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K-State Turfgrass

Month: September 2016

# KSUTURF Teaching, Research and Extension at its BEST!

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

We have a lot going on out at Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, KS.  One project is about 3 acres of new research plots with irrigation.  With the support and donations from CiteOne, Hunter, MidWest Laser Leveling, Ewing, Netfim and others (I apologize if I have left anyone out, it has been a long week) we will have new areas for future research, teaching and extension programs.  From the entire Horticulture and Natural Resources department we thank you for making this project possible!

One of the best parts of this project is being able to incorporate the Horticulture Irrigation Class.  They have been hard at work with the installation of the research plots.  From laying out the plots to digging trenches they get hands on experience with irrigation installation.

This is a great project because it is not only research plots but it is a teaching and learning experience for undergraduate students.

Enjoy the pictures and as you can see we had some issues with mother nature!  There will be more to come but just wanted to let everyone know how the Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources is combining the three missions of a land-grant university of Teaching, Research and Extension for Kansas.

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Can you tell the difference? – Little Barley Control for Homeowners

(By Jared Hoyle and Ward Upham; KSU Research and Extension)

 

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Can you tell the difference?  There are two difference weeds in the picture above but they look a lot alike!  Not only do they look a lot alike but they both have similar attributes.  Below will tell you which one is which.

 

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Many people mistake little barley (Hordeum pusillum) for a little foxtail because the foxtail and little barley seedheads are similar. However, little barley is a winter annual that comes up in late September – October and spends the winter as a small plant. It thrives in the cooler spring temperatures, forms seed heads and dies out usually by July. Foxtail, on the other hand, is a summer annual that does well in hot weather. Also, foxtail will not produce seedheads until mid- to late-summer.

 

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So, why are we talking about little barley now? Because now is the time to control it for next year. The best control for little barley is a thick lawn that is mowed high enough that sunlight does not hit the soil. Little barley seed will not germinate in such conditions.  Overseeding now can thicken up a tall fescue lawn and prevent a little barley infestation.

However, if you do not plan to overseed, preemergence herbicides can be used to provide at least partial control of this weed. The only preemergence herbicide that I know is labeled specifically for little barley is Surflan. It is also sold under the name of Weed Impede by Monterey Lawn and Garden. Surflan can only be used on warm-season grasses (bermudagrass, buffalograss, zoysiagrass) and tall fescue grown in warm-season areas such as Kansas. However, Dimension (dithiopyr), is labeled for barley (Herodium spp.) which would include little barley and therefore
can be used to keep this weed under control. Because little barley is a winter annual, apply the preemergence herbicide now and water in to activate. If overseeding, do not apply any preemergence herbicide as it will interfere with the germination of tall fescue.

****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

Don’t get left behind with your fall lawn care!

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

All summer we have been trying to keep our cool-season turfgrass alive.  Now is the time if we had some die because of heat or drought to build a healthy turfgrass for the winter and next years hot summer.  There are many things to talk about so we will list them below.

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First all – FERTILITY.  I talked about this awhile ago in a previous blog post so I will just list that link and you can go back and ready it.

It’s Finally September – That Means Football and Fescue

Next – SEEDING. This is from Ward Upham’s (KSU Research and Extension) last news letter but wanted to make sure it was put in the fall lawn care blog.  He really explains the seeding process and information pertaining to seeding in this article.

“September is the best month to reseed cool-season lawns such as tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. However, you can get by with an early to mid-October planting for tall fescue. October 15 is generally considered the last day for safely planting or overseeding a tall fescue lawn in the fall. If you do attempt a late seeding, take special care not to allow plants to dry out. Anything that slows growth will make it less likely that plants will mature enough to survive the winter.
Seedings done after the cut-off date can be successful, but the success rate goes down the later the planting date. Late plantings that fail are usually not killed by cold temperatures but rather desiccation. The freezing and thawing of soils heave poorly rooted grass plants out of the ground, which then dry and die. Keeping plants watered will help maximize root growth before freezing weather arrives. (Ward Upham)”

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So what I am getting out of Ward’s article is that you are going to have a better success for seeding if you do it now and not wait until later.

There is lots more information in the Tall Fescue publication from the KSRE bookstore.

http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=1460

Also, if you want to know what varieties work well in Kansas.  Check out the Tall Fescue Varieties for Kansas Publication. (New NTEP data has not be used to update the varieties.  – Coming soon!)

http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=19180

This will get everyone started.  There is lots more information out there about cool season turfgrass management at the KSU Turfgrass Website.  Check it out at  http://www.k-state.edu/turf/

 

 

 

 

They’re back!!!! – ITCH MITES

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

For the past couple of years, when the leaves start to change colors and fall, we begin to complain about these itchy bits.  Well last year was a bad year and I feel like the year before was as well.  Well they are back.  I was mowing the yard yesterday and afterwards I found about 5 bites on my arms and legs.

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We have lots of posts from previous years about itch mites; what to do, what are they, and more.  I will list them below.  But spread the word about itch mites.  Be cautious of children that may be playing outside during the day or your self.  These things really itch!

Got unexplained itchy bites?

Hot Holiday Weekend Didn’t Slow Down the Oak Leak Itch Mite

Not so mysterious “Itching” (Oak Leaf Itch Mite)

Itch mites!

Who has oak itch mite bites? I do! 🙁

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large patch in zoysiagrass

 

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(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

 

If you manage zoysiagrass and have a history of large patch, you are undoubtedly already thinking about this disease, and maybe you just put out an application or are getting ready to do it soon.

There is some great info about large patch control at this link, starting on page 14.

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

We’ve done quite a few trials at KSU over the years, and our results match pretty closely with the efficacy data shown at the above link. Regarding timing, we’ve had good control from most application timings in September.

Large patch tends to be in the same areas from one year to the next, so one option is to map out “hot spots” and focus on those.

Inoculation time!

In addition to large patch management, it is also time for large patch inoculations for research. Yup, most of you want to get rid of large patch. Here at KSU, we want MORE! I’m working with PhD student Mingying Xiang and Dr. Jack Fry in collaboration with Texas A&M, Purdue, University of Arkansas, and other universities to screen zoysiagrass breeding lines for disease resistance and agronomic traits as part of a USGA-funded project. We recently inoculated plots with the fungus that causes large patch disease. We cultured the fungus in the lab, grew it out on sterilized oats in glass jars, and then hauled our tailgate-of-death-and-destruction out to the field. To inoculate, we put the colonized oats just below the thatch. We might see some symptoms this fall, otherwise we definitely should see patches by spring. We will measure disease severity using digital images and other methods. We are hoping to find some breeding lines with good resistance. As we all know, starting with a resistant variety is the foundation of integrated pest & disease management.

 

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“My knees are getting tired from all this crawling”

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No, that is not our snack. Those are jars of the fungus growing on oats. Yum!

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We dig just barely down into the soil and place the oats, then put the flap of grass back down.

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Even after one (rainy) night, there was already new mycelium growing off the oats.