinates can I mow the grass?
A: Fescue should be cut when the newly emerging grass reaches about 4 inches. Raise the mower as high as it will go and mow. Make sure the blade is very sharp.
Q: Every time I use straw mulch I usually get a huge crop of wheat. Can I forgo straw mulch and get a good stand of fescue?
A: Yes, but it would be much better if you used mulch. Straw mulch often contains seeds from wheat or weed seed. You can, however, use paper mulch that works well and does not contain any seeds.
Darrell Blackwelder is County Extension Director, for the Rowan County Center, N.C. Cooperative Extension, 2727 A Old Concord Road. Call 704-216-8970.
www.rowanmastergardener.com
rowan.ces.ncsu.edu
www.rowanextension.com

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Rowan Helping Ministries preparing to reopen clothing assistance as temperatures drop

Business

Local retailers looking to holiday shopping for boost in business

Coronavirus

Virus numbers could be erratic after Thanksgiving

Elections

Appeals court rejects Trump challenge of Pennsylvania race

Coronavirus

52 COVID-19 cases added Friday after week with highest, fourth-highest increases

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with stealing boat, $10,000 in auto parts

Education

RSS superintendent hiring process continues

Business

We want to hear from readers: How are you planning to do your holiday shopping?

Local

‘Whoever we feed is a blessing:’ Providence Baptist Church distributes free meals on Thanksgiving

Local

Spencer to receive $750,000 CDBG grant for home repair

Elections

For Rowan, 2020 general election turnout statistics mostly mirror 2016

Crime

Blotter: Nov. 26

Coronavirus

County sets record for most COVID-19 positives reported in one day

News

From poult to Thanksgiving centerpiece, Evans Family Farm knows how to raise turkeys

Education

Catawba, Livingstone not bringing students back until after the holidays

Education

‘Just because’: Partners in Learning surprises staff with $15,000 in bonuses, turkeys

Local

Few applications received for state’s child care, remote learning assistance grant

Local

Girls Scouts pack meals for Meals on Wheels Rowan

Education

RCCC offering solutions for students wanting to jumpstart their college education

Education

PetSmart donation to Essie Mae Kiser Foxx

Crime

Salisbury Police ready to roll out regional crime center before end of the year

Education

Shoutouts: North Hills Christian School announces homecoming king and queen

Local

‘An icon of China Grove:’ Former China Grove Elementary students remember custodian Carl Wilkerson

College

Catawba basketball: The struggle to play the games