July Maintenance

General Maintenance

To maintain a good sward density make sure to continue cutting regularly, it may also prove useful on newly established grass to roll the surface to ensure nothing is pulled out by the action of the mower. Mowing equipment should be set to cut without tearing, you can let the clippings fly to assist with nutrient levels and water in the surface.

Once soil becomes hydrophobic and dry it becomes very difficult to get water back into the surface, so make sure you irrigation systems are functioning correctly.

You may choose to use wetting agents to ensure uniform wetting, particularly on soils prone to dry patch.

Making sure air continues circulating around the base of the plant can be important for removing early morning dew and controlling disease, so make sure brush work is carried out.

Keep your regime flexible and spike when conditions allow.

Apply a summer NPK fertiliser, something like a 12:0:9 or 9:7:7, to maintain grass colour and vigour.  Liquid fertilisers and biostimulants have become popular, primarily due the fact they can be often mixed and taken in by the plant more readily. A slow release fertiliser could be applied to see you through July and August. The choice of materials and how well they work will depend on factors such as soil type and weather, with moisture and air temperature being the catalyst for growth.

Unless you have the means to water it, do not apply fertiliser during periods of drought.

You may find high salt fertilisers will exacerbate the stress factors in your grass, so you will want to avoid using them. Use of liquid fertilisers are less likely to scorch grass, but may still need to be watered in.

Seaweed or amino biostimulants help your grass through stressful periods and should be considered as alternatives. Another consideration should be calcium, an important ingredient for giving the plant rigidity and regulating root and shoot growth.

Weeds, Pests & Diseases

With a peak of turf diseases such as Microdochium Nivale (Fursarium), Fairy Rings and Red Thread we suggest acting preventatively by applying a systemic fungicide such as Heritage Maxx. Application before symptoms are visible but the threat is imminent is the key to success when adopting a preventative approach.

Orange/brown patches 2.5-5cm are symptoms of Fusarium, you may also find a creamy white mycelium in the centre and towards to the outer edge.

Removing the dew in the mornings via brushing, switching or drag matting will reduce the likelihood of a disease outbreak. Grass in the active patches is often slimy; once the disease is controlled the scars will remain until there is sufficient grass growth to fill in.

A close inspection of Red Thread will reveal red needle like structures which are attached to the leaf blade, pink mycelium will also be visible in early morning dew. The needles become brittle upon death and are easily detached allowing fragments to spread the disease.

Applying systemic curatives and protective fungicides such as Chlorothalonil and Iprodione, can be used to control any outbreaks. Mixing two or more products in the same tank can help reduce the potential for disease resistance developing. Fungicides are selected with different modes of action so that resulting mixture will attack the target disease on two or more fronts. This makes it more difficult for the pathogens to develop resistance to treatments. 

You may find worms are active at this time of year, so if needed Carbendazim can be used for controlling them. Moles can be active where worms are prevalent and can cause a lot of damage to the surface.