(9 minute read)
In an Organic Turf Care Program, mowing and irrigation adjustments make an important difference in your fall turf practices.
MOWING—We love to “Mow High – May June and July”. Well, all season truthfully. PJC recommends mowing grass at a height between 3-4″ year-round, except for the end of the season and before aerations and overseeds. It is critical to remember that you should only be mowing the top 1/3 of the grass blade. Accordingly, it will take a few weeks to transition from 3 1/4″ to 2.5″ before winter. Remember that turf tissue can be susceptible to winter desiccation if left too long. We want to ensure that your turf has the best chance of making it through the cold New England winter with as little damage as possible. Mulching leaves in the fall is a great way to add valuable organic matter to your soil. So, don’t lower your deck until all the leaves are off the trees. Be patient and wait for those last two to three mows of the season. This also provides a stout turf canopy if you elect to use turf blankets over the winter – a must have for our High-Performance fields.
IRRIGATION—Unfortunately, the growing season is coming to an end. Therefore, it is time to perform irrigation blowouts. Irrigation systems are major investments and valuable tools for growing organic turf. Therefore, take the time to protect this investment! Make any final adjustments and repairs and take note of improvements you can make next year so you don’t forget over the winter. Be sure to complete this before soil temperatures drop below freezing. A few cold nights won’t damage the system while daytime temperatures are warm – so don’t fret you still have a little bit of time – but be sure to have this completed before Thanksgiving.
PJC offers turf blankets to help keep your grass warm all winter long. Not only do turf blankets keep your soil temperature a few degrees higher, but they also help prevent winter desiccation. Turf blankets are a tremendous tool to help bolster your turf year after year.
… for the Next Generation
We frequently discuss that cultural practices are tantamount to your fertility program—this includes these mowing and irrigation adjustments! Mowing height is critical to the long-term success of your turf stand, and making the appropriate adjustments at specific points in the year is equally as critical. Be sure to get your turf heigh down to about 2.5″ before overwintering in your last few mows of the year for the best chance to beat the winter cold.