Last Minute Tips for Turfgrass Management

November 10, 2009 at 8:30 am

Since we’ve had some nice weather for November I thought I would chat a bit this morning about turfgrass management.  If you are contemplating one final lawn mowing, try to resist the urge to set the mower down and scalp your lawn for the final mowing. Older publications may have recommended mowing low late in the fall and again in the spring for Midwest lawns. But recent research has there are not many advantages to this practice.  Agronomically, mowing turf low should be avoided because photosynthesis is very high during the fall even with cool temperatures.  The higher the photosynthesis, the more energy a grass plant have for next spring, and the healthier a grass plant.

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Another good tip for turfgrass management is to consider a November application of turfgrass fertilizer. Fertilizer stimulates increased photosynthesis and some of the extra energy derived from fertilizer goes into turfgrass plant storage. Next spring, these storage products are used for green-up of the turfgrass plant, and more importantly, for turfgrass root growth. Though you might think that fertilizer applied early next spring would do the equivalent as November-applied fertilizer, just the opposite occurs. A spring application of fertilizer will never compensate for a missed application in November.

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