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Fall Turf Tips

October 8, 2017
Here on Southern Gardening, we talk a LOT about ornamental plants in our gardens and landscape. We hardly ever mention the most prolific plant on most properties…the lawn itself. Today on Southern Gardening, I'm talking with Dr. Jay McCurdy, the MSU Extension Turf grass specialist. Jay, fall is an important time of the year for lawn care. What are some of the lawn care activities we need to accomplish each fall? Jay: A common question I get is what type of fertilizer to use, as well as when to apply it. Typically, we want to apply less nitrogen and more potassium in the fall. I recommend that home-owners perform a yearly soil analysis. The report they receive back will dictate to them what type of fertilizer to apply, as well as when to apply it. Gary: Many homeowners use pre-emergence herbicides in the spring. But what about the fall season? Jay: Those same pre-emergence herbicides work well in the fall time of the year to control troublesome weeds such as broadleaves and annual bluegrass. Gary: Now a common question I get...what about "Weed and Feeds?" Jay: Weed and Feeds are herbicides on a granular fertilizer carrier. Over-fertilization is a common problem with those types of products. You certainly don't need to fertilize AND put out a Weed and Feed. Gary: Jay, managing your home lawn can be intimidating. Where can home-owners find more information? Jay: Gary, our Extension website has a section just on lawn care. Within that, I would recommend home-owners look at the publication "Establish and Manage Your Home Lawn." But really, there's something there for everyone. Gary: If you follow Jay's advice... taking care of your home lawn this fall will be a piece of cake. I'm horticulturist Gary Bachman and I'll see you next time on Southern Gardening.

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