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Cool Season Lawns Kansas State University By Bob Neier, Sedgwick County Extension Agent, Horticulture Adapted from materials by Ward Upham.

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Presentation on theme: "Cool Season Lawns Kansas State University By Bob Neier, Sedgwick County Extension Agent, Horticulture Adapted from materials by Ward Upham."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cool Season Lawns Kansas State University By Bob Neier, Sedgwick County Extension Agent, Horticulture Adapted from materials by Ward Upham

2 Turfgrasses Commonly Grown in KS Cool-Season Turf Type Tall Fescue - Home lawns Kentucky Bluegrass Perennial Ryegrass - golf fairways Creeping Bentgrass - golf greens Warm-Season - xeriscape Zoysiagrass Bermudagrass Buffalograss

3 Difficult to grow either warm- or cool-season grasses well Kansas in Transition Zone

4 Cool-Season Grasses Grow best during spring and fall, summer difficult

5 Tall Fescue Has mini-rhizomes but basically bunch grass

6 Tall Fescue

7 Best adapted cool-season grass in Kansas Used on home lawns, parks and athletic fields Propagated by seed and sometimes by sod Sod doesnt hold together well and so either mix in bluegrass or use plastic mesh at planting Seed germinates quickly; everything perfect, 4 days Coarse bladed grass but newer cultivars better than old ones Avoid K-31; coarser, less dense, lighter color and seed tends to be contaminated with orchard grass

8 Tall Fescue Best Choice for the Shade

9 Tall Fescue Major Problem: Brown Patch

10 What About Fine-Leaf Fescues? There are tall fescues with finer leaves than K-31 There are true fine-leaved fescues Chewings fescue Hard Fescue Creeping Red Fescue Sheeps Fescue

11 True Fine-Leaf Fescues Have excellent shade tolerance; better than any of our commonly grown turfgrasses. Have poor heat tolerance. Do not come through our summers well.

12 Kentucky Bluegrass

13 Spreads by rhizomes

14 Kentucky Bluegrass Fine-bladed grass that makes attractive lawn Used on athletic fields, parks, and home lawns Propagated by seed or sod Poor heat tolerance Has trouble coming through our summers without damage Better adapted further north

15 Kentucky Bluegrass Numerous Problems: Summer Patch Can Be Severe

16 Cultural Practices Mowing Fertilization Watering Aerating

17 Mowing: Basic Information Dont remove more than 1/3 of blade at one time

18 Mowing: Basic Information Dont remove more than 1/3 of blade at one time Clippings dont contribute much to thatch (zoysia may be exception) If remove clippings, must add 1/4 more nitrogen to get same response Higher mowing height = deeper roots and less weeds for upright growing types

19 When to Fertilize Cool-Season Grasses September Most important fertilization of year Use 1 pound nitrogen per 1000 square feet Quick-release OK November Second most important fertilization Use 1 pound nitrogen per 1000 square feet Quick-release OK April or May Optional; use 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet Use fertilizer with at least 1/4 nitrogen as slow-release

20 Fertilization: Fertilizer Analysis Sequence of three numbers that reflect the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium respectively.

21 Fertilizer: Macro Nutrients Nitrogen - Used for above-ground growth and good green color Phosphorus - Used for root growth and formation of seeds and fruit Potassium - Used for basic plant growth and helps plants withstand stress

22 Lawn Fertilizers Fertilizer Nitrogen usually needed Phosphorus (middle number) usually already high in our soils and may run off and cause algae bloom in lakes Potassium usually adequate in our soils Most are high Nitrogen, low and phosphorus and potassium

23 Drop Spreader Relatively easy to calibrate Takes more time to apply fertilizer Skips extremely obvious and so need to go over area 2 times at right angles

24 Whirlybird Spreader Difficult to calibrate Can apply fertilizer relatively quickly Easier to avoid skips With correct method, only need to go over area once

25 Watering Look for darker hot spots. Often have purplish tinge. Best to allow turf to undergo some stress early in season. Makes turf more drought resistant. Attempt to apply 3/4 to 1 inch of water each time you irrigate.

26 Proper Watering

27 How to Tell if You Have Enough Water Use catch cans Use screw driver; moisture down 6 to 8 inches

28 Aeration Controls Thatch Up to ½ inch thatch beneficial Cushions plant Acts as mulch Over ½ inch and roots tend to stay in thatch

29 Benefits of Aerating Thatch control Better root aeration Quicker water infiltration Relieves compaction Deeper fertilizer placement

30 Aerators Drum type normally used on home lawns Go over lawn two times

31 Seeding Normally done in early fall for cool-season grasses Soil is warm so faster germination and establishment Less weed problems 5-8 lb/1000 sq.ft. For tall fescue

32 Establishment Seeding Commonly used for tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass Sept is best month (may seed as late as Oct 15) March is second best month Sodding Commonly used for Kentucky bluegrass Tall fescue is sodded more now Best success is Sept - late October, March through late May

33 Overseed if > 50% Good Grass July/August Spray perennials with glyphosate September Fertilize then plant early in September (6-8 lb/1000sqft) Core aerate if compacted, then seed and vertislice Vertiseed if not compacted Keep soil moist October Fertilize one month after planting November Fertilize again one month later

34 Overseeding Normally done in early fall for cool-season grasses Must have good seed-soil contact Methods Slit seeder

35 Overseeding/Vertislicing Either put on seed prior to slicing or with vertiseeder

36 Seeding/Core Aeration Lightly seed each time you aerate Method to thicken up slightly thin lawns

37 Rototil & seed if < 50% Good Grass July/August Spray perennials with glyphosate Grade soil, apply nutrients, rototill September Fertilize then plant early in September (6-8 lb/1000sqft) Rake in grass seed Keep soil moist October Fertilize one month after planting November Fertilize again one month later

38 Sodding of Cool-Season Grasses Best done in fall (just like for seeding) but can be done any time ground not frozen Problems with laying sod in summer Dessication (drying out) Disease Heat stress Water bill Prepare soil just like you would for seeding on bare ground Roots will peg down in 7 to 10 days under good conditions

39 Weed Prevention Maintain a thick turf Weed seeds are often small and many need sunlight and consistent moisture to germinate Even if weed seeds germinate in a thick turf, competition may slow weed growth

40 Weed Prevention Maintain a thick turf Mow as high as practical

41 Preemergence Herbicides Applied before weeds germinate Must be watered in

42 Preemergence Herbicides Must be watered in Only kills weed seeds as they germinate Need some time after application for activation Primarily used for annual grasses such as crabgrass

43 Common Preemergence Herbicides Barricade Dimension Pendimethalin Team

44 Control of Annual Grassy Weeds Recommendations Annual grassy weeds normally controlled with preemergent herbicides Timing Traditionally, crabgrass preventers have been applied by April 15th in central Kansas Apply when redbud trees are approaching full bloom

45 Control of Annual Grassy Weeds Crabgrass

46 Control of Annual Grassy Weeds Crabgrass Goosegrass Foxtail

47 Control of Annual Grassy Weeds Miscellaneous Notes Crabgrass seeds begin germinating when soil temperatures rise above 60 ̍ F, and when air temperatures rise above 65 ̍ for five consecutive days. Barricade lasts a long time but takes longer to activate Apply two weeks earlier than other herbicides Can be applied in fall for season long control next year If late with preventer, use Dimension

48 Postemergence Herbicides Applied after weeds are up Rain can reduce or eliminate effectiveness

49 Common Postemergence Herbicides 2,4-D Weed-B-Gon Trimec products Turflon products Confront

50 Control of Broadleaf Weeds Winter Annuals Henbit

51 Control of Broadleaf Weeds Winter Annuals Henbit Chickweed

52 Control of Broadleaf Weeds Winter Annuals and Perennials Henbit Chickweed Dandelion

53 Control of Broadleaf Weeds What to Use 2,4-D: dandelion and winter annuals in the fall Combination products: dandelion and winter annuals in the early spring Trimec (2,4-D + MCPP + Dicamba) Weed-B-Gon (2,4-D + MCPP) Confront (commercial product): excellent on clover, safe on buffalograss Turflon products: good on clover

54 Control of Nutsedge Background Info Not a grass Has triangular base Likes moist sites Can reproduce by seed or nutlets

55 Control of Nutsedge Herbicides MSMA, Basagran and Manage are used Manage works well

56 Control of Bermuda in Cool-Season Turf Bermuda greens up late and goes dormant early

57 Control of Bermuda in Cool-Season Turf Steps to Control Mid-July: Fertilize and water bermuda First of August: Spray with Glyphosate Third weed of August: Spray again with Glyphosate if any green Early September: Seed

58 Insect Problems Most Common Problem is Grubs May Beetle (June Bug) Southern Masked Chafer Billbugs Black Turfgrass Ataenius

59 Grub Insects, Adults May BeetleSouthern Masked Chafer Black Turfgrass Ataenius Billbug

60 White Grubs Mottled appearance to turf

61 White Grubs

62 Identification May Beetle Southern Masked Chafer

63 May Beetle 3-year Life Cycle 2nd Year Most Damaging

64 Southern Masked Chafer Annual grub Most common grub that causes damage Adults dont feed that we know of

65 White Grub Control Number needed to cause visible damage Southern Masked Chafer: 8-9 per square foot May Beetle: 3-4 per square foot

66 White Grub Control Merit Insecticide Labeled for white grubs and billbugs Considered a 3 month product If after annual grubs, apply early to mid- July If also seeking to control May Beetle grubs or billbugs, apply no earlier than mid-May Causes a disruption of a grub's nervous system resulting in its death Not for rescue treatments

67 White Grub Control Mach 2 Insecticide Labeled for cutworms, sod webworms, billbugs and white grubs Considered a 6 week product Apply early to mid- July for white grub control Accelerates a grub's development by causing it to molt prematurely Feeding stops within a couple of hours of ingestion Not for rescue treatments

68 White Grub Control Rescue Treatments Apply when see damage Use convential insecticide

69 How to Tell if Grub Affected by Insecticide Grub on Way Out Healthy Grub

70 Diseases Kentucky Bluegrass - Summer Patch, Dollar Spot Tall Fescue - Brown Patch Bermudagrass - Spring Dead Spot Zoysiagrass - Large Patch

71 Kentucky Bluegrass - Summer Patch Symptoms Frog-eye Pattern

72 Kentucky Bluegrass - Summer Patch Control By the time you see symptoms, it is too late Heritage and Bayleton provided good control when applied on May 1, May 27 and June 23.

73 Kentucky Bluegrass - Dollar Spot Symptoms Small brown spots Individual leaf blades have hourglass pattern

74 Kentucky Bluegrass - Dollar Spot Conditions Favoring Warm, humid conditions Made worse by low nitrogen fertility

75 Kentucky Bluegrass - Dollar Spot Control On home lawns, usually not severe enough to warrant control. May wish to apply light fertilization, if appropriate. Many fungicides can be used if desired including Banner or Daconil.

76 Tall Fescue - Brown Patch Smoke ring sometimes present in early morning Symptoms

77 Tall Fescue - Brown Patch Circular patches up to several feet in diameter

78 Tall Fescue - Brown Patch Conditions Favoring Hot days and warm nights High nitrogen fertilization Wet leaf surfaces

79 Tall Fescue - Brown Patch Control Often turf will recover without spraying Preventive sprays are more effective than curative First preventive spray should go down about July 1 Heritage, Bayleton, Banner, ProStar, and Daconil work well. Daconil best for homeowner. Heritage and ProStar have been the most effective over the long term (5 weeks control with one app)

80 Brown Area in Otherwise Green Lawn If No Signs of Diseases or Insects, Probably Burn Female dog Gas spill Car exhaust Dumped salt water from ice cream maker Shallow soil due to underlying rock

81 The End


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