Troubleshooting Problem Lawns

Some of the most commonly asked questions coming into the Payne County Extension Office involve poor lawn conditions. While each individual circumstance is unique, there are some common factors that can usually help explain the underlying cause of the problem. Read More...

Why Soil Testing is Important

Healthy garden soil is probably the single most important controllable factor in determining the potential success of a garden. A simple soil test is the best place to begin improving your soil. Read More...

Lawn Care Summary

Home Grown  by Keith Reed
From a lawn care perspective, things are winding down quickly (the high 80’s of the last few days being an exception). However, since we are still getting quite a few inquiries in the Payne County Extension office, here are a few reminders.

  • It is too late in the season to fertilize warm season grasses like bermuda, zoysia and buffalo with nitrogen. If I soil sample should indicate a critical need for phosphorus or potassium, those nutrients can still be applied. Applying nitrogen now to these grasses increases the chances of winter kill.
  • Many poor-quality lawns suffer not from nutrient deficiencies, but from a chemical imbalance caused by soil pH that’s gotten either too low or too high. Now is a good time to apply lime (for low pH) or sulfur (if too high). Don’t guess at this. Only a soil test can confirm if this is a problem and if corrective action is needed.
  • If you seeded Tall fescue this fall, be ready to begin mowing it as soon as it gets up to 3 inches in height or so. Regular mowing will encourage lateral growth as well as helping to keep weed pressure down.
  • New seedlings of Tall fescue will benefit from an additional application of nitrogen 30-45 days after planting.
  • Now is NOT the time to attempt to control annual summer weeds such as crabgrass, goosegrass and sandburs. These plants have basically already completed their life cycle and will disappear with our first frost. If these weeds have been a problem for you this year, now would be a good time to make some notes on next year’s calendar so you can be proactive.
Goosegrass and sandburs are two troublesome weeds that can be especially hard to control. While classic “crabgrass pre-emergent” products offer limited control, other measures are necessary to prevent these weeds.

For more information on this or any other horticultural topic, you can contact Keith Reed, the Horticulturist in the Payne County Extension office. Keith can be reached via email at keith.reed@okstate.edu, phone at 405-747-8320, or in person at the Payne County Extension office, located at 315 W. 6th in Stillwater.

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