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Author: kennelly

What do you do well that nobody else does?

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

At the Kansas Turf Conference on December 4, 5 & 6, 2018 in Topeka we will have a new booth in the exhibit area for YOU to show off your best innovations!

Do you have a piece of equipment that you hacked together on your own? Something that saves you headaches? Are you willing to share your idea? If so – send me a quick photo and description. I’ll display it at the booth, with credit to you.

How about a method? Do you have a special knack for motivating your crew or co-workers? Write that down, and we can share it.

What about an innovative way to reach out to customers?

If you have a special tip or trick you are willing to share, send it my way. You can email me at kennelly@ksu.edu

At the booth we’ll have people vote on their favorite innovation, with a special prize for the winner!

Fungi thriving in wet conditions

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

Fungi love wet, humid conditions. Parts of Kansas have received a lot of moisture lately.

Here are a few recent examples:

Brown patch mycelium on a morning with fog and dew. If you look closely you’ll see the lesions, too.

 

 

Here is some foliar Pythium mycelium from another wet site:

You can see the white mycelial threads if you look closely. Also notice how the turf is so matted down and soggy/greasy in appearance.

At this location they had just sprayed tebuconazole, so how did the Pythium keep on rolling? Well, as you might remember, Pythium is not a true fungus, and some fungicides just do not work on it. Fungicides in the tebuconazole family (the DMI fungicides, FRAC code 3) have no effect on Pythium – you might as well be spraying water. For a list of products that DO have efficacy on Pythium foliar blight you can check this reference (p. 23) http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/ppa/ppa1/ppa1.pdf

Cultural practices are outlined HERE.

Conditions for both Pythium and brown patch “should” be ending soon, and cool fall weather alone acts as a natural fungicide to slow those 2 diseases down just as our cool-season grasses find themselves in optimal conditions to grow. Recovery and seeding season is right around the corner.

And, finally, after 4 inches of rains there were mushrooms everywhere:

Some mushrooms are associated with fairy rings, and there is some information about that HERE.

How do mushrooms pop up overnight? They are actually kind of pre-made, hanging out in the soil in a small egg-like structure. When moisture comes they can expand quickly, like one of those sponge-animals that expands when you put it in a bucket. There are lots of time-lapse videos out there that show mushroom growth – here is one example:

It’s kind of cool but creepy at the same time.

KGCSA Legacy Scholarship – due August 27

The KGCSA Legacy Scholarship offers educational aid to the children and grandchildren of KGCSA members.  A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded. Applications are due August 27, 2018.

Eligibility
1. One or more of the applicant’s parents or grandparents must have been a KGCSA member for five or more consecutive years and must be a currently active.

2. The student must be enrolled full-time at an accredited institution of higher learning, or in the case of high school seniors, must be accepted at such an institution for the next academic year. Graduating high school seniors must attach a letter of acceptance to their application.

3. Past winners are ineligible to apply the following year. They may reapply after a one-year hiatus.

Criteria for Selection
1. Applicants will be evaluated based on academic achievement, extracurricular and community involvement, leadership and outside employment.

2. The student must submit an original essay of up to 500 words.

You can download the application at www.kgcsa.org

Living on the edge – stress on putting green perimeters

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

Look familiar?

 

(Photos by Megan Kennelly)

Continuing with our ongoing information about summertime turf stress, here is a great update from the USGA about the causes of stress and decline in the collar/perimeter plus a checklist of practices to mitigate that stress.

You can click here to read the article “Blue Collars.”

 

 

Pollinator conservation workshops: Chanute July 31; Lawrence August 1

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

More and more golf courses and other landscape sites are getting involved with pollinator conservation.

Are you curious to learn more?

There are some workshops coming up on July 31 in Chanute and August 1 in Lawrence, presented by The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Rush County Conservation District.

Here is the flier for more information – click this link to make the pdf file pop up:

Pollinator Course 2018-17gt333

K-State resources to help you take care of trees during drought

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

Large swaths of Kansas are under drought conditions, and this week it’s only going to get worse.

We’ve talked a bit on the blog about irrigating turf, but what about our landscape trees? How can we keep them going under stressful conditions?

K-State has a set of resources to help you irrigate wisely and efficiently.

With water restrictions, it can be hard to know what to take care of first. Ward Upham provides some tips on how to prioritize watering in this week’s Horticulture News, in “Plant Triage and Watering.” 

Young trees are very susceptible to drought. They are also susceptible to overwatering! How can you get it right? Check out Watering Newly Planted Trees and Shrubs.

Older trees have more mature roots, but they can still succumb to drought.  For tips, check out: Watering Established Trees and Shrubs

Are you looking ahead to planting new trees? Keep drought in mind as a factor to consider.

 

Anthracnose crown rot in putting greens, and the turf stress behind it

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

We had a sample come in with soggy roots, algae, and a lot of thinning.

Here is the root zone. Lots of organic matter holds water, which holds heat. Hot, wet roots can decline quickly.

 

 

Hot, soggy roots can’t support growth.

(I did not find Pythium root rot structures in this sample, but these same conditions can lead to that disease, too.)

Looking closely, there was algae present. The dark green stringy stuff in the circled area is algae growing on the turf, viewed in the dissecting microscope. Algae is another indicator of wet conditions.

At closer inspection, in the compound microscope, spiny black structures were visible near the base of many declining plants that were just starting to fade from green to yellow or tan.

These structures are called setae, from the anthracnose pathogen, which is a fungus.

The publication Chemical Control of Turfgrass Diseases has a very detailed section about anthracnose, outlining many agronomic practices to reduce turf stress and reduce the threat of disease. You can find those tips at this link:

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

The anthracnose section starts on page 8.

As you glance through, you may notice that many of the practices to reduce anthracnose are similar to practices to reduce overall summertime stress in putting greens, such as providing enough but not too much water, raising mowing height (even a tiny bit can make a difference), skipping mowing and rolling instead, and maintaining adequate N. You can find the whole list starting on page 6 of Chemical Control of Turfgrass Diseases which, in short, includes information about mowing height, watering, fertility, foot traffic, dew, phytoxicity warnings, and more. We highlighted those a few weeks back in another post.

Hot + humid + rain = conditions for Pythium foliar blight

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

Here is a turf sample that came in this week. After one night in a moist chamber, there was an obvious cobwebby growth:

Notice how the turf looks matted down and greasy, too.

In the microscope here is what I saw – hyphae (fungal threads) with no crosswalls. This means Pythium foliar blight.

Pythium is not a true fungus, and many fungicides that work for other turf diseases do not work for Pythium blight. For a list of products that can handle Pythium, you can check out this resource (scroll to page 23-24):

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

In addition, don’t forget that foliar Pythium is different from root Pythium. With foliar Pythium, we see it most often in fairways, tees, and athletic fields. It is extremely rare in putting greens in Kansas. It is also rare in home lawns, but it can happen there from time to time.

Pythium loves water and lush turf. To reduce your risk, avoid over-watering and watering at night. Avoid excessive N. As a special bonus that will reduce the threat of brown patch too! Pythium can easily track with mowers and in with water-flow through drainage. Avoid mowing Pythium areas when it is wet, with mycelium, to avoid tracking it into other areas.

There are more tips here in Identification and Management of Turfgrass Diseases.

The cottony, cobwebby growth can be confused at times with brown patch. If you have any doubt, send some in to the lab.

Unlike Pythium, the brown patch fungus produces distinctive cross-walls in the hyphae:

And here is one more to show cross-walls vs none:

 

Here are some images of what Pythium foliar blight can look like in the field. You can see how it might be confused with other problems. When in doubt, send something in.

 

Tracking with a mower:

 

Not super distinctive…

…but upon closer inspection some mycelium was visible:

After a night in a moist chamber the mycelium was all over:

In the lab, that mycelium did not have cross walls.

 

Here’s one more shot of Pythium foliar blight in a low area on a bentgrass fairway: