Learn With Us, week of August 30

Sept. 1, 2 PM on WCOM 103.5 FM – Getting Dirty Radio Show
Last Days of Summer Missed the show on the radio? Listen after the air date on http://gettingdirtyradioshow.org/

Thursday, Sep 3, 2015 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Soil Preparation, Extension Gardener Seminar
Sarah P. Duke Gardens, 420 Anderson Street, Durham, NC, United States
Durham’s native soil is somewhat difficult to work with. Charles Murphy, Durham County Extension Volunteer Master Gardener, will discuss what can be done to make the soil easier for the gardener & more productive for the plants. Remember, time & patience are factors.  Class is free. Registration required. Contact: gardenseducation@duke.edu 919-668-1707
Saturday, Sep 5, 2015 10:00am – 11:30am
Lawn Care, Extension Garden Seminar
Durham Garden Center, 4536 Hillsborough Road, Durham, NC, United States
Maintaining a beautiful lawn in our area is a struggle for many of us. Gene Carlone, Durham County Extension Volunteer Master Gardener, will discuss the pros & cons of cool season & warm season grasses, optimal lawn care for our Piedmont climate & soil. He will introduce you to the best maintenance methods & untangle the confusing range of lawn care products.
Class is free. Registration required. To Register: Sign up at the store or e-mail Ann at ann3dgc@gmail,com or call 919-384-7526

Educational Opportunities, week of September 1, 2014

Turf

Thursday, Sep 4, 2014 6:30pm – 8:00pm 

Where:Sarah P. Duke Gardenes, 420 Anderson Street, Durham, NC (Map)

Grass is one of the most difficult plants to grow in our area. Discussion will be on lawn care for our Piedmont area climate & soil; best maintenance methods & untangle the confusing range of lawn care products. Presented by Charles Murphy, Durham County Extension Master Gardener. Class is free, registration is required 919-668-1707

Lawn Care

Saturday, Sep 6, 2014 10:00am – 11:00am 

Where:Durham Garden Center, 4536 Hillsborough Road, Durham, NC (Map)

Maintaining a beautiful lawn in our area is a struggle for many of us. This class will go over the pros & cons of cool season & warm season grasses, optimal lawn care for our Piedmont climate & soil. You will be introduced to the best maintenance & untangle the confusing range of lawn care products. Presented by Durham County Extension Master Gardener, Gene Carlone. Class is free/ registration is required.
contact: ann at 919-384-7526 or ann3dgc@gmail.com

Give Your Lawn Love in February

Give Your Lawn Some Love

If you have a fescue or other cool season lawn**, February is the time to give it some love in the form of fertilizer. Turfgrass experts at NC State University recommend applying 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn. If you have the results of a recent soil test, use those recommendations instead.

10-10-10-web

The following example calculations from Turffiles.ncsu.edu demonstrate how to use the label on your bag of fertilizer:

To determine the amount of product required to apply 1 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet, divide 100 by the first number on the fertilizer bag.

Example 1:

A 16-4-8 fertilizer. Dividing 100 by 16 = 6.25 (100/16 = 6.25) pounds of product applied per thousand square feet to deliver 1 pound of nitrogen.

Example 2:\

A 10-10-10 fertilizer. Dividing 100 by 10 = 10 (100/10 = 10) pounds of product to be applied per thousand square feet to deliver 1 pound of nitrogen.

Cool season lawns should be fertilized on or around three holidays – Valentine’s Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving. Do not fertilize tall fescue after March 15.

If your lawn has an abundance of annual weeds such as chickweed or henbit, an herbicide labeled for controlling these weeds in fescue can be applied as well. A weed and feed product can be used prior to March 15. After this date, herbicides without fertilizer should be used if weed control is needed.

If you have a warm season lawn, do NOT fertilize this month. Fertilizing can begin once the lawn turns green.

** Not sure what “cool season” and “warm season” mean? Cool season grasses grow best in temperatures between 65 – 80 degrees F (spring and fall in NC). Examples of these are the fescues, perennial ryegrass, and bluegrass. Cool season lawns stay fairly green during our winters. Warm season grasses, like zoysiagrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass, carpetgrass, and St. Augustine grass grow best in our summer temperatures between 75 – 90 degrees F. These grasses turn brown when dormant in winter.

-Ann Barnes

Time to Reseed Cool Season Lawns

If you have a cool season (fescue) lawn, it may be looking a bit tired, weedy, or bare in spots by September. Fortunately, this is also the perfect time of year of overseed or even renovate your yard. The temperatures in September are generally ideal for fescue germination, and the new seedlings have many months to grow and develop a strong root system before the stresses of the next summer arrive.

First, control any large patches of weeds. Mow and remove clippings. If your lawn has excessive thatch or bare patches, rake. Core aeration is also beneficial, as it reduces compacted areas in the soil and provides more seed-to-soil contact. Fertilize at a rate of 1 lb nitrogen per 1000 feet. NCSU publishes lists of recommended fescue and Kentucky bluegrass cultivars for our area (see links for the 2013 recommendations). The seeding rate is generally 5-6 lbs of seed per 1000 feet. Keep your lawn moist until seedlings are established and mow at the recommended height of 3.5 inches.

If your lawn is very sparse or weedy and needs extensive renovation, please see this article by Durham Co. Extension Agent Michelle Wallace, published in this blog last September: https://durhammastergardeners.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/dont-wait-to-renovate/

For even more information about caring for lawns, you can download Carolina Lawns here: http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/Guides.aspx#004175. The TurfFiles website is also an excellent source of information.

Homeowners with warm season lawns: Your lawns should NOT be seeded in fall. Sod can be laid in fall, but there is greater chance of winter kill if sodded at this time. Waiting until spring is recommended.

-Ann Barnes