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Preparing for the Cold Season Ahead

By: Brooke Garcia

It seems as through Kansas only knows how to jump, skip, or hop into a new season. We had a small taste of Fall weather, and it is now feeling a lot more like winter. The landscape has most likely dramatically changed in the last few weeks. If you overseeded your lawn, you’re hopefully enjoying the green color of the freshly germinated seed. Several garden weeds are dying back. Mums are flowering and showing off their color. Maples, as well as other fall foliage, are showing off their beautiful fall color as well. Visit the Horticulture e-Newsletter for more information on some of the reasons these trees have color.

While some of our favorite landscape items are full of life and color, there are a handful of plants in the landscape that have entered dormancy or have died back. Not only have they lost their leaves or blooms, they may be ready for cutbacks. If you had annuals planted in the landscape, they may have recently died back from the recent freezing temperatures we experienced throughout Kansas. They will need to be removed from the landscape. Fall is an important time to perform a garden clean-up. For more specific information on perennial cutbacks, visit the Horticulture e-Newsletter for their recent post.

Want to know what to do with all of those leaves? Here is a previous blog post about Mow-mulching fall leaves.

It is also not too late to plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs. As long as the soil
temperatures >40 degrees Fahrenheit, the spring bulbs should continue to develop. For more information, read the article “There is Still Time to Plant Spring Flowering Bulbs” on the Horticulture e-Newsletter blog.

After you’ve completed cutbacks and bulb planting, mulching is an important task to be completed in the Fall. Not only does it “freshen” up landscape beds, it helps to retain soil moisture and protect the roots of plantings for the winter months ahead.

In addition to all of these Fall tasks, it is also important to consider general clean-up tasks that include:

  • Power-washing exterior of buildings and/or structures, as well as driveways or sidewalks
  • Container/planter re-fresh: Remove dead plantings from containers or planters. Empty used soil out of containers and store containers in a warmer/dry place. This can reduce cracking and general wear/tear.
  • Remove dead weeds from landscape
  • Remove fallen leaves/debris within landscape, and add to compost bin
  • Unscrew hose, and place hose-bib covers over hose bibs in preparation for freezing temperatures
  • Cover or store exterior furniture. Store cushions, umbrellas, etc.

This may seem like a lot of fall tasks to consider, but they are all important tasks to keep your landscape(s) looking beautiful during the fall and winter seasons. Hopefully this helps you develop your Fall clean-up program or builds onto an existing clean-up program for your landscape and garden.

Don’t forget to follow our Turfgrass Facebook Page for blog updates and other timely information.

Upcoming Forestry Training Events

By: Brooke Garcia

Are you interested in learning more about tree issues that a number of Kansas communities face? The Kansas Forest Service is hosting a number of upcoming all-day training’s across the state of Kansas in October and November.

Here are the upcoming dates, along with their locations:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 29 – Dodge City
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5 – Emporia
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5 – Hays
  • Thursday, Nov. 7 – Marysville
  • Thursday, Nov. 14 – Olathe
  • Tuesday, Nov. 19 – Park City
  • Thursday, Nov. 21 – Parsons Arboretum

For more information, please visit the announcement: Statewide Community Forestry Trainings

Research in progress: zoysia seedhead suppression

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

I was out looking at our zoysiagrass breeding plots the other day and in a couple of plots I saw some seedhead development:

 

This was unusual, as we typically see this in spring, and it’s probably just a unique physiology of these couple of breeding lines. Anyway, this observation prompted me to mention that we are continuing KSU’s work on zoysiagrass seedhead suppression. You may have seen the articles about the prior excellent work by Dr. Hoyle and colleagues which you can view here:

Suppressing Meyer zoysiagrass seedheads

and here (academic peer-reviewed version)

https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/cftm/abstracts/4/1/180012?access=0&view=pdf

We are following up on this work with additional trials to hone in on the biology and management of seedheads, fine-tuning application timings of ethephon. Stay tuned for results in the coming 1-2 years as we collect data. The project team members are PhD student Manoj Chhetri, Jack Fry, Jared Hoyle, me, and Aaron Patton (Purdue). The project is funded by the GCSAA, Heart of America Golf Course Superintendents Association, and Kansas Turfgrass Foundation.

Sharp drop in temperature may be a cause for concern in trees

Western Kansas experienced an extremely sharp drop in temperature recently. Temperatures in some areas of northwest Kansas were near 80 on Wednesday and dropped to near 20 or lower Friday morning. Unfortunately, trees were not hardened off before this happened. In other words, they were not ready for these cold temperatures.

What does this mean? You can read the whole article here in the Horticulture News. Go to this page and scroll down partway:

http://www.ksuhortnewsletter.org/

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

GCSAA Student Chapter Fundraiser Golf Tournament – October 20th

 

UPCOMING EVENT! The Kansas State University GCSAA Student Chapter is hosting a Fundraiser Golf Tournament at Colbert Hills Golf Course in Manhattan, KS. The event is scheduled for October 20th, 2019 at 9:00am. This will be a 4-man scramble.

Cost: $200.00 ($50/player) per team OR $300 per team with a hole sponsorship.

Registration begins at 8:00am on the day of the event. There will be a 50/50 raffle at registration, along with mulligans and hole games.

Please access the registration form below for more information:

KSU GCSAA Golf Tournament ColbertHills 2019

Registration may be turned in via E-Mail to Jason Dutton (jasond4@ksu.edu). Should you have any questions, call/text/email Jason Duttton (719) 343-5188.

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 

 

Temperature fluctuations and turf diseases

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

As I write this on Thursday we are looking into a weekend with forecast lows deep down into the 30’s. This comes after a September with multiple days in the 90’s and even more in the upper 80’s. Depending on how the weather shakes out after this weekend our warm-season turf may start showing signs of dormancy. Right now it is all still quite green.

In our cool season turf I’ve not seen much dollar spot lately, and it should be simmering down. I have heard a few reports of rust,

and my first suggestion in those cases is to review the fertility regime and make sure it’s not too low on N.

We are seeing and hearing reports of large patch across the region. Here is one example from today at our research facility in Manhattan:

Spring dead spot happens in … spring. But fall is a time to think about it. I’ll point you to an excellent summary of fall disease info from Dr. Miller next door in Missouri, with details about large patch, spring dead spot and other diseases:

https://turfpath.missouri.edu/reports/2019/10_09_19/

 

Green June beetle larvae crawling around

KSU Entomology has been getting reports of Green June beetle larvae being noticed crawling around right now.

You can read more about it here:

http://blogs.k-state.edu/kansasbugs/2019/10/10/green-june-beetle-larvae/

June beetles are described in more detail in this publication:

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/mf2901.pdf

As stated in that publication, “Although Phyllophaga grubs can be recovered from most turf venues, populations rarely are sufficient to cause visible damage.”