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Category: Educational resources

Cooler weather brings the return of the Mesonet Freeze Monitor

(Chip Redmond, Mary Knapp and Dan Regier; Weather Data Library/Mesonet)

Cold weather is making its appearance with frost advisories issued this last weekend and freeze warnings this week. The average freeze date in northwest Kansas is as early as the last week in September. However, southeast Kansas does not usually see freezing temperatures until the end of October. Average dates for the first occurrence of 24-degree F temperatures are even later.

For more information check out the KSU Agronomy eUpdate.

https://webapp.agron.ksu.edu/agr_social/m_eu_article.throck?article_id=2358

Fall Fertilization and Turf Tips

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Dr. Bill Kreuser, Assistant Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist, at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln posted some great information on fall turfgrass fertility and some other fall turfgrass tips.

Dr. Kreuser quoted, “Fall is arguably the most import season for turfgrass managers. While we’re busy preparing for a new growing season in spring and trying to survive stressful conditions in the summer, fall is the time to recover from summer, renovate, and prepare for winter. It’s a season of seeding, cultivation, weed control, and fertilization. While fall is still widely considered the most important time to fertilize turfgrass, the fertilization recommendations have evolved over the past decade.”

I couldn’t agree with him more.  There has been lots of recommendations evolve over the years and just because “this” is way it has always been done doesn’t mean it is right.  See what Dr. Kreuser has to say and check out the links below.

 

  1. Rethinking Fall Fertilization
  2. Mid-Fall Turf Tips 

 

Recent Release: Free Soil Moisture Mapping Protocol

Dr. Chase Straw, Turfgrass Scientist at the University of Minnesota, informed us of the recent release of a free soil moisture mapping protocol that can be utilized by golf course superintendents to assist them with fairway irrigation decisions. The protocol explains how to collect GPS soil moisture data with a commercially available device (FieldScout TDR 350), which are then used to generate fairway soil moisture maps with free software. The maps could be used as a tool to program an irrigation system to irrigate based on the soil moisture variability across a golf course, among possibly many other things.

More information about the protocol, in addition to details regarding how the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association of America chapter is utilizing it as a service to their members, can be read from a recent blog post on the UMN turfgrass website.

The protocol can be downloaded here.

The protocol requires a $0 licensing agreement. FREE!!! Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Chase Straw (cstraw@umn.edu) and his team at the University of Minnesota.

 

Fall Soil Testing

By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension

Fall is an important time for cool season turfgrass species because air and soil temperatures are optimal for carbohydrate accumulation and root growth. However, adequate plant nutrition is essential for these processes to operate at maximum efficiency. The importance of using soil test reports to guide fertilization programs cannot be emphasized enough.  The Kansas State Soil Testing Lab (https://www.agronomy.k-state.edu/services/soiltesting/) provides a variety of high quality testing services for turfgrass managers. Testing for pH, phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A good sampling method is necessary to ensure the soil test results are accurately representing the sampled area. To sample, use a soil probe an extract a 4” to 6” core. The leaf and thatch material should be discarded from the core (see picture). Eight to ten individual cores should be extracted and combined into a single sample for testing. Results are typically sent back within a week of the lab receiving the sample.  Fertilizer recommendations will also be provided by a county agent or K-State horticulturalist.

Of all the possible nutrients, potassium is of particular interest as temperatures continue to decline, because it helps the plant acclimate to cold temperatures. Some soils, especially golf greens, throughout Kansas are low in potassium, leaving turfgrass more susceptible to winter injury. Deficiencies can be addressed by applying K containing fertilizers, such as, potassium chloride (KCl), potassium sulfate (K2SO4), and potassium nitrate (KNO3). Remember, soil tests are a relatively inexpensive tool, but provide a wealth of knowledge.

For more information pertaining to soil testing check out the article below by Dorivar Ruiz Diaz, Nutrient Management Specialist.

Fall Soil Testing: Sample Collection and Submission to the K-State Soil Testing Lab

By: Dorivar Ruiz Diaz

Soil testing provides producers and homeowners important information concerning the fertility status of the soil. This information can help produce better crops and reduce costs by guiding management decisions like the type and amount of fertilizers to apply. If you plan to do your own soil sampling and use the K-State Soil Testing Laboratory, the following outline provides specific information on methods for collecting soil samples and mailing instructions.

  • To take a sample, you will need a probe, auger or spade, and a clean pail. (If you’re also having the soil analyzed for zinc, be sure to use a plastic container to avoid contamination from galvanized buckets or material made of rubber.) You will also need soil sample containers and a soil information sheet from your local Extension office or fertilizer dealer. You can also order soil sample bags online from K-State Research and Extension by clicking here.

  • Draw a map of the sample area on the information sheet and divide your fields into uniform areas. Each area should have the same soil texture, color, slope, and fertilization and cropping history.
  • From each area, take a sample of 20-30 cores or slices for best results. At the very minimum, 12-15 cores should be taken per sample. Mix the cores thoroughly in a clean container and fill your soil sample container. For available nitrogen, chloride, or sulfur tests, a subsoil sample to 24 inches is necessary.
  • Avoid sampling in old fencerows, dead furrows, low spots, feeding areas, or other areas that might give unusual results. If information is desired on these unusual areas, obtain a separate sample from the area.
  • Be sure to label the soil container clearly and record the numbers on the soil container and the information sheet.
  • Air-dry the samples as soon as possible for the available nitrogen test. (Air drying before shipment is recommended, but not essential, for all other tests.) Do not use heat for drying.
  • Fill out the information sheet obtained from your Extension office, or download a sheet.
  • Take the samples to your local Research and Extension office for shipping. Samples may also be sent directly to the lab by placing them in a shipping container. Information sheets should be included with the package. Shipping labels can be printed from the Soil Testing Lab website listed below. Mail the package to:

Soil Testing Laboratory
2308 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506-5503

A listing of the types of soil analysis offered, and the costs is available on the Soil Testing Lab web site, http://www.agronomy.k-state.edu/services/soiltesting . You can also contact the lab by email at soiltesting@ksu.edu and by phone at 785-532-7897.

For more information on the proper procedures for the Soil Testing Laboratory, see K-State publication MF-734 at: https://www.bookstore.ksre.k-state.edu/pubs/MF734.pdf. Detailed information on soil sample collection can be found in the accompanying article “The challenge of collecting a representative soil sample” in this eUpdate issue.

Dorivar Ruiz Diaz, Nutrient Management Specialist
ruizdiaz@ksu.edu

New Card Deck teaches IPM Strategies

By: Brooke Garcia

A new resource has been created by the IPM Team at Kansas State University to improve the implementation of IPM strategies in an informative and engaging way. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally friendly approach to pest control. It utilizes a combination of control tactics to prevent or manage pests. This card deck provides a visual representation of cultural, biological, mechanical, and chemical controls used in IPM. The IPM controls are represented through each of the suits, which in turn helps to differentiate and define the IPM principles.

Pictured above, authors Frannie Miller and Brooke Garcia hold the Integrated Pest Management Playing Cards. 

The four control measures are:

  • Biological Control
  • Physical/Mechanical Control
  • Cultural Control
  • Chemical Control 

Biological control is the use of introduced beneficial insects and organisms (natural enemies) to help reduce pest populations. Examples of biological control agents include predators, parasitoids, pathogens and competitors.

Physical and mechanical controls are directly responsible for removing or killing a pest, physically blocking a pest, or making the environment unsuitable for survival. These types of controls are rapid, effective, and have relatively little impact on natural enemies.

Cultural controls focus on altering the environment to make it less suitable for pests. This is used as a prevention strategy to reduce pest establishment, reproduction, dispersal, and the survival of pests. The goal is to maintain healthy plants and animals.

Chemical controls may be considered when other management tactics have not achieved adequate control. Pesticides are used to destroy, repel, or otherwise reduce pest infestations. Examples include herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. All all readily available and easy to use.

To purchase a card deck, email Brooke Garcia (bmstiffl@ksu.edu) to process your order.

It is that time of year to start working on your cool-season lawn!

 

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

It is that time of year again to start working on your cool-season lawn.  To try and cover it all, I have listed a couple posts from the past that can help you get that lawn into shape.  I also have added a list of publications. Enjoy!

Time to fertilize cool-season turfgrass

http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/time-to-fertilize-cool-season-turfgrass/ 

 Monthly calendar for cool-season lawns for the rest of the year

http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/monthly-calendar-for-cool-season-lawns-for-the-rest-of-2017/

 Power raking or core aeration – That is the question!

http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/power-raking-or-core-aeration-that-is-the-question/

 The art of knowing your seed label

http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/the-art-of-knowing-your-seed-label/

 For seeding success, pay attention to other crop on the seed label

http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/for-seeding-success-pay-attention-to-other-crop-on-the-seed-label/

 

Publications

Lawn Fertilizing Guide – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=10639

Recycling your grass clippings  – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=701

Mowing your lawn – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=615

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

Watering New Lawns – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=1337

 Planting a Home Lawn – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=595

 Aerating Your Lawn – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=713

 Kentucky Bluegrass Lawns – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=713

 

Check out the KSRE Bookstore for more publications – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Category.aspx?id=528&catId=545

Developing a Weed Control Program

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

There are many important factors to consider when you are developing a weed control program.  Here is a list of information you should have to help you develop your program.

  1. Turfgrass species
  2. Area needing to be treated.
  3. Correct identification of the problematic weeds.
  4. The time of year the weeds are present.
  5. Determine why the weeds are invading and correct the conditions or cultural practice that are leading to the weed invasion.
  6. Select a chemical that is effective and label for control of the weeds you are treating.
  7. Follow all label instructions!!!!!!!
  8. Apply at the correct time and rate.
  9. Apply herbicides evenly.
  10. Follow up with repeat applications if recommended on the label.

This is also great information to have if you can’t figure out why a weed control method didn’t work.  For more information on diagnosing why a weed control method didn’t work, click here – https://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/i-sprayed-but-i-didnt-kill-the-weed/

Information in this article is from Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals.

Patton, A.J., M. Elmore, J. Hoyle, J. Kao-Kniffin, B. Branham, T. Voigt, N. Christians, A. Thoms, G. Munshaw, A. Hathaway, T. Nikolai, B. Horgan, L. Miller, X. Xiong, W. Kreuser, R. Gaussoin, D. Gardner, Z. Raudenbush, D. Li, P. Landschoot, D. Soldat, and P. Koch. 2019 Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals. Purdue University Extension Publication. TURF-100. pp. 128.

Get your copy here – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=20239

***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

Bermudagrass Control Options for Reseeding

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Last week Ward Upham wrote an article on bermudagrass control in the KSU Horticulture Newsletter.  In the article below he explains the difficulty of controlling bermudgrass, the process and the multiple applications of a non-selective herbicide.

Bermudagrass Control by Ward Upham

Bermudagrass can make a nice lawn if you don’t mind its
invasiveness and short growing season. But many people dislike both
these characteristics. Warm-season grasses, such as bermudagrass,
zoysiagrass and buffalograss, green up later than cool-season grasses
such as tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. They also go dormant earlier
in the fall, which can make a lawn unattractive. Bermuda that invades a cool-season lawn will be brown during much of the spring and fall while the tall fescue portion of the lawn is green. Bermuda is much more drought and heat resistant than cool-season grasses, so it will take over a cool-season lawn during the summer months if it is in full sun.

So, how do you control bermudagrass that has invaded a cool-season
lawn? Research conducted in 1996 showed that glyphosate is the best herbicide for the job. Glyphosate is a nonselective herbicide and will kill everything—
including tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass. Therefore, you will need to
reseed treated areas. In our study, we applied a 2% solution of
glyphosate on July 15 and again on August 15 on a bermudagrass plot that
was more than 15 years old. More than one year later, we saw no
regrowth. Glyphosate works best if bermuda is growing well. The better
the bermudagrass is growing, the more chemical is taken up and pushed
into the roots. Water and fertilize if needed to get it going.
Spray about the middle of July (or when the bermuda is growing
well). Use glyphosate (2% solution). Wait two weeks and scalp the lawn
(mow as low as possible and remove clippings.) This will prevent dead
grass from covering any bermuda that starts to recover. Wait another two
weeks and spray again with glyphosate if there is any green. Wait two
more weeks and reseed. (Ward Upham)

(For the KSU Horticulture Newsletter click here – https://hnr.k-state.edu/extension/info-center/newsletters/index.html)

But during this time areas are dead, may not be acceptable and re-seeding must be done in the fall.  What if you are wanting to seed in the spring (Especially if you ware wanting to convert to buffalograss)? This process might not work due to the timeline. Therefore, a couple years ago we looked into some other options and combinations for bermudagrass control. Here is a brief overview of the project.

Multiple summer applications of glyphosate are commonly recommended for bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) control. However, this regime results in an extended period of displeasing and nonfunctional turfgrass, and is not ideal for spring establishment. An autumn glyphosate application prior to winter dormancy can control bermudagrass and may benefit spring  establishment projects. However, research is needed to more precisely define the parameters of efficacious late-season herbicide applications for bermudagrass control as it transitions into dormancy. Therefore, our objective was to examine late-season bermudagrass removal using combinations of glyphosate, fluazifop, and mesotrione. Experiments were initiated in October 2013 at the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, KS, on mature ‘Midlawn’ hybrid bermudagrass, and at Stagg Hill Golf Course in Manhattan, KS, on mature common bermudagrass. Seven herbicide treatments containing combinations of glyphosate, fluazifop, and mesotrione were evaluated. Green bermudagrass cover (0–100%) was visually estimated when treatments were applied and every 14 d after application. Only treatments containing glyphosate reduced the green cover of bermudagrass at each site the following year. Across all ratings dates and locations, adding mesotrione, fluazifop, or both to glyphosate did not further reduce green bermudagrass cover. Overall, results indicate that a single autumn application of glyphosate prior to bermudagrass dormancy reduces bermudagrass cover the following spring. The significant reduction at spring green-up may allow turf managers to make additional applications in the spring for increased control before spring establishment.

For the full article;

Hoyle, J.A.,C. Braun, C.S. Thompson and J.A. Reeves. 2018. Late-Season Bermudagrass Control with Glyphosate, Fluazifop, and Mesotrione Combinations. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environ. 1:180014 (2018) doi:10.2134/age2018.06.0014

https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/age/pdfs/1/1/180014

***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

Find your career in Turfgrass Management

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Do you have friends or family looking for a new career or looking to start their career?  K-State has an opportunity for you!  The Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources can prepare you for a career in Golf and Sports Turf Operations.

Check out our website for more information (https://hnr.k-state.edu/undergraduate/horticulture/specialization-areas/) and schedule a visit to K-State.

Experience the life of a K-State College of Agriculture Student! Shadow one of our Agriculture Ambassadors – go to class, speak to professors, tour campus, and more. Come visit us any weekday classes are in session. https://www.ag.k-state.edu/agexperience/

To really envision the possibilities of a K-State experience, there’s no substitute for seeing the campus in person. There are a variety of ways to tailor your visit to be a perfect fit. https://www.k-state.edu/admissions/visit/

May Weekend Warrior Reminders

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

This time of year we can be caught of guard when it comes to maintaining our lawn.  Today we have some reminders about maintaining cool-season turfgrass for all you weekend warriors out there!

  • Reminder – Avoid frequent watering to reduce weeds germination and disease.
  • May is time for fertilizing cool-season turfgrass that is going to be irrigated. (See information below from Ward Upham.)
  • Mowing Tip – Only remove 1/3 of the leaf blade at a time and make sure you mow your lawn at the recommended mowing height. For more information on mowing your lawn – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF1155.pdf 
  • Mowing Tip #2 – Retuning your clippings to the lawn can return up to 25% of fertilizer nutrients that would be lost if clippings were to be removed. – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2110.pdf

Fertilize Irrigated Cool-season Lawns in May By Ward Upham

May is an excellent time to fertilize cool-season lawns such as
tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass if they will be irrigated throughout
the summer. Non-irrigated lawns often go through a period of summer
dormancy because of drought and do not need this fertilization.
May is a good time to fertilize because the springtime flush of
growth characteristic of these grasses has tapered off, so the
fertilizer you apply will be less likely to cause excessive shoot growth
than if you fertilized at a full rate in April. Slow-release nitrogen
sources are ideal. These nitrogen sources promote controlled growth,
which is desirable as the stressful summer weather approaches.
Relatively few fertilizers available to the homeowner supply ALL of the
nitrogen in the slowly available form. But one such product that is
widely available is Milorganite. Other such products available in the
retail market include cottonseed meal, alfalfa-based fertilizers, and
any other products derived from plants or animals. (Bloodmeal is an
exception, and contrary to popular belief, the nitrogen it supplies is
quickly available.) These products are all examples of natural organic
fertilizers. They typically contain less than 10 percent nitrogen by
weight, so compared to most synthetic fertilizers, more product must be
applied to get the same amount of nitrogen. Translation: they are more
expensive! Apply enough to give the lawn one pound of nitrogen per 1,000
square feet. For example, if the fertilizer is 6 percent nitrogen by
weight, you will need to apply almost 17 pounds of fertilizer product
per 1,000 square feet. Summer lawn fertilizers that contain at least a
portion of the nitrogen as slow-release are fine to use as well. Be sure
to follow label directions. If cost is prohibitive, you can use the less
expensive quick-release (i.e., soluble) sources, but split the
application into two doses as follows: apply enough to give the lawn 0.5
lb nitrogen per 1,000 square feet in May and again in early June.

***** Reminder –  These are recommendations for cool-season turfgrass species!*****

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