Share your tips and tricks!
Do you have any special tips or tricks to managing turfgrass? Have you come up with your own method, style, or piece of equipment?
Do you have any unique methods for motivating employees, or working with difficult customers?
If so – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post them at the Kansas Turf Conference. Send me a description of your method, or perhaps a photo. We’ll display them and have a vote to determine the best innovation! Winner will get a prize 🙂
Before the snow hit I was able to view some large patch symptoms in our breeding plots with our PhD student Manoj Chhetri.
Strong large patch symptoms:
Not much symptoms here:
Definitely some differences in % green after the recent cold snaps, but before the snow and this weeks extreme cold temps:
I saw some brown patch recently – in late September/early October!
In the meantime, our warm-season grasses are slowing down, and all the cool, cloudy, rainy weather this week may trigger some large patch in zoysiagrass.
Pathogens will take advantage of conducive conditions whenever they occur. Here are some great updates from my excellent turf pathology colleague Dr. Lee Miller, next door in Missouri:
The leaves are starting to fall. What to do with all that biomass? Don’t send it to the trash pile!
Many municipalities have local composting options. Another option is using a mower to mulch those leaves back down into the turf. Commercial landscape companies – as you work with homeowners for fall lawn/leaf services have you talked to your clients about these options?
For more information:
Here is a video:
Thank you for your engagement with the K-State Turf Team! To help us further improve this program, we would like to gather your responses to the questions below. This project is a research study regarding our blog and social media resources as well as some general questions about Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
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Many plant pathogens like to survive the winter in infected crop debris. One example is iris leaf spot.
Here is a zoom – the black spots are structures where the fungus produces spores:
So what can we do? Here are some tips from the Horticulture News (http://www.ksuhortnewsletter.org/):
Iris are known for a couple of common problems: a fungus disease known as iris leaf spot and an insect named iris borer. Though both cause problems in the spring, now is the time to start control measures. Both the fungus and eggs of the borer overwinter on old, dead leaves. Remove dead leaves and cut back healthy leaves by ½ this fall to reduce populations of these pests. Also remove other garden debris from the iris bed. This can significantly cut down on problems next spring. (Ward Upham)
Another disease that lurks over the winter is peony leaf blotch (also known as red spot or measles) and you can find info on that disease here on the Common Plant Problems website.
(Photos by Megan Kennelly)
(Ward Upham, KSU Horticulture & Natural Resources. Original source: http://www.ksuhortnewsletter.org/)
Pruning in August can stimulate new growth that is less hardy during the winter. But what about pruning at this time of year?
Woody plants move sugars and other materials from the leaves to storage places in the woody portions of the plant just prior to leaf fall and we would like to maximize those stored energy reserves. Even pruning later in the fall can cause a problem by reducing the cold hardiness of woody plants. Dr. Rich Marini at Penn State Extension has written , “Based on everything that has been published we can conclude that woody plants do not attain maximum cold hardiness when they are pruned in the fall. Trees are affected more by heavy pruning than light pruning.” However, this does not mean that woody plants pruned in the fall will necessarily suffer winter damage. In most cases, I think you can get away with the old adage of “prune whenever your pruners are sharp.” However, damage can occur if we have a sharp drop in temperature before plants are completely hardened off. Also, marginally hardy plants are more susceptible to winter damage, especially if pruned in the fall. Though light pruning and removal of dead wood are fine this time of year, you may want to delay severe pruning until spring.
Consider pruning to be “light” if 10% of less of the plant is removed. Dead wood does not count in this calculation. Keep in mind that even light pruning of spring-blooming shrubs such as lilac and forsythia will reduce flowers for next year. We normally recommend that spring-bloomers be pruned after flowering.
Shrubs differ in how severely they can be cutback. Junipers do not break bud from within the plant and therefore should be trimmed lightly if you wish to keep the full shape. Overgrown junipers should be removed. On the other hand, there are certain shrubs that can be pruned back severely during the spring. Rejuvenation is the most severe type of pruning and may be used on multi-stem shrubs that have become too large with too many old branches to justify saving the younger canes. All stems are cut back to 3- to 5-inch stubs. This works well for spirea, forsythia, pyracantha, ninebark, Russian almond, sweet mock orange, shrub roses, and flowering quince. Just remember that spring is the correct time to do this, not now.
Kansas Turf Conference in conjunction with KNLA
December 4, 5 & 6, 2018
Kansas Expocentre, Topeka
Mark the date to attend the Kansas Turfgrass Conference in conjunction with KNLA on December 4, 5 & 6 in Topeka.
The conference is an excellent way to learn about turf, nursery and landscape management, visit with old friends, network with new ones, and see all the latest equipment and supplies from local and national vendors.
The conference has been approved for Commercial pesticide recertification hours:
- 1 Core hour
- 3A – 7 hrs
- 3B – 7 hrs
- International Society of Arboriculture CEUs and GCSAA education points will also be available by attending the conference.
Download a copy of the program, get exhibitor information, or register online
Here in Kansas we see our most severe large patch symptoms in spring, but we can see it in fall, especially if conditions are cool and wet. Here, also, we’ve had pretty good success at suppressing spring symptoms with applications the prior fall.
We at KSU and others have been busy trying to tackle this disease in recent years, especially with the increasing interest in zoysia. For a review of research across the transition zone you can check out this article in Golfdom:
Don’t get overmatched: Dispatch that large patch
Moderate days and cool, dewy nights have increased dollar spot pressure. Check out these photos in our research plots.
Here is an untreated plot:
Here is a cleaner plot:
There are many great tips about fungicides for managing dollar spot starting on page 15 of this document:
In terms of varieties, like other universities, KSU does a lot of screening of new breeding lines and existing cultivars. In our research plots we like to have big blocks of different cultivars for different reasons. In my fungicide trials, often I like to use susceptible varieties to make sure we get strong disease pressure. For other types of studies we like to use more resistant varieties when developing reduced-input integrated management strategies.
Here is an example of two varieties out on one of our research greens. They have not been sprayed, and they are not in use at the moment, but they show the striking differences in susceptibility:
I also noticed a tiny bit of lingering brown patch on our putting green. When we switch more solidly into cool fall weather that should fade into nothing. Ah, fall! Let’s have more nights in the 50’s!
If you squint hard, you’ll see the big brown patch circle among all the dollar spot: