Just because you have irrigation, doesn't mean you need to just have it activated and turn it loose! Most of our summer turf weed issues(and a lot if disease issues) are GREATLY MAGNIFIED by over irrigation that starts in April. Please take the time to know how often your system runs and how long it runs. If you can get your system to only water 1/2 inch, twice weekly, that is adequate starting point. Never water more than 3 days a week! We need soil surface to dry between waterings, PLEASE. This encourages turf roots to seek water below instead of getting a regular drink at surface every other day! Most of the summer weeds like nutsedge, Dallisgrass, and johnsongrass thrive on moisture in top 1/4 inch of soil. Combine moisture with warm soil temps, and BAM, you have a mess. Do you know how much water your system puts out in a given amount of time? Every system can be different based on water pressure and nozzle size. Put a cup out and see what you catch in say 25 minutes. 90% of the time, if you are watering with a rotary type sprinkler, you are wasting water if you are applying less than 1/2 inch per watering. I have people tell me all the time either they have no idea how long there system runs or how much it puts out. Its worth finding out! It is actually beneficial if turf becomes slightly water stressed before watering. It reduces the possibility of creating "sissy grass" that doesn't develop roots and can't withstand summer stress. Help us help you by checking out your irrigation settings. Thanks!
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Number one question this week is when will the seed you put down last month germinate? Did it die, maybe freeze or rot? No! Seed basically needs moisture and soil temps above 50 to germinate. There were 5 days between these pictures the thermometer registered 40 March 5th,from surface down to 41 at a 4 inch depth. on March 10th, soil surface temps had risen to 56. We will now see fescue and perennial ryegrass germination over the next 10 days. We may have to apply Drive herbicide to keep weed grass Germination down for about 30 days, without harming new fescue seedings. That will provide a window for new seedings to grow. Real preemergent can be applied by late April. This past winter killed many freshly germinated seeds, especially in shaded areas.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Tested soil temps today from just under surface to 4 inch depth. Temps in Full sun right under surface right at 40. Temps rose only slightly to 41 @ 4inches. Therefore, shaded soil temps still in 30's,so all touch up seeding done in early 2014 still just sitting there doing nothing! Germination will not come for probably another 14 days minimum. However, we can delay preemergent at least until April 10th this year if you are waiting on new seed to germinate. It will happen!
If you have low cut, high traffic bermuda, you better be spend the extra money on Ronstar or at least Oxadiazon generic. Otherwise, you will have to waste money on Charcoal when you sprig or sod this year. Ronstar not great on crabgrass, but excellent on the goosegrass you will be fighting this summer, especially if you have to sprig! So far, I will be shocked if at least between hash marks on football fields isn't toast! Getting random/scattered kill results from early plugs. Ronstar won't root prune nearby as bad as Prodiamine or Dithiopyr! In Nashville, I also expect to see some of the lousy old El Torro zoysia that is still around, to be greening up around really late,if at all!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Haven't seen this in a while in our area. We have been touching up seed jobs this week. Haven't had to break up the soil in most lawns because the freezing and thawing cycles over the past few weeks have done it for us. Basically, ice crystals form below soil surface and grow towards the direction of heat loss, and it almost looks like grub damage or skunk damage when they dig for grubs. The only real negative is immature seedlings from the fall seeding can be uprooted and killed. I will post some pictures tomorrow of a few dead seedlings. The good news is heaving soils make a decent seed bed! Seed we plant now will usually germinate by early March, but then again in TN it could be snowing or 85 in March! We will wait until new seedlings emerge before applying first application of preemergent on reseeded spots.
Monday, January 6, 2014
What is needed for winter kill on hybrid Bermuda? I have found 3 consecutive days with single digit lows will cause significant death on hybrid Bermuda in two situations. If mowing height is one inch or lower or if an area gets lots of traffic, like between hash marks on football field.. The best case for preventing this is hopefully you applied potassium before the plant went dormant. Having at least an inch of snow cover prior to the temperature drops will also reduce winter kill significantly. zoysia can also experience winter kill, but has better cold tolerance than hybrid Bermuda, Common Bermuda is very hardy, so winter kill is rare on common!