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Turfgrass Care for Homeowners on the K-State Radio Network

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Just recently I was invited to speak with Eric Atkinson, host of Agriculture Today a daily program distributed to radio stations throughout the state. It features K-State agricultural specialists and other experts examining agricultural issues facing Kansas and the nation. I spoke with Eric about some issues that Kansas homeowners might be facing with their lawns and a couple things that homeowners shouldn’t worry about this year.

Click on the link below and hear more about;

  • possible winter injury
  • fertility
  • weed control
  • and more!

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

Homeowner Do-It-Yourself Lawn Calendar for Cool-Season Grasses

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Where did winter go? Or was it even here?  Depending on where you lived in Kansas you could have had a cold winter, warm winter, or a mild winter… But now it is getting warm and quick.  So before we get left behind lets prepare your cool-season turf for the year.

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.

March
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.

DSCN0010April 
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.

May
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.

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

November
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!

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/

 

 

 

 

It’s Finally September – That Means Football and Fescue

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

IMG_0759

September is almost here and that means it is prime time for football and to fertilize your tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass lawns. If you could only fertilize your cool-season grasses once per year, this would be the best time to do it.

These grasses are entering their fall growth cycle as days shorten and temperatures moderate (especially at night). Cool-season grasses naturally thicken up in the fall by tillering (forming new shoots at the base of existing plants) and, for bluegrass, spreading by underground stems called rhizomes. Consequently, September is the most important time to fertilize these grasses.

Apply 1 to 1.5 pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. The settings recommended on lawn fertilizer bags usually result in about 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. We recommend a quick-release source of nitrogen at this time. Most fertilizers sold in garden centers and department stores contain either quick-release nitrogen or a mixture of quick- and slow-release.

The second most important fertilization of cool-season grasses also occurs during the fall. A November fertilizer application will help the grass green up earlier next spring and provide the nutrients needed until summer. It also should be quick-release applied at the rate of 1-pound actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.

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Converting Tall Fescue to Buffalograss – VIDEO

(By Jake Reeves and Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Are you thinking about converting your tall fescue lawn into buffalograss?  If you are, new research is currently being conducted at Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, KS to pin down the best herbicide application timing to reduce the amount of time that you don’t have turf in your lawn.

Check out the video here of KSU Turfgrass Research Technician, Jake Reeves, discuss this research and how it will impact turfgrass areas across Kansas.

Grey Leaf Spot

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Hope you haven’t seen it this year and won’t see it but I have talked to some people and have already heard of a couple occurrences of gray leaf spot.

So instead of typing out all the information about grey leaf spot I will send you to a great resource that has tons of information about great leaf spot.

Check it out here – http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/diseases/gray-leaf-spot

Also check on page 13 for more control options for grey leaf spot in this publication – http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/ppa/ppa1/ppa1.pdf

 

 

 

Top Quality Tall Fescue Varieties for Kansas

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

tall fescueKansas State University and The National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) work together to determine the best adapted tall fescue cultivars for Kansas. This standardized program coordinates uniform evaluation research trials from turfgrass selections across the United States and Canada. These research trials are conducted over many years and data is recorded throughout the duration of the experiment. Recorded data includes turfgrass quality, color, texture, density, green-up, establishment, drought tolerance, winter injury and disease/insect damage. To find out more information about NTEP go to – http://www.ntep.org.

The tall fescue varieties listed below were the top preforming varieties from 2013 and 2014 data in the 2012 National Tall Fescue Test located in Wichita, KS. The list contains only varieties that are commercially available in 2015. Varieties were selected according to the mean quality ratings from April to October. Tall fescue varieties listed were not statistically different from the top performer. Turfgrass quality ratings take into account the aesthetic and functional aspects of the turf. Turfgrass quality is based on a combination of color, density, uniformity, texture, and disease or environmental stress. Other tall fescue varieties in the evaluation trial may preform well in Kansas. Any tall fescue variety with a rating of 6 or above is considered acceptable. For the complete list of tall fescue varieties and performance data go to – http://www.ntep.org.

2013 Data

  • Hot Rod
  • GTO
  • Rhambler 2 SRP
  • Michelangelo
  • 4th Millennium
  • Faith
  • Firebird 2
  • Grande 3
  • Fayette
  • Thor
  • Maestro
  • Temple
  • Fesnova
  • Hemi
  • Black Tail
  • Avenger II
  • Firewall
  • Technique
  • Rowdy
  • Reflection
  • Falcon V
  • Foxhound
  • Leonardo
  • Rockwell
  • Firecracker SLS
  • Dynamite LS
  • Titanium 2LS
  • Terrano
  • Raptor III
  • BIZEM
  • Bullseye
  • Diablo
  • Screamer LS
  • Saltillo
  • Caesar
  • Hover
  • Catalyst
  • Kingdom
  • Frontline

2014 Data

  • Thor
  • Technique
  • Temple
  • Falcon V
  • Michelangelo
  • Rockwell
  • Black Tail
  • Avenger II
  • Terrano
  • Reflection
  • Firebird 2
  • GTO
  • Meridian
  • Rowdy
  • Maestro
  • BIZEM
  • Screamer LS
  • Titanium 2LS
  • 4th Millennium
  • Traverse 2 SRP
  • Grande 3
  • Leonardo
  • Firecracker SLS
  • Dynamite LS
  • Rhambler 2 SRP
  • Saltillo
  • Catalyst
  • Kingdom
  • Hot Rod
  • Swagger
  • Raptor III

Names appearing in this publication are for product identification purposes only. No endorsement is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products.

Paint and Glyphosate Research Update Published in GCM

(By Jared Hoyle and Jake Reeves; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

In July’s issue of Golf Course Management Magazine on page 95,  Jake Reeves’s (KSU Turfgrass Research Technician /Graduate Assistant) and Jared Hoyle’s research was featured in the Cutting Edge section by Teresa Carson.

Take a look on page 95 and read more about “Timing effects of turf paint + glyphosate applicant on grassy weed control”

http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/532236-jul-2015

2014-2015 Research Plots at Stagg Hill Golf Course in Manhattan, KS.
2014-2015 Research Plots at Stagg Hill Golf Course in Manhattan, KS.

We repeated the research in 2014-2013 and will have the final results out soon.  The results so far demonstrate that adding turfgrass paints to dormant zoyisagrass glyphosate applications can increase gassy weed control.

 

New Tall Fescue Publication Now Online!

(by Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

The new Tall Fescue Extension Publication is now online!  You can get it under the publications tab at:

www.ksu.edu/turf

or directly at this link!

http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/mf736.pdf

TF

 

 

The Art of Knowing Your Seed Label

(By Evan Alderman, KSU Turfgrass MS Student; Ross Braun, KSU Turfgrass PhD Student; and Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Do you enjoy having a nice green lawn, but didn’t have time to get your fall seeding done? Don’t fret, there is still time. Although the optimal time of year to seed cool season grass species is during the fall months, there is still time for you to get a great looking lawn for this summer. Now before you go to your local garden supply store and pick up some seed, there are several things you should take into account before making your purchase. The art of knowing your seed label begins now.

Turfgrass Species and Cultivar

seedSo you walk into your local garden supply store and you look at all of your options for potential seed you can use and you say to yourself “I really want a lush green lawn fast”. So you pick up a bag that says something along the lines of “quick establishment”, since that is what you want. Although this bag of seed sounds like a great option, you probably should check out the seed label before making this purchase. In the image is a picture of a seed bag with those claims. As you can see this bag contains 90.50% annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) and only 5.97% perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne). Now as a turfgrass scientist I can assure you that you may have a great looking lawn temporarily, but annual ryegrass should not be a long term solution. Which is why Rule #1 for the art of knowing your seed label is know what turfgrass species performs best in your area. For much of the state of Kansas, tall fescue (Lolium arundinacea) is the predominant species in most home lawns. Tall fescue is able to handle most of the drought conditions that Kansas likely endures.

Rule #2 for the art of knowing your seed labels is also knowing which species cultivars grow best in your area of the country. One of the best options for knowing which turfgrass cultivars perform best in your area is the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (www.ntep.org). On their website, there is data available for homeowners to look at from many different university studies involving different turfgrass species and cultivars. This information will help you make an informed decision on what turfgrass species and cultivar will work best for you, this is a step in the right direction for achieving that lush green lawn you are wanting.

Other Seed Label Information

Although some of the most important information on the seed label is the turfgrass species and variety, there are several other pieces of information on the label that can be helpful. Rule #3, look at the percent germination for all turfgrass species on the seed label. Just because that type of seed is on the label doesn’t mean all of it will germinate. Thus it is important to look at the germination rate, and chose a bag of seed that has a high germination percentage. Rule #4, although the bag of turf seed you are going to by mostly contains grass seed, bags of seed can also can weed seed. It is very important to look at the percentage of weed seed in your bag of seed, if that percentage is high, I would probably pass on that bag and look for another one with a lower percent of weed seed. If a seed label has 0.5% weed seed then that equals approximately 12 to 16 weeds being planted per square foot. A seed label with <0.01 weed seed is good but 0% is best. This also applies to the “other crop” section of the label. Lastly, Rule #5, consider the seed testing date on the seed label. As with anything, turfgrass seed can get old, this will highly effect the germination percentage from that bag of seed. It is recommended to use newer seed and avoid anything over one year past the testing date.

Utilizing these five rules will help you make an informed decision for planting a lush green lawn this spring.

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