Turf Management
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  • HANDOUTS: “Low-Maintenance Grasses for Revegetating Disturbed Areas and Lawns” “Grass Varieties”
  • Warm seasons green up about mid-June to early July, then go dormant when run out of water. Will revive, green up and grow whenever more water is available. Irrigation during dry season will keep them green.
  • HANDOUT: “Seeding a New Lawn”
  • SEE “HOMESCAPING” KIT
  • If using Roundup let weeds get some growth, then treat. Allow 7-10 days for weed kill. May need to repeat.
  • Greenmaster Lawn Fertilizer (Jerdens) has 4% Fe and 7% S.
  • Must keep damp until seedlings are established. If seed dries for even an hour after it sprouts it will die – until root can absorb moisture. Even after rooted top ¼-1/2” of soil will dry very quickly warm, dry wind. Must use mulch – wet down Oat straw Planted oats as cover crop Burlap (not treated – green) Shredded paper Cottonseed hulls Dried grass clippings Divide seed into two buckets– see if half done when first bucket is empty
  • HANDOUTS: “Turf Maintenance” “Quick Tips For A Good Lawn”
  • Quick release N causes flush of top growth which is bright green but weak, and susceptible to disease and insect damage. Leaving clippings Add OM and return nutrients Reduces fertilization needs Have to mow sooner Best all around herbicide – Confront Post emergent
  • HANDOUTS: “Keep Ahead of Lawn Drought”
  • Compost topdressing – moisture and heat increases microbial activity which breaks down thatch.

Transcript

  • 1. TURF Bill Taylor Weston County Extension University of Wyoming The University of Wyoming, United States Department of Agriculture, and Weston County Extension Office cooperate
  • 2. Selecting the Right Grass
    • “The grass you sow will be the lawn you mow.”
    • The most vital step to final lawn results.
  • 3. Turfgrass Terminology
    • Vegetative parts of plant – useful in indentification
      • Leaf blade
      • Leaf sheath
      • Vernation
      • Collar
      • Ligule
      • Auricles
      • Growth habit
  • 4. Leaf Blade
    • Upper flattened portion of leaf
      • Texture fine, medium, coarse?
      • Veins prominent?
      • Shade of green ?
      • Smooth ( glabrous ) or hairy ( pubescent )?
      • Tip pointed, boat-shaped, blunt, round?
  • 5. Leaf Blade (cont.)
  • 6. Leaf Sheath
    • Lower portion of the leaf – part that encircles stem
      • Cylindrical? Compressed?
      • Closed? Open? Margins overlapping?
  • 7. Leaf Sheath (cont.)
  • 8. Vernation
    • Arrangement of new leaves with older leaf sheath
      • Folded or rolled when it emerges?
  • 9. Vernation (cont.)
  • 10. Collar
    • Band at junction of leaf blade and leaf sheath
      • Divided, broad, narrow?
  • 11. Collar (cont.)
  • 12. Ligule
    • Appendage on inner side of grass leaf at junction of blade and sheath
      • Absent, membranous, hairy?
      • If present, size and shape?
      • Upper edge smooth, notched, hairy ( ciliate )?
  • 13. Ligule (cont.)
  • 14. Auricles
    • Appendages occurring in pairs at base of blade
      • Present or absent?
      • If present, small (rudimentary) or prominent (clawlike)?
  • 15. Auricles (cont.)
  • 16. Growth Habit
    • Plant erect or lying down (decumbent)?
    • Lateral shoots such as rhizomes (underground stems), stolons (aboveground stems), or tillers (shoots that arise from crown)?
  • 17. Growth Habit (cont.)
  • 18. Variety Considerations
    • Aesthetic purposes or play?
      • Heavy traffic – cultivar tolerating lots of use.
    • Plenty or minimum maintenance?
      • Minimal amounts of water, fertilizer, pest and weed management?
        • Variety which will survive with little care
  • 19. Variety Considerations (cont.)
    • Irrigation available?
      • Use bluegrasses & fine fescues where irrigation is available
      • Drought-resistant species where no irrigation is available
    • Good quality water?
      • If high in salts a salt tolerant species is needed
  • 20. Variety Considerations (cont.)
    • Soil sandy or clay?
      • Clay – drains poorly, may hold too much water for some types
    • Shade or sun?
      • Most will not tolerate heavy shade
    • Elevation?
      • Higher elevations more difficult for turf grass
  • 21. Variety Considerations (cont.)
    • Temperature and climate?
      • Warm season vs cool season types
        • Only two warm season varieties for Wyoming – Buffalo grass, Blue grama
          • NOT Zoysia, Bermuda, St. Augustine
          • Will not green up until mid or late June
          • Will go dormant when short of moisture
        • All others are cool season
  • 22. Grass Varieties
    • Four types
      • Sod forming vs. bunch grasses
      • Warm season vs. cool season
    • *
  • 23. Kentucky bluegrass & red fescues spread by underground stems (rhizomes) and side branches (tillers) from the crown.
  • 24. Bentgrasses and buffalograss spread by creeping stems (stolons) on the soil surface.
  • 25. Bunchgrasses like crested wheatgrass, ryegrass and tall fescues spread by side branches at the crown.
  • 26. Grass Varieties (cont.)
    • Kentucky Bluegrass
      • Sod former
      • Cool season
      • Soft, pretty
      • Many cultivars
        • Some require high maintenance, some low
      • Seed @ 3-5 lb./1000 sq. ft.
  • 27. Grass Varieties (cont.)
    • Kentucky Bluegrass (cont.)
      • Advantages
        • Readily available
        • Cheap
        • Soft and green
      • Disadvantages
        • High water requirements
          • 2” every 7-10 days (~5000-6000 gal/wk for 5000 sq. ft. lawn)
        • Numerous diseases
        • Die-back with adverse conditions
  • 28. GRASS VARIETIES (cont.)
    • Perennial ryegrass
      • Bunch grass
      • Cool season
      • Mixed w/ bluegrass – attractive
        • Pretty blue sheen
      • Germinates rapidly – short life span
      • Uses water like bluegrass
      • Crowded out eventually by bluegrass
      • Seed @ 6-8 lb./1000 sq. ft.
  • 29. Grass Varieties (cont.)
    • Turf-Type Tall Fescue
      • Coarse-bladed, cool season
      • Bunch grass
      • Drought resistant
        • Will regreen after drying out
      • Will survive @ 50%-70% of bluegrass water
      • Seed @ 6-8 lb./1000 sq. ft.
  • 30. Grass Varieties (cont.)
    • Fine fescue
      • Sod former
      • Cool season
      • Very fine & delicate looking
      • Rugged tolerance
      • Disadvantages
        • Lodges before cutting
        • Can sunburn
  • 31. Grass Varieties (cont.)
    • Fine Fescue (cont.)
      • Stays green long
      • Drought resistant
        • Will survive @ 50% of bluegrass water
      • Forms thatch quickly
      • Good in shade
      • Seed @ 5 lb./1000 sq. ft.
  • 32. Grass Varieties (cont.)
    • Crested wheatgrass
      • Bunch grass
      • Cool season
      • Uses 50% of bluegrass water
      • Sensitive to traffic
      • No disease or insect problems
      • Seed @ 5 lb./1000 sq. ft.
  • 33. Grass Varieties (cont.)
    • Smooth bromegrass
      • One recommended cultivar – Lincoln
      • Seed @ 10-12 lb./1000 sq. ft.
  • 34. Grass Varieties (cont.)
    • Buffalograss
      • Slow, dense sod former
      • Warm season
        • Greens up in late June, browns out at first frost
      • No watering required after established
        • Must water first 2 years
        • Can water to keep green
      • Seed @ 2-3 lb./1000 sq. ft.
    • *
  • 35. Grass Varieties (cont.)
    • Blue grama
      • Bunch grass, but will eventually sod
      • Warm season
        • Greens up in late June, browns out at first frost
      • No watering required after established
        • Must water first 2 years
        • Can water to keep green
      • More tolerant to salty soil than buffalograss
      • Finer, more attractive than buffalograss
      • Seed @ 1-3 lb./1000 sq. ft.
  • 36. Grass Varieties (cont.)
    • Recommended mixture of warm season grass
      • 50/50 buffalograss and blue grama
  • 37. Planting Grass
    • Cool seasons
      • Fall if irrigation water is unlimited
        • August 15 th to September 15 th
      • Early spring if water is limited
      • Late June to mid-August above 6500’
    • Warm seasons
      • May 10 th to June 15 th
    • *
  • 38. Planting Grass (cont.)
    • Soil test
    • Water test
    • Compatibility determination of #1 & #2
    • Availability of water
    • What do you want?
      • Kids, retirement
  • 39. Planting Grass (cont.)
    • Make a plan – very important
      • Play, high use areas
      • Trees, shrubs – grass & trees don’t mix, mulch trees
      • Vegetable and flower gardens
      • Traffic areas, utility, low exposure areas
      • Get the right plant in the right place
      • Use graph paper and sketch it all out
      • MAKE YOUR DECISIONS NOW
    • *
  • 40. Planting Grass (cont.)
    • Choose the grass type and variety
      • Use only adapted, recommended varieties with certified seed.
    • Grading plan
      • Be sure water stays on your property
      • Keep water from basement, garage, etc.
    • Do rough grade
      • Check the water flow
  • 41. Planting Grass (cont.)
    • Start loosening soil
      • Plow deep (don’t turn up sub-soil), leave bare-faced over winter
      • Till in spring – avoid over tilling
        • Kill weed crop
        • May need additional Roundup treatments to get ahead of weeds
    • Add amendments
      • If organic matter is less than 5% (most are) add 3-5 cu. yd. compost/1000 sq. ft. (1” cover)
      • Till in to 4”-8” depth
    • *
  • 42. Planting Grass (cont.)
    • Drag and firm soil at final grade
      • This is your last chance – be sure water drains where you want it
    • Add good starter fertilizer
      • Up to 1#/1000 ft 2 of N w/ sulfur and iron
    • Pre-water
    • *
  • 43. Planting Grass (cont.)
    • Determine planting method
      • Seed
        • Cheapest
        • Highest chance of failure
          • May cost as much as hydroseeding when done
        • Wet soil – seed must have contact with damp soil
        • Seed two directions
    • *
  • 44. Planting Grass (cont.)
    • Hydroseeding
      • Can be custom blended
      • Ask about seed mixes, mulch used, fertilizers, care given
    • Sodding
      • Rewater lightly
      • Obtain from as close as possible
        • Must be laid as soon after cut as possible
  • 45. Planting Grass (cont.)
    • Sodding (cont.)
      • Stagger seams, be sure they are tight
      • Run strips longest direction
      • Roll down to eliminate air pockets
      • Water behind yourself
    • Plugs, strips
  • 46. Planting Grass (cont.)
    • Plan again – last chance
      • Don’t grass any mounds
      • Use ground paint and mark lot
    • Seed, sod, or plug
      • Seed two directions
      • If broadcast, lightly rake or drag
      • Mulch with straw, netting, matting – especially if on a slope
  • 47. Planting Grass (cont.)
    • Watering
      • By feel – soil feels like wrung out sponge
      • Lightly, frequently – don’t let it dry out
      • Reduce frequency, increase duration as roots increase
  • 48. Planting Grass (cont.)
    • Mow at 45 days
      • Cut to 2-2½”
      • Mainly to mow off weeds
    • At 3-4 mowings can use chemical herbicide if needed
      • Use at ¾ rate
  • 49. Turf Maintenance
    • Early Spring (even if frozen)
      • Rake up leaves & dead grass and compost
        • Can power rake – hastens greenup, lets ground warm up earlier, removes dead material
      • Overseed thin & bare spots
  • 50. Turf Maintenance (cont.)
    • Early Spring (cont.)
      • Mow to ½”-¾”, bag and remove
        • Do not remove more than 1/3 blade length
      • Water thoroughly, can use surfactant
      • Plug aerate
        • Up to triple the soil microbial action
        • Plugs 2½”-3” deep
        • A plug every 3-5 in 2
        • Go over twice
    • *
  • 51. Turf Maintenance (cont.)
    • Early Spring (cont.)
      • Fertilize with 21-7-7 @ 1½-2¼ #N/1000 ft 2 into the aeration plugs
        • Use slow release
        • Or use screened compost or well rotted manure
      • Mow every 5-7 days if you leave the clippings
        • 7-10 days if clippings removed
      • Weed control
        • Hand weeding
        • Herbicide application
          • Pre- or post-emergent for annual weeds if needed
          • Spot control for perennial weeds, i.e. dandelion, thistle
    • *
  • 52. Turf Maintenance (cont.)
    • Early Summer
      • Fertilize with 1½ #N/1000 ft 2
        • Slow release
      • Slowly let grass get taller w/ each mowing until 3”-3½” (Keep that mower sharp!)
        • Keeps crowns shaded
        • Depth of roots directly related to top height
      • Problem areas begin to show
        • High heat areas – most damage at 2:00 p.m.
          • Spraying w/ hose reduces temperature
  • 53. Turf Maintenance (cont.)
    • Early Summer (cont.)
      • Water early – daylight to 10:00 a.m.
      • Water deep and seldom
        • 6”-12” deep once every 7-10 days
          • Use test hole to determine time required
        • Rewater just before water stress sets in (about 50% of water used)
          • Signs of water stress
            • Bluish color
            • Foot prints slow to rebound
    • *
  • 54. Turf Maintenance (cont.)
    • Early Summer (cont.)
      • Water deep and seldom (cont.)
        • Frequent, shallow watering
          • Shallow, weak root system
          • Requires more water
          • Creates thatch
            • Impervious layer of fine roots below grass crown and above soil – like layer of felt
            • Dries out quickly
  • 55. Turf Maintenance (cont.)
    • Mid Summer (~August 1)
      • Increase water if hot and dry – back off as soon as cools off
      • Maintain lawn length at 2½”-3”
        • Remember not to remove more than 1/3 blade length in any mowing
      • Check for sod webworm larvae and adults
      • Summer dormancy
        • Topdress w/ compost in heat of summer – water-in well
    • *
  • 56. Turf Maintenance (cont.)
    • Fall
      • Continue deep watering
      • Perennial broadleaf weed control
      • Overseed & repair of damaged areas
  • 57. Turf Maintenance (cont.)
    • Late Fall
      • Start cutting shorter with each mowing
        • End up at ¾” by snow
        • Helps prevent snow mold
      • Aerate
      • Fertilize
        • Top dress w/ screened compost or rotted manure (or)
        • Fertilizer
          • Slow release if early
          • Quick release if real late
          • Winterizer fertilizers w/ extra P or K not warranted – N is still nutrient needed
  • 58. Turf Maintenance (cont.)
    • Late Fall (cont.)
      • Water deeply as needed
      • Rake leaves
        • Prevent matting and grass suffocation
        • May return some to lawn by using mulching mower
  • 59. Turf Maintenance (cont.)
    • Winter
      • Water slightly whenever bare and temperature is 45 °F or above
      • Do mower maintenance
      • Drought conditions
        • Apply 1-2 lb. N/1000 sq. ft. after top growth is dormant – available for next spring greenup.
        • Refrain from fertilization rest of year if water is limited.
  • 60. Fertilizer Calculations
    • Note the three numbers on the front of the bag – i.e. 25-5-5, 10-10-10
      • Always N, P, K percentages in that order
    • Note % of N – this is the vital nutrient to balance for
    • Divide pounds of N needed per 1000 sq. ft. by percent N. = amount of fertilizer per 1000 sq. ft.
    • Multiply by the number of 1000’s of sq. footage to find total amount to purchase.
  • 61. Fertilizer Calculations (cont.)
    • Your lawn measures 100’ x 500’.
    • Your fertilizer recommendation says you should apply 1.5 lb. N per 1000 sq. ft.
    • You find 15-5-5 at the store @ $10.50 per 20 lb. bag.
    • What will it cost to fertilize your lawn?
  • 62. Fertilizer Calculations (cont.)
    • Lawn area = 100’ X 500’ =
      • 5000 sq. ft. or 5 thousands.
    • 1.5 lb N needed ÷ .15 (15%) =
      • 10 lb fertilizer needed for every 1000 sq. ft.
    • 10 lb x 5 thousands =
      • 50 lb fertilizer to buy
    • 50 lb ÷ 20 lb/bag =
      • 2.5 bags
    • 3 bags x $10.50 =
      • $31.50
  • 63. Controlling Pests
    • Good surface & subsurface drainage when establishing new turf
    • Grow locally adapted, disease-resistant varieties
    • Buy only top-quality certified sod, sprigs, plugs, seed from reputable dealer
    • Fertilize according to recommendations
  • 64. Controlling Pests (cont.)
    • Mow frequently at recommended height with sharp mower, removing no more than 1/3 of blade.
    • Water properly
    • Increase light penetration and air movement by pruning or removing dense trees, shrubs, hedges
  • 65. Controlling Pests (cont.)
    • Core aerate thatched and compacted areas
    • Follow recommended weed and insect control programs.
  • 66.