Watering your lawn improperly during the summer heat could contribute to disease problems in fescue. Tall fescue lawns make present fewer problems than other grasses in the hot desert climates. They are grass which is cool season, preferring cooler times of the year or cooler climates, but can normally handle the heat fairly well. As long as the heat is dry.
When we grow fescues in the humid climates and apply heat to them, they frequently succumb to diseases. As our summer monsoon season approaches, it is wise to remember that how you irrigate and manage your lawn may determine if your lawn gets diseases or not.
Follow these management practices if you are not already:
1. Irrigate during early morning hours so the lawn does not stay wet during the night.
2. Water deeply. Tall fescue can be a deep rooted grass. Deep rooted grasses typically have higher drought resistance than shallow rooted grasses.
3. Do not let your lawn become water stressed. Stressing lawn grasses predisposes them to diseases.
4. Aerate lawns prior to summer heat or in the fall to encourage deeper rooting which helps drought tolerance.
5. Applying fertilizers regularly. Lawns require fertilizers all year long including the summer months. Apply fertilizers in half rates during the heat and water them in thoroughly after the application.
6. Apply fungicides to the lawn at the first sign of disease. Fungicides primarily protect plants from diseases. Seldom do they cure diseases once they are full-blown.
7. In future years try organic fertilizers such as compost or vermicompost as alternatives to traditional granular fertilizers. Regular applications of compost materials tend to reduce turfgrass diseases.