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Dare I say it. Can we get a little rain?

October 18, 2010

We are just past the halfway point in October and some parts of the state have yet to receive any considerable rainfall this month. After being bombarded with rain during the summer months, the Des Moines area has received a measly 0.03 inches of rainfall so far in October. Their last considerable rainfall event took place on September 25. Depending on what happens the remaining 14 days of the month, October could go down as one of the driest on record. Irrigation systems that didn’t get much use during the rainy summer months are surely being used during this stretch of dry weather. The picture below from the National Weather Service shows that a good chunk of the Midwest is experiencing below average rainfall for October.
 

There hasn’t been too much activity (as far as stresses go) at the research station. We still have dollar spot working in some areas and rust and powdery mildew are showing up on Kentucky bluegrass. Grub damage at the station seems to be less this year compared to years past.

Other than the droughty conditions, the fall months have been conducive for turfgrass growth and recovery. Soil temperatures are holding steady in the high 50’s low 60’s. Those putting down natural organic fertilizers yet this fall, remember that those products require microbial activity to release the nitrogen contained in the product. Microbial activity usually ceases at 50 degrees. The dry conditions could also affect post-emergent herbicide applications as uptake and translocation are not as effective on drought stressed weeds.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of fall.

Regardless of the weather conditions, poa always seems to find a way to thrive.

This maple provides brilliant fall color on the north side of the ISU campus

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GRUBS FEEDING IN NOVEMBER IN CENTRAL IOWA

November 10, 2012

Here is another post from Larry Ginger of "American Lawn Care" in Des Moines.  Larry has been keeping us updated on late grub damage and fall seeding on lawns that he manages.  Below are some pictures from Pleasant Hill, Ia showing active grubs on November 9.  I am going to have to change my teaching notes on this.  Generally the grubs have burrowed deep underground by this time, but here they are in November.

Larry also reports an 800% increase in his fall seeding business.  He is using a three-way blend of Falcon IV, Five Point and Six Point turf-type tall fescues.  He will send us some pictures of newly seeded lawns next week.

I have also been seeding areas that had been established to Kentucky bluegrass in the past, but were lost to the drought this summer.  I have tried turf-type tall fescues as well in some areas and will report the success with this next season.  My main concern is how well they will blend with the Kentucky bluegrass remaining on the area.

Figure 1.  Active grub on November 9 in central Iowa.
Grub Damage

Figure 2.  Grub damage.

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WHITE GRUBS IN OTTUMWA

August 15, 2012

Here is a post form Neric Smith, Landscape and Turfgrass Instructor at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa.  It is my first contact on white grubs for the season.  They generally begin to appear in early August and continue into October.  If anyone else is seeing them, send me some pictures.  I'm counting on less grubs this season because of the heat and the dry conditions, but I may be wrong.

Neric has a growing turf program at Indian Hills.  For those of you from that area that may be interested in his program, here is his contact information.

Neric D. Smith
Landscape and Turfgrass Instructor
Indian Hills Community College
525 Grandview Ave.
Ottumwa, IA 52501
Email: nsmith@indianhills.edu
Office Phone: 641-683-5194

 

From Neric:

The Heat is one thing to deal with, but add white grubs and things get worse.  Attached are pictures of grub damage found this week August 5th on a softball field here at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, IA.  It is a Kentucky bluegrass field that was treated on June 4th with a granular fertilizer and Merit insecticide.  The field does have plenty of thatch and the application was at the low rate of product.  It doesn’t take long with 100 plus temperatures(yesterday) for things to turn brown even with syringing.  Dylox will be applied and life will go on!  Just thought that I would share and see if anyone else was seeing white grub damage yet? 

Neric

 

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