Workshop topics

Lawn irrigation and weeding workshop | Local

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about efficient lawn irrigation and irrigation audits on automatic systems. The goal is water conservation and a healthier lawn.

To deepen this subject and see a practical demonstration of an audit, a workshop will take place on June 21 at 6:30 p.m. It will be held at the home of Tony and Kathie Kresha, 36 Clear Lake, Columbus NE.

Along with showing how to do an irrigation audit to find out how much water your system is applying and with what uniformity, a variety of topics will be covered, questions answered, and master extension gardeners will share their experience using moisture meters. soil to determine when to water.

Topics to discuss include turf water needs, determining when irrigation is needed, and the effects of soil compaction, aeration, fertilization and more. If you have a question about lawn weeds, disease or insects, you can bring a sample in a plastic bag for identification and management information.

We call this program Water Dogs and it is open to the public. Although registration is not required and there is no charge, please email [email protected] or call 402-563-4901 with any questions. If you inform us of your presence, we can contact you in the event of cancellation due to the weather.

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Along with watering, weed control is a current problem for lawns. Now is the time to control yellow nutsedge if you are using herbicides or pulling by hand. Although we may not see many sedges yet, it is important to start growth and control before June 21st.

Yellow nutsedge is the yellow grass-like plant with waxy blades that grow taller than Kentucky bluegrass. Larger plants are more visible after June, but this perennial sedge begins to emerge from underground tubers in late May.

While smaller plants are harder to see among the grass now, the first week of June through June 21 is considered a prime time for control. Smaller plants are easier to kill, and nutsedge is killed before the plants develop many underground tubers.

To help reduce nutsedge, mow high to 3.5 inches and avoid overwatering. Hand pulling can be effective if there are very few plants and it is pulled early. If herbicides are used, products containing sulfentrazone, known as Dismiss; halosulfuron or Sedge-Hammer; and mesotrione such as Tenacity are labeled for postemergence control in cool season turfs. Be sure to follow all label directions.

Control of broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions and clover, during the summer is not as effective and there is an increased risk of damage to non-target plants. Larger weeds are also more difficult to control.

Herbicide control is less effective and turf safety decreases when weeds are treated in low moisture soil. Air temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit increase the risk of turf damage as well as volatilization of herbicides, resulting in drift to non-target plants.

When treated in the spring or summer, perennial broadleaf weeds often regrow from the roots with summer watering and fertilizing. September and October are the best months to control perennial broadleaf weeds with herbicides.

If weed control is necessary during the summer, dig dandelions by hand to prevent flowering and seed production. Or spot treat individual weeds with an herbicide when environmental conditions are cooler and there is no wind. The label will indicate the conditions under which the products must not be applied.

Kelly Feehan is a Community Environmental Educator for Nebraska Extension-Platte County.