October is flying by! Leaves are beginning to fall and it is just about time to give our cool season lawns some nitrogen. November is the time to give cool-season lawns the last nitrogen application of the season. Why November? Because while top growth slows in response to cool temperatures, grass plants are still making food (carbohydrates) by photosynthesis. A November nitrogen application helps boost the photosynthesis rate. Carbohydrates that are not used in growth are stored in the crown and other storage tissues in the plant. These carbohydrate reserves help the turf grass green up earlier in the spring and sustain growth into May without the need for early-spring (March or April) nitrogen. Those early-spring nitrogen applications are less desirable because they can lead to excessive shoot growth and reduced root growth.
Other benefits of November-applied nitrogen for cool-season grasses include improved winter hardiness, root growth and shoot density. How much should you apply? One to 1 to 1 ½ pounds actual nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. of lawn area is sufficient. Following the recommended spreader setting on the fertilizer bag should apply the correct amount of fertilizer. In order for this application to be effective, the nitrogen must be readily available to the plant, because the growing season is nearly over. Therefore, for a November application, use a soluble (quickly-available) nitrogen carrier such as urea or ammonium sulfate. Many turf grass fertilizers sold in garden centers and other retail outlets also contain soluble nitrogen. Avoid products that contain water-insoluble nitrogen (slow-release) for this application. As always, sweep up any fertilizer that gets on driveways, sidewalks, or streets and reapply it to the lawn.
The best thing about Fall is the nice cool temperatures!
The second best thing is leaf color changes to reds, oranges, purples and yellows. Then soon leaves begin to fall. When they start falling from deciduous trees so it’s a good time to stop and think about options for handling the litter.
Although a scattering of leaves won’t harm the lawn, excessive cover prevents sunlight from reaching turfgrass plants. Turf left in this state for an extended period will be unable to make the carbohydrates needed to carry it through the winter. There are options for dealing with the fallen leaves other than bagging them up and putting them out for the trash collector.
Continue reading “Leaves on Your Lawn”
Fall is a great time to plant, over seed, core-aerate, power rake and fertilize tall fescue so to continue on the topic of lawns, what are the benefits of grass? Continue reading “Turfgrass Benefits”
If you have weeds in your lawn there are many reasons why! The following list are common problems lawn owners can have in Kansas:
Mowing too low and too infrequently thins the turf, allowing weeds to get started. Continue reading “Weeds in Lawn?”
Oh the chores of owning a lawn! Most homeowners in Harvey County have tall fescue lawns. Fescue differs from buffalograss or Bermundagrass in that is grows best in the cool season of the year, thus it is known as a cool-season grass (along with perennial ryegrass and Kentucky Bluegrass) and stays greener for a longer period of time. Culturing it otherwise invites weed, disease and insect issues. The following is a calendar for turf-type tall fescue. Continue reading “Chores of Owning a Lawn”
Avoid watering established tall fescue or bluegrass lawns prematurely in the spring. Even well-established tall fescue or bluegrass lawns must be watered regularly throughout the growing season to keep them green and growing. Buffalo grass is the most drought-tolerant grass and often survives summers without regular watering. Bermudagrass and zoysiagrass without excessive thatch require less water during stressful summers than do cool-season species.
Avoid watering established tall fescue or bluegrass lawns prematurely in the spring. Generally, there is a good reservoir of soil moisture remaining after winter, and during cooler springtime weather, grass plants require less water. Unnecessary irrigation can contribute to a shallow root system as summer approaches. Continue reading “Hold the Water!”