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When is Watermelon Ripe on the Vine?
Recommended Tall Fescue Cultivars
Each year we the National Turfgrass Evaluation Trial rates tall fescue varieties for color, greenup, quality and texture. Quality ratings are taken once a month from March through October. K-31 consistently rates at the bottom. The recommended cultivars were 3rd Millennium, Braveheart, Bullseye, Catalyst, Cochise, Corona, Escalade, Faith, Falcon V, Firecracker, Firenza, Jamboree, LS 1200, Monet, Mustang, Raptor II, Rhambler SRP, RK5, Shenandoah III, Shenandoah Elite, Sidewinder, Spyder LS, Talladega, Turbo and Wolfpack II. There are a number of other cultivars that did not make this list but should do well in Kansas. Go to http://ntep.org/data/tf06/tf06_12-10f/tf0612ft04.txt . Any variety with a mean rating of 6.0 or above should be fine. K-31 has a rating of 4.1. Keep in mind that mixes of several varieties may allow you to take advantage of differing strengths. It is not necessary for mixes to contain only the varieties mentioned above.
Though K-31may still be a good choice for large, open areas, the new cultivars will give better performance for those who desire a high-quality turf. (Ward Upham)
Kentucky Bluegrass Variety Selection for Cool-Season Lawns
The following cultivars have performed well compared to other bluegrasses in this region. Use this list as a guide. Omission does not necessarily mean that a cultivar will not perform well. Recommended cultivars for high-quality lawns, where visual appearance is the prime concern, include Alexa II, Aura, Award, Bewitched, Barrister, Belissimo, Beyond, Diva, Everest, Everglade, Excursion, Ginney II, Granite, Impact, Midnight, NuChicago, NuGlade, NuDestiny, Rhapsody, Rhythm, Rugby, Skye, Solar Eclipse, STR 2485, Sudden Impact, Washington and Zifandel. Such lawns should receive 4 to 5 pounds nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year and would typically be irrigated during dry periods to prevent drought stress.
Cultivars that do relatively well under a low-maintenance program with limited watering often differ from those that do well under higher inputs. Good choices for low maintenance include Baron, Baronie, Caliber, Canterbury, Dragon, Eagleton, Envicta, Kenblue, North Star, and South Dakota. Instead of the 4 to 5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year, low-maintenance program would include 1 to 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year. Obviously, a low-input lawn will not be as attractive as a higher-input lawn, but you can expect the cultivars listed above to look fairly good in the spring and fall, while going dormant in the summer. (Ward Upham)
For Seeding Success, Pay Attention to "Other Crop" on the Seed Label
It blends in fairly well until summertime heat causes it to turn brown rapidly. If the rough bluegrass would just die in the heat, it would only be a temporary problem. Unfortunately, it usually just goes dormant, turning green again with cooler temperatures and rain.
Buying quality seed starts with knowing how to decipher the seed label. One of the most important things to look for is listed as "% other crop.” "Other crop" refers to any species that is intentionally grown for some purpose. That would include turfgrasses (those species other than the one you are buying) and pasture grasses. Orchardgrass and rough bluegrass both are listed as “other crop” seed.
Seed labels are required by law to show the percentage (by weight) of "other crop" in the bag, but unless a species constitutes 5% or more, the label doesn't have to list each species by name.
How much "other crop" is too much? That’s a difficult question to answer, but the tolerance is very low. It depends on what the "other crop" actually is, and the quality expectations of the buyer. In practice, "other crop" may refer to something relatively harmless, like a small amount of perennial ryegrass in a bag of tall fescue, or it may refer to something bad, like rough bluegrass or orchardgrass. The homeowner really has no easy way of knowing what the "other crop" is, although there are some hints. If it is something bad, less than ½ of 1% can ruin a bag of seed. Obviously, if your expectations are high for the area you are planting, you would want the "other crop" to be as close to zero as possible. Good quality seed will often have 0.01% “other crop” or less. (Ward Upham)
Nitrogen, applied mid August, will help promote fruit bud development. A general application rate is ½ to 3/4 pound of actual nitrogen per 100 feet of row. The nitrogen may be in the form of a fertilizer mixture such as ammonium phosphate or 12-12-12, or in a fertilizer containing only nitrogen such as urea or ammonium nitrate. Some specific examples would include:
Iron + (11-0-0) at 6 pounds per 100 feet of row.
12-12-12 at 5.5 pounds per 100 feet of row.
Nitrate of Soda (16-0-0) at 4 pounds per 100 feet of row
Ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) at 3 pounds per 100 feet of row
Urea (46-0-0) at 1.5 pounds per 100 feet of row
On sandy soils, the rate may be increased by about a half. After spreading the fertilizer, sprinkle the area applying at least a half-inch of water to move the nitrogen into the strawberry root areas. (Ward Upham)
What's the Buzz? Green June Beetles!
Green June beetles sometimes are victims of mistaken identity ----that of being Japanese beetles. Size-wise, green June beetles are “Goliaths” compared to Japanese beetle “Davids.” There are distinct differences in color/color patterns as well as the presence or absence of white setal tufts. Lastly, green June beetles do not damage flowers or foliage as do Japanese beetles.
Probably the only legitimate complaint against green June beetles is that they may cluster on ripened (especially overly-ripe) fruit, notably peaches and grapes. Timely picking/harvesting of those commodities will help to avoid this situation. (Bob Bauernfeind)
Because dodder is an annual, it must reproduce from seed. Plants present now will be killed by the first frost this fall. Seed may sprout in the spring or lie dormant for a number of years. Germination takes place in the soil, but roots die as soon as the plant finds an acceptable host. After attachment, dodder lives completely off the host plant. A single dodder plant can spread by branching and attacking additional host plants.
Destroying the host plants can control dodder, but this may not be an acceptable solution for many people. Dodder cannot be destroyed by pulling it off the host plants because remaining stem pieces will continue to grow. Trifluralin (Preen, Miracle-Gro Garden Weed Preventer, Treflan, Hi-Yield Herbicide Granules Weed and Grass Stopper) is a preemergence herbicide that can be used for control if applied before the dodder seed germinates. Also, glyphosate (Round-up, Kleen-up, Killzall, etc.) is effective on dodder. However, glyphosate is nonselective and will kill whatever it hits, including the host plants. (Ward Upham)
Contributors: Bob Bauerenfeind, Entomologist; Ward Upham, Extension Associate