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Rain Rain Go Away

Rain has been a constant way of life along the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S., which can create all sorts of lawn issues— the biggest of all may be lawns that are behind in their mowing schedule. The mowing companies get backed up and, if you mow your own lawn and it’s raining during the only time of the week you have for mowing, then the lawn grows out of control. Especially in June. 

My advice is: Don’t despair. Just set your mower blade on its highest setting and cut the grass as soon as it dries out. Don’t try to cut the grass too low when you can mow, or you may harm the lawn. If you cut off more than one third of the grass plant at any one time, it may turn yellow and become prone to disease and insect infestation.

Another common question during moist periods of June concerns the appearance of red whisps on the lawn, otherwise known as red thread. In severe cases, the red thread — caused by the fungus Laetisaria fuciformis — can cause dead patches on your lawn. In most cases, though, the lawn will outgrow the red thread once the weather warms and the moisture subsides.

Red thread can be an indication that your lawn isn’t getting enough nitrogen, so a dose of natural fertilizer high in (N) such as corn meal, alfalfa, cottonseed meal or blood meal can be beneficial right about now.

For more information, check out this web page from our friends at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.: http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/FactSheets/redthread/redthread.htm.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

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