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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Nebraska, zone 5 and have TTTF. I've been on an organic fertilizer for three years now. My back yard is shaded due to two big silver maples. My front is full son and has one small crab apple tree. Temperatures for the last week and unforseable future will be pushing 100. I've put my mower on the highest setting now and will test out what the lawn will do without rain help. My plan is to only water the back yard because we will be hosting this summer and I want to make sure the maples are taken care of. The front yard I won't touch until I do my fall overseeing. I want to see how long it will take to come out of summer dormancy in the fall. I will post some before pictures in a bit when I'm done mowing. I'll probably post a new picture each week to see what the lawn is doing in the heat. Everything I've read is how well an organic lawn does in heat and drought stress.
 

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TTTF does not go dormant; it dies. It may have a short dormancy period, but if it has one, it is very short. TTTF's advantage is that mature TTTF has long roots. It will hang in there a while without rain or irrigation but if it shows drought stress, you'd better water it if you want to keep it alive. I am not aware of organic fertilizer giving it any special advantage as far as surviving drought and heat stress. If you have information that it does, please share with us. How did you water the last two summers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We had a lot of rainfall the last two summers. The front I would give an additional inch of water per month and the back was an additional inch per week. The front did really well but the back still didn't receive enough due to the trees soaking up the rain water and fert. Now if we really don't have any rainfall I will give it a drink because I don't want it to die. I just won't give it the inch to an inch and a 1/2 per week.
 

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If rainfall mainly sufficed the last couple of years, it may do so again. Sounds like you have mature TTTF which is drought resistant because of the long roots. Here is an article on summer stress in cool season turfgrasses:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://archive.lib.msu.edu/tic/tgtre/article/2000jun1a.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwiRzauuyrDUAhWMPT4KHXacBe8QFgggMAA&usg=AFQjCNH-Zykgg0QhTUMT1SQc9StfXvDC2w&sig2=BDBnUDn629fJ8yAtsXIOcQ

Mowing long helps with photosynthesis and keeping the soil cooler. However I see in another thread you're dealing with fungal issues. To fight fungus you want to keep the leaf as dry as possible and long grass can create a moist humid environment. So you might look for a happy medium: as long as possible that still allows the leaf to dry quickly.

Hopefully you have lots of mycorrhizae which will help tremendously with supplying nutrients and water. Here is an introductory article on mycorrhizae:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://puyallup.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/403/2015/03/mycorrhizae.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwj7wcftzLDUAhXIwj4KHWYsDjIQFggdMAA&usg=AFQjCNEcn7Wln6Qt_pK3DIf5KkJtnXOKJg&sig2=4SpYkRSwNVQNXW43nbrc5Q

Your organic fertilizer is good for the mycorrhizae. A slow release synthetic without phosphorus would also be fine. However, you may want to think about the effect of the fungicides you use. Here are two articles on how various fungicides affect the mycorrhizae:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.planthealthcare.com/pdf/Myconate/Fungicide%2520effects%2520on%2520Mycorrhizal%2520Fungi%2520and%2520Root%2520Colonization%25208-2009.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjK49PrzbDUAhUEGj4KHdDUAzsQFggdMAA&usg=AFQjCNF2M7SX8W0ybB8qFCUoYR8hF5RBHA&sig2=1EckthelVXyTueYRmoWQAw
http://www.lebanonturf.com/education/fungicide-effects-on-mycorrhizae

NC State has a tool for identifying diseases and under each disease it gives details on which fungicides are effective:
http://turfdiseaseid.ncsu.edu
I would suggest you see if you can an effective fungicide that is on the list of those least toxic to the mycorrhizae.
 
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