Friday, July 09, 2010

Turf Research Field Day

Turf is a horticulture crop unto itself. And as such, UK hosts annual field days about turf and only turf. I try to go every other year or so. Here's a few tidbits of information gleaned from a hot day yesterday.
  1. There are a TON of tall fescue varieties out there and we do highly recommend tall fescue for home lawns. However, there are so many good 'turf-type' tall fescues out there that using KY 31 (the old, old forage variety) hardly makes sense anymore. Get yourself a good turf-type tall fescue variety and watch a very attractive grass grow!
  2. The most destructive grub (larvae of beetles) of turf is the grub of the masked chafer. I bet you thought I was going to say Japanese beetle, didn't you? The masked chafer is a brown, half-inch long beetle that skims over the turf surface at dusk.
  3. Dr Dan Potter, UK Entomologist, noted that Emerald Ash Borer is not spreading as fast in KY as it has in other states, like Michigan. He's not sure why, but one speculation is that we are at the southern range of this pest. Only time will tell.
  4. UK is working on some green tactics in turf. In particular, AJ Powell, our illustrious, recently retired turf specialist, spoke with us about white dutch clover in home lawns. We saw a study conducted about even a relatively high rate of 2,4-D amine on a fescue/clover lawn will get rid of many broadleaf weeds without reducing the stand of white clover. White clover can contribute up to 2# of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft -- no small amount!
So, there you have it. Some gleanings from the UK Turf Field Day held at Spindletop Farm.

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