Some Best Management Practices for Turf

367 views
288 views

Published on

Presentation by Tim Ohlwiler from Virginia Tech Extension Services at PEC's Sustainable Landscaping Workshop in Warrenton, VA on September 7, 2013.

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
367
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Some Best Management Practices for Turf

  1. 1. Some Best Management Practices for Turf Brookside Community 7 September 2013, Warrenton, VA
  2. 2. Meadowlark Gardens – Vienna, VA – June 2013
  3. 3. BMPs for Turf • Mow • Water • Fertilize • Over seed • Thoughts on soil health
  4. 4. Winter Early spring Spring Summer Early fall Fall Winter Shoot Growth Root Growth Carbohydrates High Med. Low Figure 1. Seasonal Growth Patterns of Cool-Season Turfgrasses Relativegrowthrate Window 1Window 2
  5. 5. Mowing • Most frequent management activity • About once per week, more when growing faster, less when dormant or growing slower • Remove no more than 1/3 of leaf surface  Minimum recommended mowing heights for turf grasses  Kentucky bluegrass 1 1/2” to 2 1/2”  Tall fescue 2” to 3”  Creeping red fescue 2” to 3”  Perennial ryegrass 1 1/2” to 2 1/2”  Bermudagrass ½” to 1”  Zoysiagrass ¾” to 1” • Can I mow higher than this? Yes
  6. 6. Mowing low • Reduces tolerance for drought • Increases weed pressure • Makes turf more susceptible to stress • Reduces turf roots • On another note… return your clippings, they provide nutrients in the turf.
  7. 7. Watering • Cool season turf goes dormant in July and August • Add water consistently (or not at all) 1 inch/wk in two to three applications. • Water in very early morning • Turn off automatic systems when it rains.
  8. 8. Fertilization • Fertilizer is one of the biggest contaminants in the Chesapeake bay. • Manage it properly • If fertilizer is a contaminant of water, then I should not fertilize my turf? • This is actually found to not be true. Research at the University of Minnesota showed minimal fertilization to be the best for the environment. • Pet waste is a significant source of nutrients in out waterways.
  9. 9. How to fertilize then? • When grass is actively growing, fall is the best. • Not before a large rain event • No more than 1 lb of N / 1000 ft2 at a time • Use a slow release fertilizer. • Avoid fertilizing next to a pond or stream. (10 ft buffer) • Lawn and not sidewalk. Nitrogen Application by Month Quality May 15- Desired Sept. Oct. Nov. June 15 --------Lbs N/1000 sq ft-------- Low 0 1 0 0-0.5 Med. 1 1 0 0-0.5 High 1 1 1 0-0.5
  10. 10. You only recommended Nitrogen • Why? • Because Nitrogen is mobile in the soil and often the most limiting nutrient to growth. • 24 – 6 – 12 • N – P – K • What about other nutrients? • P -Phosphorus – going to be hard to find in fertilizers in VA • K – Potassium – apply according to soil test. • Other nutrients usually not needed.
  11. 11. Changes to VA laws • Maintenance fertilizer will not contain phosphorus - 2014 • Can only apply phosphorus on established turf if a soil test shows phosphorus is deficient • Folks that apply fertilizer for hire must be certified by VDACS – 1 July 2013.
  12. 12. Compost, an alternative fertilizer • Help clay soils drain • Help sandy soils retain water • Add nutrients for turf • Reduce soil compaction • PSU research indicates ¼ inch depth 1-2 x/yr to established turfs is a GREAT treatment • Consider sources, quality, ability to spread etc.
  13. 13. Overseeding • Why? Because we grow fescue and it is a bunch grass. This fixes the holes in the turf. • When? First two weeks of September. • What kind of seed? Fescue mix, you get what you pay for.
  14. 14. Soil Test• Always a good time to take a soil test. • Soil test will tell you how much lime, phosphorus and potassium you need to add. • VT recommends testing soil every 3 years. • Can add lime anytime of year as long as the ground is not frozen. • Soil Probe
  15. 15. Why lime? • Soils in VA naturally acidic. • Turf prefers to grow between 6.3 and 6.8 pH. • Lime raises the pH of the soil. But, how much lime?
  16. 16. Improving soil health • Soil Compaction – Issue on new construction – Over time soil roots will reduce compaction – Dogs, people, cars and equipment add to compaction over time.
  17. 17. A few other thoughts on turf… • Clover is not a weed. • Moss is a great alternative to grass in the shade. • Another talk on turf diseases and insect pests. • Consider planting zoysia as a turf grass.
  18. 18. The Sales Pitch….. $20 • “Green” Grass • Volunteers pull a representative soil sample • Can ask trained volunteers questions • Volunteers measure your turf area. • Receive a plan that says when and how much fertilizer to add. • Also tells you how much lime you need.
  19. 19. Questions? Tim Ohlwiler VCE – Fauquier 540.341.7950 ext 3 tohlwile@vt.edu Virginia Native Flower Demonstration Garden at the extension office. VCE - Fauquier 24 Pelham St. Warrenton, VA

×