Summer ending lawn duties (8-24-09)
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The subtle hints that fall will soon be here become more numerous with each new sunrise. There was a crispness in the air this morning, the daily newspaper was full of football news, and hunters are prepping their food plots and getting their hunting gear in order. These hints should also be a reminder that there are only a few more weeks left to get our warm season species lawns in shape before shorter days, lower light intensity, and cooler temperatures reduce the potential for them to recover from any poor growth or pest injuries. Just as we are preparing for fall football, hunting, etc. you may want to include these items in your lawn care duties over the next couple of weeks.
Winter Weed Control ---
Now is the time to put out a pre-emerge herbicide to prevent winter weeds (annual bluegrass, lawn burweed, chickweed, henbit).
Fall Insects ---
Scout for fall armyworms, as this is the time of year that they can become very destructive with little time for turf recovery before winter dormancy. Use fire ant baits to manage fire ant colonies.
Fall Diseases ---
Centipede and St. Augustine lawns are very susceptible to Large Patch (Brown Patch) in the fall. If this disease is not managed the lawn will be unattractive all through the fall, winter, and into next spring. Avoid excess nitrogen fertilizer, water early in the day to avoid long periods of leaf wetness. Apply fungicides if appropriate.
Winterizing Fertilizers ----
Applying 2.0 lbs. Muriate of Potash fertilizer per 1,000 sq. ft. in the fall will help with turf stress problems including low temperatures, diseases and insects. There is not a problem using a weed and feed fertilizer in the fall if the nitrogen source is of slow release in nature.
Turf Research Field Day and Equipment Expo --- Sept. 15th
The Mississippi State Turf Team will host their annual turf research field day Tuesday Sept. 15th on their North Farm Turf Complex. A registration fee of $20 includes the research tour, turf management discussions, lunch, a T-shirt, and the equipment and lawn care products expo.
Published August 24, 2009
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org