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K-State Turfgrass

Month: February 2015

Is ‘brown’ really the new green?

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Last spring I moved into a new home.  There was a lot to be done and turfgrass got put on the back burner as other things around the house needed to be done: like pruning trees, painting walls, fixing plumbing leaks, you know the typical homeowner headaches.

Well, around Thanksgiving I was not pleased with my yard, the Kansas Extension Turfgrass Specialist’s, yard.  It was bad.  It was really thin, I haven’t watered it and the tall fescue was about 50% brown. The only thing I had going for me was I didn’t have any weeds.  I am pretty good at killing some weeds.

My Neglected Tall Fescue Lawn - Nov. 28, 2014
My Neglected Tall Fescue Lawn – Nov. 28, 2014

So I got to thinking… A quick fix to what I have been doing around the house is painting. Why can’t I paint my cool-season turfgrass like you would a warm-season turfgrass for winter color too.  So I did…

I used a 3 gal backpack sprayer calibrated to deliver 0.5 gal/1,000 sq feet.  I used a mixture of two different colorant products.  I used this combination because this is what I had on hand and I didn’t have enough for a full application of one or the other.  I mixed 10.5 fl oz of Sarge 2.0 (by Numerator Techinologies) and 10.5 fl oz of Wintergreen Plus (by Presision Labratories) in 1 gal of water.  I applied in two directions for a total of 1 gal/1,000 sq feet colorant and water combination.

IMG_2765
Front lawn 3 hours after colorant application – November 28, 2014

In the picture above you can see what it looked like right after colorant application.  It was a huge contrast compared to my neighbor’s zoysiagrass lawn.  I will have to admit that it looked “Really Fake” immediately after application.  But I did receive a lot of attention: People walking their dogs would stop and stare, neighbors asked what kind of fertilizer I applied, and the best one was “It didn’t look like that this morning, What did you do?”

About two weeks after application it rained and the colorant faded a little bit.  Now the dirt, rocks, and acorns that were present when I painted where not green anymore and it looked more natural.

Dec. 20, 2014 - Front lawn still showing attractive winter color.
Dec. 20, 2014 – Front lawn still showing attractive winter color.

The picture above was taken on Dec. 20, 2014 a couple days after a snow fall.  Not only is the color still there and looks great but my lawn melted snow faster than all of my neighbors.

Jan. 19, 2014 - Winter color still holding on.
Jan. 19, 2015 – Winter color still holding on.

Still after a couple of snow falls, rain, random warm days and cold temperatures the color is still holding on into January of 2015.

Jan. 23, 2015
Jan. 23, 2015

And the most recent picture was taken yesterday, January 23, 2015.  Other than needing to clean the leaves up one more time I would say the colorant application looked great throughout the winter. I think this might not only be an option for winter color on warm-season grasses but also cool-season grasses as well.

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

 

 

Plant Injury from Herbicide Applications

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Dandelion "twisting" from hormone-disrupting herbicide application
Dandelion “twisting” from hormone-disrupting herbicide application

Throughout the year I get calls, emails, texts and social media questions about herbicide damage. Most of the time it is damage to off-target plants and not the turfgrass.  This can happen due to many different factors including, but not limited to, the list below.

Accidental plant injury from herbicide applications can occur from:

  1. herbicide drift
  2. misapplication
  3. sprayer tank contamination
  4. residual herbicides

A really great resource by University of California is the Herbicide Symptom Search Engine.  You can search by mode of action, chemistry, herbicide, plant species, and symptoms.

http://herbicidesymptoms.ipm.ucanr.edu/index.cfm

Understanding the herbicide you are applying is most important.  The environmental fate of herbicides varies across KS and the United States due to many different factors. Some of the factors include:

  1. photochemical decomposition
  2. volatilization
  3. runoff/erosion
  4. adsorption by clay and organic matter
  5. leaching
  6. chemical decomposition
  7. microbial decomposition
  8. plant uptake

Understanding the herbicide you are going to apply and how it interacts with the environment will prevent non-target plant damage.

Pesticide applicators can use the Kansas DriftWatch website to find sensitive-crop locations in an effort to minimize the potential for damaging pesticide drift.

https://agriculture.ks.gov/divisions-programs/pesticide-fertilizer/sensitive-crops-driftwatch

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

 

It’s not too early to start your home lawn management plan!

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

DSCN0563“Spring is just right around the corner!”  Yeah, right… I think immediately right after I typed that a winter weather advisory went into effect for Manhattan.  It seems like spring will never make it but don’t let it catch you off guard.  Right now is a good time to start planning your lawn calendar for the year.

In one of the latest Horticulture Newsletters, KSU Horticulture Extension Associate, Ward Upham, outlined a calendar for cool-season grasses.  This is a good outline that you can modify to fit your home lawn.

Lawn Calendar for Cool-Season Grasses
The following suggestions are for cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue. Zoysiagrass, bermudagrass, and buffalograss are warm-season grasses and require a different maintenance regime.

March
Spot treat broadleaf weeds if necessary. Treat on a day that is 50 degrees or warmer. Rain or irrigation within 24 hours of application will reduce effectiveness.

DSCN0010April
Apply crabgrass preventer when redbud trees are in full bloom, usually in April. The preventer needs to be watered in before it will start to work. One-quarter inch of water will be enough to water in any of the products mentioned in this calendar.  Remember that a good, thick lawn is the best weed prevention and may be all that is needed.

May
Fertilize with a slow-release fertilizer if you water your lawn or if you receive enough rainfall that your turf normally doesn’t go drought-dormant during the summer. If there are broadleaf weeds, spot treat with a spray or use a fertilizer that includes a weed killer. Rain or irrigation within 24 hours of application will reduce effectiveness of the weed killer, but the fertilizer needs to be watered in. If you are using a product that has both fertilizer and weed killer, wait 24 hours after application before watering in.

June through Mid-July
Apply second round of crabgrass preventer by June 15 – unless you have used Dimension (dithiopyr) or Barricade (prodiamine) for the April application. These two products normally provide season-long control with a single application. Remember to water it in. If grubs have been a problem in the past, apply a product containing imidacloprid during the first half of July. This works to prevent grub damage. It must be watered in before it becomes active.

IMG_0563Late-July through August
If you see grub damage, apply a grub killer that contains Dylox. Imidacloprid is effective against young grubs and may not be effective on late instar grubs. The grub killer containing Dylox must be watered in within 24 hours or effectiveness drops.

September
Fertilize around Labor Day. This is the most important fertilization of the year. Water in the fertilizer.

November
Fertilize. This fertilizer is taken up by the roots but is not used until the following spring. Water in fertilizer. Spray for broadleaf weeds even if they are small. Broadleaf weeds are much easier to control in the fall than in the spring. Spray on a day that is at least 50 degrees. Rain or irrigate within 24 hours reduces effectiveness. Use label rates for all products!

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

 

GDD Tracker for Poa annua Seedhead Suppression

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Annual bluegrass in a bentgrass putting green
Annual bluegrass in a bentgrass putting green

Golf course superintendents in KS typically have to manage annual bluegrass in putting greens and not so much “control” it because of the large populations of annual bluegrass that exist in the putting greens.

One of annual bluegrass management practices is the use of PGRs. This is combination with aerification, pre-emergent herbicides, fertility and proper irrigation management, just to mention a few, can lead to the success of reducing annual bluegrass populations and increasing bentgrass incidence.

Timing of the PGR applications in the spring can be one of the most difficult tasks. Too late can lead to a summer of playing catch-up. The use of Growing Degree Days (GDD) can really help predict PGR application timings.

http://www.gddtracker.net/

Just type in your location on the “Proxy/Primo Seedhead Timer (GDD 32)” page and it will give you the GDD in your area. Earlier applications have seen to be more effective than later applications so try and get a Proxy/Primo application out after two mowings (full green-up) or 200-250 growing degree-days on the GDD 32 model. The Target Range is 200-500 but greater success has been seen when the initial application was made earlier. In 2014 Manhattan, KS reached 200 GDD (base 32) on March 15th.  Right now Manhattan is at 5 GDD.  But watch out it can catch-up real quick!

Research conducted out of MSU suggests that tank mixes of Proxy/Primo for Poa annua Seedhead Suppression on bentgrass greens should be made at 5 + 0.125 fl oz per 1000ft2. A repeat application can be made 21 days later. If golf course superintendents plan on applying Primo throughout the season then they can start their program 14-21 days after the tankmix treatment.

Information contained in this blog can be found at http://www.gddtracker.net/about ; Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University.

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

Check out this short video!!!

(by Jared Hoyle and Zane Raudenbush, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

KSU Turfgrass Student, Zane Raudenbush, has been spending his years at KSU conducting research on silvery thread moss.  Today we made a short little video (30s) about one of his current projects.  In this specific project, Zane has been exploring into the influence of irrigation water pH on moss growth and development.  Check out this video!

2015 Fungicide Resource

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

Hello everyone,

The 2015 edition of Chemical Control of Turfgrass Diseases is available at the following website:

 

http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/ppa/ppa1/ppa1.pdf

 

This guide from University of Kentucky (Paul Vincelli and Gregg Munshaw) is updated every year with new products and all the latest research findings. Bookmark it, print it, use it, love it.

Kentucky-turf-fungicides-2015-ppa1_Page_01