Kansas State University


K-State Turfgrass

Month: April 2018

A Homeowner Step-By-Step Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass Lawn Guide

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Homeowner Do-It-Yourself 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.

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.

Apply crabgrass preventer (Or maybe even a little bit sooner this year) 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.

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.

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

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!

For more information on Tall Fescue Lawns – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=1460 

For more information on Kentucky Bluegrass Lawns- https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=816

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

NEW – Aerating Your Lawn – KSRE Publication

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)














Over that past couple years we have been updating extension publications for both turfgrass professionals and homeowners.  To determine which ones get updated first we look at how many of each are downloaded.  The ones that are downloaded the most and are out of date are first in line.

Well, the next one in line was “Aerating Your Lawn”.  To have a healthy lawn you must have healthy roots and if your soil is compacted it could hurt your root system.  To relieve compaction a homeowner can easily aerify their lawn.  Some benefits of aerification include;

  1. Breaks up or removes thatch.
  2. Improves infiltration of water and nutrients.
  3. Increases oxygen supply to roots.
  4. Promotes carbon dioxide release.
  5. encourages new and deeper root growth.

For more information check out the full publication at the KSRE bookstore!


More than you ever want to know about preemergent herbicides

(by Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Ever year I write a blog, a newsletter article, send out a tweet and post on Facebook about applying preemergent herbicides for summer annual grass control. We are typically most concerned with crabgrass so I went back and searched through the blog posts and articles and believe it or not it is all still relevant information! Not much has changed, so for this article I am going to spotlight information across these articles and compare from when I originally wrote it.

Crabgrass emerging in bare ground earlier than turf




















Up first, Methods of Predicting Crabgrass Emergence! In this article I go over the different methods to predict when crabgrass emerges; calendar date, soil temperatures, forsythia blooms, growing degree days. Like last year we have had a fluctuating Spring. In the article from March 14, 2017 I stated that it was 80 deg F on the 12th and was snowing just a couple days before. Sound familiar? Refresh yourself on the different methods and know its not too late to get preemergence herbicides out.




















Next article is for all you golf course turfgrass managers. Preemergence Weed Control in Bentgrass Putting Greens. This article was also from March 2017 and I went through what preemergent herbicides are available to use on bentgrass putting greens. The list of herbicides was from the Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals 2017 Manual (https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=TURF-100). Going through the 2018 edition…. Guess what again? Not much has changed for use on putting greens but I would encourage you to check out the manual and read the “Tips for Herbicide Use on Golf Course Putting Greens” section on page 108.


And now one of my favorite quotes from Benjamin Franklin “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This was the lead in for talking about why preemergent herbicides are worth it! This article talks about what weeds preemergent herbicides work on, how they work, and the growth stages of crabgrass. To “round-up” the article I put a list of options out there, the weeds these preemergent herbicides control and some concerns/comments. One thing that I did not list is the combination products. I only listed the single active ingredients.   There are many combination products as well. (Maybe that will be the next blog post – Combination Preemergent Herbicides.)


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.***

Irrigation Installation at Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

The KSU Turfgrass Research Group sends a sincere “thank you” to all who helped in any way to install the new irrigation system on March 23-24, whether by providing equipment, labor, or food and refreshments. We were overwhelmed by the support provided by the Kansas turfgrass industry and are extremely grateful.

We look forward to providing updates from future research conducted with the new system that will benefit Kansas turf managers. This new research project is in cooperation with the USGA and the Toro Co. The goal of the project is to improve the use of soil moisture sensors to control irrigation while minimizing water applications and maintaining good quality turf. This will require 3 years of intensive study of the science of using these sensors.

Also, a big thank you to Nic Youngers, Jasen Sare, Austin Murphy and Shawn Spann for aerifying the research green at Rocky Ford and to WinField for donating the ferti-lizer!

Thanks to our refreshment/lunch sponsors: Bayer Dow Agro Sciences Helena PBI-Gordon Supreme Turf WinField

Also, Thank You to all the volunteers who assisted and donated equipment to make the irrigation install a success!

Al Alspach, Mater Landscape, Inc.

Dale Bremer, KSU

Leon Brown, Schwab-Eaton

Jeff Chaffee, Master Landscape, Inc.

Rob Christie, Firekeeper GC

Cliff Dipman, KSU

Kevin Fateley, Wildcat Creek Fun & Fitness

Seth Gieber, Manhattan CC

Jared Hawkins, Master Landscape

Nate Ratzlaff, Cottonwood Hills GC

Jasen Sare, Stagg Hill GC

Shawn Spann, WinField

Derek Taussig, Taussig Landscape

Charlie Thompson, Willowbrook GC

Mark Willmore, KSU

Mingying Xiang, KSU

Nic Youngers, Rolling Meadows GC

Mu Hong, KSU

Wes Kleffner, Bayer

Frank Kohman, Cool Springs GC

Will Mann, Schwab-Eaton

Matt Miller, Carey Park GC

Nic Mitchell, KSU

Austin Murphy, Indian Hill GC

Shane Myers, Foley Equipment Co.

We still have more to install so if you didn’t get out and was able to help we will have another work day to finish out the entire area!

Thanks again!