Mowing Adds to Lawns’ Hot-Weather Stress
OLATHE, Kan. – Sometimes good advice is a relief.
“Be slow to mow during extremely hot weather. Mowing will simply add to your lawn’s stress,” said Rodney St. John, turfgrass specialist with K-State Research and Extension.
Even warm-season Bermuda, zoysia, and buffalograss lawns suffer when air temperatures reach the high 90s (F) and triple-digits, St. John warned.
Unless cool-season turfs have entered summer dormancy, though, high temperatures can quickly create stress that has lawns struggling to survive. That’s when irrigating is vital and mowing is about the last thing tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass need.
“The good news is: Lawn grasses don’t grow much in extreme hot weather,” he said. “With luck, you can simply put off mowing until things cool off a bit.
“The upper 80s or lower 90s are the best point at which to resume your normal mowing schedule. Even then, however, you’d do well to set your mower at the high end of your turf’s cutting-height range. Then, keep it high until fall arrives.”
The high end of warm-season turfs’ recommended cutting range is about 2 inches, St. John said. Cool-season turfs’ range peaks at 3.75 to 4 inches tall.
No matter the turf or temperature, though, another bit of research-proven advice is to mow whenever lawns grow a third taller than their recommended cutting height.
“Removing much more leaf tissue than that can send turf into a kind of shock. Frequently cutting too much off can change a healthy lawn into thin, stemmy grass with a poor root system and space for weeds,” he said.
Mowing is a major lawn-management tool that affects turf health and performance, St. John added. Lawn owners can learn about its most effective uses at their nearest Extension office or online at Mowing Your Lawn.
Control Key in Choosing Dog’s Leash
MANHATTAN, Kan. – In choosing a leash, a Kansas State University veterinarian notes, safety, rather than color, style or a favorite logo, should be the primary concern.
A dog owner has the responsibility for controlling his or her pet, said Susan Nelson, clinical associate professor in the Pet Health Center at the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University.
A dog’s size, stature, age, activity and training levels should be considered when choosing a leash, as are an owner’s size, stature and interaction with the dog, said Nelson, who is not a fan of retractable leashes.
Nelson advises choosing a leash that will allow control before considering color or other special features. Retractable leashes give a dog more room to roam, but can become a problem when not retracted in a timely manner to maintain control of the dog.
More information about the human-animal bond and pet care is available at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) website.
K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.
Story by: Elaine Edwardselainee@ksu.eduK-State Research & Extension News
Contributing writers: Mary Lou Peter, Nancy Peterson and Kathleen Ward