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Homeowner Do-It-Yourself Lawn Calendar for Warm-Season Grass

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Last week I got a lot of good feed back on the Homeowner Do-It-Yourself Lawn Calendar for Cool-Season Grasses so I decided that it would be good to go ahead and get the warm-season lawn calendar out there for everyone that is manageing zoysiagrass, bermudagrass or buffalograss.

The following is a lawn calendar for zoysiagrass and bermudagrass. Buffalograss, also a warm-season grass, but we will cover that separate because the management of buffalograss is a little different then zoysiagrass and bermudagrass.

Zoysiagrass and Bermduagrass Lawn Calendar

March
Spot treat broadleaf weeds if necessary. Treat on a day that is 50 degrees F or warmer. Rain or irrigation within 24 hours of application will reduce effectiveness.

April
Apply crabgrass preventer between April 1 and April 15, or apply preventer when the eastern redbud is in full bloom. This year we are getting a little warmer sooner but remember this cold snap that we just had would have killed any crabgrass if it had germinated. If using a product with prodiamine (Barricade), apply two weeks earlier. Crabgrass preventers must be watered in before they will start to work.

May – August 15
Fertilize with 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per application. Follow the recommendations on the bag. More applications will give a deeper green color, but will increase mowing and may lead to thatch buildup with zoysiagrass. Bermudagrass can also have problems with thatch buildup but thatch is less likely with Bermuda than zoysia. Bermudagrass – Use two to four applications. Zoysiagrass – Use one to two applications. Too much nitrogen leads to thatch buildup.

One Application: Apply in June.
Two Applications: Apply May and July.
Three Applications: Apply May, June, and early August.
Four Applications: Apply May, June, July, and early August.

Remember to look and see if you are using a quick release nitrogen source or a slow release nitrogen source.  If you use a quick release source then it is immediately available but only lasts a couple weeks.  Thats why you would have to make a couple of applications like it is listed above.  If you are going to use a slow release source it will tell you on the bag how long the product will last.  Therefore, you might not have to make as many applications.

So generally you want to use a total of 2 to 4lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year for bermudagrass and 1 to 2 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year for zoysiagrass.

June
If grubs have been a problem in the past, apply a product containing imidacloprid by mid July. Imidacloprid can be applied as early as mid May if there are problems with billbugs or May beetle grubs. These products kill the grubs before they cause damage. They are effective and safe but must be watered in before they become active. June is a good time to core aerate a warm-season lawn. Core aeration will help alleviate compaction, increase the rate of water infiltration, improve soil air exchange and help control thatch.


Late-July through August
If you see grub damage, apply a grub killer. If Imidacloprid has been applied, this should not be necessary. Grub killers must be watered in immediately.

Late October
Spray for broadleaf weeds if they are a problem. Treat on a day that is at least 50 degrees F. Rain or irrigation within 24 hours reduces effectiveness. Use the rates listed on the label for all products mentioned.

 

Buffalograss Lawn Calendar

Buffalograss has become more popular in recent years due to its reputation as a low-maintenance grass. Buffalograss does require less water and fertilizer than our other turfgrasses but often has problems competing with weeds in eastern Kansas. Remember, buffalograss is a low-maintenance lawn and not a “No”-maintenance lawn.

Buffalograss is an open growing grass that will not shade the soil as well as most of our other turfgrasses. Weeds are often the result. A regular mowing schedule can reduce broadleaf weed problems as most broadleaves cannot survive consistent mowing. Those that do either have a rosette growing pattern (dandelions, shepherds purse) or are “creepers” (henbit, chickweed, spurge). Annual grasses such as crabgrass or foxtail can also be a problem. A good weed preventer (prodiamine, pendimethalin or dithiopyr) may be needed prevent problems.


March

Spot treat broadleaf weeds if necessary. The most important treatment for broadleaf weeds should be in late October to early November well after the buffalograss is dormant. Treatments are much more effective then than in the spring as the weeds are smaller and the weeds are sending energy, as well as the herbicide, to the roots. Treatments in March are to take care of any “escapes” missed in the fall spraying. Spray early enough in March that the buffalograss is still dormant. Look at the base of the plants to make sure there is no green. Treat on a day that is 50 degrees F or warmer. Rain or irrigation within 24 hours of application will reduce effectiveness.  Use a combination product such as Trimec, Weed-B-Gon or Weed-Out. Weed Free Zone is also good and will give quicker results under cool conditions.

April

Apply crabgrass preventer between April 1 and April 15, or apply preventer when the eastern redbud is in full bloom. If using a product with prodiamine (Barricade), apply two weeks earlier.  Crabgrass preventers must be watered in before they will work. Avoid using broadleaf herbicides as the buffalograss is greening up as injury can result. The buffalograss will not be killed but growth will slow making the buffalograss less competitive with weeds.

June

Fertilize with 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet during June. More applications will give a deeper green color, but can encourage weeds. If it is felt that a second application is needed, apply in July.

If grubs have been a problem in the past, apply a product containing imidacloprid by mid July. Imidacloprid can be applied as early as mid May if there are problems with billbugs or May beetle grubs. These products kill the grubs before they cause damage. They are effective and safe but must be watered in before they become active. Again, I would only treat if grubs have been a problem in the past. Note that the whole area may not need to be treated. The beetles that lay the eggs for the grubs are attracted to lights and moist soil and those areas are most likely to be infested.

Late-July through August

If you see grub damage, apply a grub killer. If imidacloprid has been applied or if grubs have not been a problem in the past, this should not be necessary. Grub killers must be watered in immediately.

Late October to Early November

Spray for broadleaf weeds if they are a problem. Look carefully as our winter annuals such as chickweed and henbit are small and easily overlooked. Use a product that contains 2,4-D as it increases effectiveness on dandelions. Treat on a day that is at least 50 degrees F. Rain or irrigation within 24 hours reduces effectiveness. Use the rates listed on the label for all products mentioned.

It is as simple as that!  Enjoy!

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.***

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Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

Time to Think About Managing Your Warm-season Home Lawn

Time to Fertilize Warm-Season Grasses    

    June is the time to fertilize warm-season lawn grasses such as bermudagrass, buffalograss, and zoysiagrass. These species all thrive in warmer summer weather, so this is the time they respond best to fertilization. The most important nutrient is nitrogen (N), and these three species need it in varying amounts.

buffalograss fairway

    Bermudagrass requires the most nitrogen.  High-quality bermuda stands need about 4 lbs. nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. during the season (low maintenance areas can get by on 2 lbs.). Apply this as four separate applications, about 4 weeks apart, of 1 lb. N per 1,000 sq. ft. starting in early May. It is already too late for the May application, but the June application is just around the corner. The nitrogen can come from either a quick- or slow-release source. So any lawn fertilizer will work.  Plan the last application for no later than August 15. This helps ensure the bermudagrass is not overstimulated, making it susceptible to winter-kill.

    Zoysiagrass grows more slowly than bermudagrass and is prone to develop thatch.   Consequently, it does not need as much nitrogen. In fact, too much is worse than too little. One and one-half to 2 pounds N per 1,000 sq. ft. during the season is sufficient. Split the total in two and apply once in early June and again around mid-July. Slow-release nitrogen is preferable but quick-release is acceptable.  Slow-release nitrogen is sometimes listed as “slowly available” or “water insoluble.”

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    Buffalograss requires the least nitrogen of all lawn species commonly grown in Kansas. It will survive and persist with no supplemental nitrogen, but giving it 1 lb. N per 1,000 sq. ft. will improve color and density. This application should be made in early June. For a little darker color, fertilize it as described for zoysiagrass in the previous paragraph, but do not apply more than a total of 2 lb. N per 1,000 sq. ft. in one season. Buffalograss tends to get weedy when given too much nitrogen. As with zoysia, slow-release nitrogen is preferable, but fast-release is also OK. As for all turfgrasses, phosphorus and potassium are best applied according to soil test results because many soils already have adequate amounts of these nutrients for turfgrass growth. If you need to apply phosphorus or potassium, it is best to core aerate beforehand to ensure the nutrients reach the roots. 

Thatch Control in Warm-Season Lawns      

    Thatch control for cool-season lawn grasses such as bluegrass and tall fescue is usually done in the fall but now is the time we should perform this operation for warm-season turfgrasses such as bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. Because these operations thin the lawn, they should be performed when the lawn is in the best position to recover.  For warm-season grasses that time is June through July. Buffalograss, our other common warm-season grass, normally does not need to be dethatched.

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    When thatch is less than one-half inch thick, there is little cause for concern; on the contrary, it may provide some protection to the crown (growing point) of the turfgrass. However, when thatch exceeds one-half inch in thickness, the lawn may start to deteriorate. Thatch is best kept in check by power-raking and/or core-aerating. If thatch is more than 3/4 inch thick, the lawn should be power-raked. Set the blades just deep enough to pull out the thatch. The lawn can be severely damaged by power-raking too deeply. In some cases, it may be easier to use a sod cutter to remove the existing sod and start over with seed, sprigs or plugs.  If thatch is between one-half and a 3/4- inch, thick, core-aeration is a better choice.

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    The soil-moisture level is important to do a good job of core-aerating. It should be neither too wet nor too dry, and the soil should crumble fairly easily when worked between your fingers. Go over the lawn enough times so that the aeration holes are about 2 inches apart. Excessive thatch accumulation can be prevented by not overfertilizing with nitrogen. Frequent, light watering also encourages thatch. Water only when needed, and attempt to wet the entire root zone of the turf with each irrigation.

    Finally, where thatch is excessive, control should be viewed as a long-term, integrated process (i.e., to include proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing) rather than a one-shot cure. One power-raking or core-aeration will seldom solve the problem.

New Fine-Textured, Cold-Hardy Zoysiagrass on the Horizon

‘Meyer’ zoysiagrass was released in 1952, and is still widely used in the transition zone due, in large part, to its excellent cold hardiness. However, as good as Meyer is, it has limitations, including a medium coarse leaf texture and inferior density compared to Zoysia matrella-type cultivars. In 2004, researchers at K-State and Texas A&M AgriLife Research-Dallas began working together to develop dense, fine-textured zoysiagrasses that are as cold hardy as Meyer. Eleven years later, the first zoysiagrass from this effort, KSUZ 0802 (a formal name is forthcoming), has been approved for release by K-State, and is expected to be approved for release by Texas A&M this autumn.

KSUZ 0802 is a fine-textured, cold-tolerant zoysiagrass hybrid co-developed by Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Dallas, TX and the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station, Manhattan, KS. KSUZ 0802 is a F1 interspecific hybrid developed in 2001 from a cross between Z. matrella (L). Merr. cv. ‘Cavalier’ and an ecotype of Z. japonica Steud. named ‘Anderson 1’, a derivative of ‘Chinese Common’ which was collected from rough areas at Alvamar Golf Course in Lawrence, KS. Cavalier is a high quality Z. matrella cultivar, but lacks the hardiness to be used in the upper transition zone. By crossing it with Chinese Common, which is cold hardy, we have created a cultivar that has Z. matrella-like quality, but with good cold hardiness. KSUZ 0802 must be propagated vegetatively.

fig1 zoysia

Initially, over 800 individual, genetically different hybrids were developed at Texas A&M AgriLife Research – Dallas in 2001. Grasses were planted in Manhattan, KS in 2004 and evaluated for quality and winter survival between 2004 and 2006. KSUZ 0802 was one of 31 hybrids selected for further evaluation at Manhattan in 2007 and 2008 under golf course conditions. These 31 were later narrowed to 7 hybrids, including KSUZ 0802, which were evaluated at nine locations in the transition zone under typical lawn or golf course fairway management conditions from 2009 to 2012. These locations were Wichita and Manhattan, KS; Columbia, MO; Fletcher and Jackson Springs, NC; Stillwater, OK; Knoxville, TN; Virginia Beach, and Blacksburg, VA; and Dallas, TX.

KSUZ 0802 has repeatedly demonstrated cold hardiness equivalent to Meyer in replicated field plot research (Fig. 1). Following a severe winter in 2013 in Manhattan, KS, KSUZ 0802 and Meyer had >99% survival; conversely, ‘Empire’ (Z. japonica) had 78% survival, ‘Zeon’ (Z. matrella) had 72% survival, and a large number of experimental Z. matrella selections had <50% survival (Thompson et al. 2013). Freezing tolerance studies conducted under controlled conditions at K-State showed that KSUZ 0802 had an LT50 (lethal temperature that kills 50% of the tillers) that was statistically similar to Meyer in two consecutive winters (Okeyo et al., 2011). Observed LT50 ranged from – 8.4 to – 10.3º C (17 to 14 º F) for KSUZ 0802 and from – 10.7 to – 12.0º C (13 to 10 º F) for Meyer. Based upon the results from research, KSUZ 0802 can be used as far north as zone 6a on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map (http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/).

fig2

In general, KSUZ 0802 has a finer leaf texture and better density relative to Meyer, which results in better overall turf quality (Fig. 2 and 3). Average turf quality of KSUZ 0802 (average rating of 6.1 on a 1 to 9 scale) was higher than Meyer (average rating of 5.5) maintained at lawn height in Wichita, Kansas; Jackson Springs, NC; Stillwater, OK; Dallas, TX; and Blacksburg, VA. At fairway height, quality of KSUZ 0802 (average of 6.9) was superior to Meyer (average of 5.6) at the two locations it was evaluated – Manhattan, KS and Stillwater, OK.

fig 3

To summarize aforementioned results, and other research that has been with KSUZ 0802, its freezing tolerance, spring green-up and fall color retention are equivalent to Meyer, but it has a finer leaf texture than Meyer. KSUZ 0802 is also superior to Meyer for turfgrass quality and resistance to bluegrass billbug (Sphenophorus parvulus) damage. KSUZ 0802 is well suited for use on golf course fairways and tees, home lawns, and other recreational areas in the transition zone. It is currently under evaluation by sod growers in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, Indiana and North Carolina. If you have questions about KSUZ 0802, or interest in producing it, contact either Jack Fry (jfry@ksu.edu) or Ambika Chandra (a-chandra@tamu.edu).

Acknowledgements

Funding tosupport the development of KSUZ 0802 came from a number of sources, including the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Kansas Turfgrass Foundation, the Heart of America Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Kansas Golf Course Superintendents Association, and the Kansas Golf Association. also acknowledge others who contributed to this research: Genovesi, Meghyn Meeks, and Milt Engelke, Texas A&M AgriLife Research; Qi Zhang,Okeyo, Jason Griffin, and Linda Parsons,-State; Justin Moss, Oklahoma State Univ.; Erik Ervin, Virginia Tech; Xi Xiong, Univ. of Missouri; Susana Milla-Lewis, North Carolina State Univ.; andBrosnan, Univ. of Tennessee. you!

(Jack Fry and Ambika Chandra)

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.

 

Whats new at #ksuturf farms in Manhattan and Olathe?

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

This summer has been a crazy one.  We have been getting ready for field day in Olathe on August 6th (Hope to see everyone out there! – Register here – http://www.eventbrite.com/e/kansas-turf-ornamentals-field-day-tickets-16109376579) but there are a lot of new projects that graduate students, faculty and staff are up to.  Here is just a list of what is going on and we will be talking more about it at field day and at Annual Turfgrass Conference in December!

We have a new GPS navigated robot mower being tested out at Rocky Ford in Manhattan.

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Pre- and Post-emergent herbicide trials at Olathe and and Manhattan. (Photo form Olathe).

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Influence of tall fescue mowing height on crabgrass populations demonstration at Olathe.

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I have been traveling everywhere. (Had to throw that in there)

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New zoysaigrass variety trials at Rocky Ford in Manhattan.

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Ross Braun (KSU Turfgrass PhD Graduate Student) has been evaluating multiple turfgrass species, mowing height and traffic in drought conditions.

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Evan Alderman (KSU Turfgrass MS Graduate Student) installed a new fairway (5/8″) of ‘Cody’ buffalograss at Rocky Ford.

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There is a new ornamental herbicide testing facility installed at the forest research center in Manhattan to evaluate potential turfgrass herbicides to ornamental plants.

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The use of adjuvants with Pylex  and triclopyr combination demonstration trial at Olathe. Brown patch control research trial was installed at Olathe this summer. New granular products for broadleaf weed control (Olathe – Photos not shown).

Dr. Bremer and Ross Braun (KSU Turfgrass PhD Graduate Student) has been studying greenhouse gas emissions under drought conditions at Rocky Ford.

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More traveling…

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Lastly, I would like to congratulate Dr. Zane Raudembush for completing his PhD this past spring.  Good luck in all your do Zane.

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This is not all of what have been going on but just wanted to share some of the pictures of some of the new things that are going on here in the KSU Turfgrass Program.

Don’t forget to come out to field day August 6th and see some of the research that we have been conducting.  Thanks and have a great rest of the week!

Jared

 

Large patch activity

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

With all the recent rain, large patch in zoysiagrass is definitely active. I’ve already posted some info, here are just some more photos to show symptoms at Rocky Ford. The top two are at fairway height, and the bottom shows the disease at two mowing heights.

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The 2014 KSU Turfgrass Field Day In Review

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

What a beautiful day we had this year for the 2014 KSU Turfgrass Field Day.  Thank you to all the attendees, vendors, sponsors, faculty, staff, students and anyone else that was out at the field day!

If you weren’t able to make it, I decided to post some pictures and  links to research reports so you can get more information about each stop that we had this year.

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Also, I will include the QR codes.  These codes can be scanned by your phone and will take you directly to the information!  Check it out!

This year my stop at field day was “Kansas Turfgrass Weed Control Update”.  Here is discussed one of the most problematic weeds in cool-season turfgrass, bermudagrass.  I talked about both selective and non-selective methods.  For more information about bermudagrass removal check it out here. http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/non-selective-bermudagrass-removal/

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

KSU Turfgrass Research Technician and Graduate Student, Jake Reeves, presented information on the best management practices for buffalograss establishment.  Jake has been conducting some great research that will really help us out when we want to convert cool-season turfgrass to buffalograss.  For more information check out his latest blog post. http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/establishing-buffalograss-in-golf-course-roughs/

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Zane Raudenbush, KSU Turfgrass Graduate Student, and Dr. Keeley has been conducting research on the cultural management of moss infestations on bentgrass putting greens.  Zane got to display some great looking research on one of the putting greens out at the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research center looking at cultural practices in conjunction with chemical applications of carfentrazone.  For more information check out his latest research report. http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/SRP1107D-MOSS-FERTILITY.pdf

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Ever wondered what was the best preforming kentucky bluegrass cultivar?  Well, Evan Alderman, KSU Turfgrass Graduate Student, discussed the best preforming Kentucky bluegrass cultivars in Manhattan, KS.  This study is part of the Nation Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP).  Check out the NTEP website for the most current bluegrass cultivar information. http://www.ntep.org/data/kb11/kb11_14-2/kb11_14-2.pdf And some more information on prolonged drought and recovery characteristics of Kentucky bluegrass cultivars http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=17861

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Although this summer has seen to be pretty mild when it comes to diseases in turfgrass, Dr. Kennelly discussed both turf and landscape disease updates.  Don’t forget to periodically check the blog as Dr. Kennelly updates the blog with what is going on with diseases in Kansas. Here is some more information on all sorts of turf disease publications. http://www.plantpath.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=551

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Is the grass really greener on the other side?  Ross Braun, KSU Turfgrass Graduate Student, presented on using paints and pigments for coloring turfgrass.  Ross has conducted many trials looking at painting zoysiagrass and buffalograss.  He has evaluated different paints and pigments as well as rates and spray volumes.  Check out his latest research update on paints and pigments. http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=17867

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

As it is hard to grow cool-season turf in Kansas it is also tough to grow warm-season turf.  Dr. Fry presented about the best zoysiagrass and bermudagrass cultivars for Kansas.  He discussed everything from color to pest tolerance.  This included information about how the cultivars held up to last winter.  For more information about the zoysiagrass and bermudagrass cultivars here is a great research report about winter survival on the 2013 NTEP zoysiagrass and bermudagrass in Kansas. http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/SRP1107G-NTEP-ZOYSIA-AND-BERMUDA.pdf

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Weeds, diseases, and INSECTS!  We can’t leave the insects out of field day.  This year Dr. Cloyd also gave a turf and ornamental insect control update.  For more information about insect control in the lawn and landscape, check out Dr. Cloyd’s list of publications. http://entomology.k-state.edu/extension/insect-information/lawn-garden-pests/lawn-pests.html

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Find all the KSU Turfgrass Research Reports online at http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/Category.aspx?id=528&catId=545.

Thanks again to everyone that came out to this years KSU Turfgrass Field Day.  It was a great success and hope to see you next year in Olathe.  Also, don’t forget this December is the Kansas Turfgrass Conference in Topeka.  It’s going to be great as well.  Keep and eye out for more information on registration.

 

KSU Turfgrass Student Spotlight

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

On behalf of the KSU Turfgrass Team, the Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources and the Department of Pathology, we would like to congratulate Ross Braun for passing his MS defense.  Ross’s thesis is titled “CULTURAL STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE ZOYSIAGRASS ACCEPTABILITY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE TRANSITION ZONE”.  He plans to continue his education at KSU and pursue his doctorate under the advisement of Dr. Bremer.  Ross’s doctorate project will explore nitrous oxide emissions and the use of remote sensing in turfgrass systems.  Congratulations to Ross Braun!

Ross presenting his MS seminar to the Dept. of HFRR