By Jillian Turbeville
When it comes to lawn management, droughts in the Midwest have become a topic of concern. Generally, homeowners will mow their lawn in a scheduled manner (once a week) or based on grass growth rate (⅓ rule), but should we mow based on how stressed the grasses are? Although this can be partially unrealistic, having a basic understanding of how your lawn responds to times of heat and drought in summer may help keep your grass greener for a longer period of time.
By Florence Sessoms
As a homeowner, I (my husband) mow our lawn regularly with the simple focus of keeping it at lower height. However, several of my neighbors love to create patterns every time they mow and these patterns can be as elegant as those observed in many sports fields. I love seeing these different stripes of grass color when I watch a soccer on TV, when I visit training facilities (Figure 1) and when I go watch our Minnesota United play (Figure 2).
By Gary Deters
Like most turfgrass areas, a high percentage of our research plots need to be mowed consistently. Our creeping bentgrass research golf greens are cut at 0.125” and the task requires a special mower and reel setup. Many plots are cut at 2.5” to 3.5” with a push or riding mower, similar to what is used by a typical homeowner. So, with all the research plots and mowers we have, you might think we have everything we need to get the job done. In most cases that is true, but for a new trial conducted by members of the turf group, we had a bit of a problem.