North Carolina Lawn Care Tips for Fescue and Bermuda Lawns
Most of the lawns in the Charlotte are either (Cool Season) Fescue or (Warm Season) Bermuda with a few (Warm Season) Zoysia.
Transition Zone: This is an important term for us in the Charlotte area and northern South Carolina. It is a zone or area that runs across our country where we are on the southern edge of getting a cool season grass to survive our hot Carolina summers and at the same time we are on the northern boundary where warm season grasses are dormant about 8 months out of the year.
Cool Season Fescue is the majority choice of most homeowners. It will stay green all year long in our climate. However, it is subject to heat and drought stress as well as disease in the summer months. During the summer a large amount of the fescue can be lost unless the proper protocols are followed.
We have a great summer program for Fescue:
- We apply a liquid mix formulated to help with the summer heat stress
- This same liquid mix is formulated to help with watering retention
- Our formula also controls the disease all summer long
We have found this is the best and most economical way to keep your fescue lawn in shape during these critical months.
Of course, we use formulas to enhance the fescue the rest of the seasons as well to get it as strong as we can for the summer.
Mowing – Fescue should be mowed about 4 inches in the summer to enhance deeper roots and shade out any invading Bermuda. This will do more to stop Bermuda than any other chemical technique we can use.
Watering - A couple of times a week should be sufficient. When you water, water thoroughly, lets it soak in and then water again. We like about 2 AM and again at 6 AM a couple of days a week. You get a deeper penetration of the water into the soil with this method and your water bill should be less.
Sometimes you may get curb burn out from the radiating heat from the street. We recommend a soaker hose for these areas. It takes less than you think, to keep this area green with the addition of water, just a couple times a week during the hottest part of the summer.
Disease Control- A few more words are in order here. This is the biggest problem for fescue lawns. The cycle is the disease kills out the fescue, then Bermuda or weeds fill in and you have the making of a mess in your lawn. It is critical because when your lawn goes dormant, it will come back to life. If it dies from disease, it is done. The only remedy is to aeravate and over seed in the fall with new seed. Our disease program controls this problem.
Warm Season Bermuda- Bermuda will give you a beautiful lime green lawn for about 4 months of the year, and then it will start to go dormant and turn brown. We have a good Bermuda program to help you get the most out of your Bermuda lawn. Bermuda likes the sun, and will not grow in the shade. It can get a disease, but usually not like the fescue and we can treat it if it does get a disease.
Mowing- Bermuda needs to be mowed short, about 1 to 1-1/2 inches. This is difficult for many homeowners, who like to mow it higher and only have a rotary mower and not a reel mower.
More Lawn Tips
- Avoid frequent watering cycles that cause shallow root growth.
Has your irrigation inspected? So many customers say their irrigation works, but upon inspection, there are parts of the lawn getting no or little water, because of numerous reasons. We can suggest qualified irrigation specialist for you.
- Use sharp blades on your mower, a poorly cut lawn can ruin months of progress on a lawn.
- Ragged ripped grass blades lose lots more water and are much more susceptible to disease.
- Your lawn will have a gray cast to it(about a day later) when the mower blades are dull
- Remove only about a 1/3 with each cutting
- Mow in different directions with each cutting.
- Do not bag clippings. This is worth about a bag of fertilizer to you per year. Fescue clippings do not cause thatch.
- Disease damage causes thatch.
- Some areas, around and under trees may not grow grass. You may want to reconsider how you landscape that area. Maybe a good looking decorative mulch is the answer.
Be Careful, many thousands of people are injured every year from mower accidents.