Turfgrass Management Program scheduled for Oct. 5

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Erath County and the Tarleton State University Turfgrass Management program have teamed up to offer a Fall Turfgrass Field Day on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Tarleton Turfgrass Field Lab located at the College Farm.

Winter annual weeds can be a major issue in turfgrass. They will germinate in late summer or early fall and they usually go unnoticed until early spring when they begin to mature and flower. At that point, they are very difficult to control. Weeds such as henbit, annual clovers, chickweed and mustards are common weeds seen in the turf. A well-managed pre-emergent program can help control many of those weeds from germinating and reduce issues later in the year.

Another Fall management practice for turfgrass includes the application of fertilizers. This is critical so that your turfgrass is in excellent shape going into the winter. However, there are many steps which you should consider when purchasing your fall fertilizer; and timing of application in relation to the first frost becomes critical.

Insects, such as fire ants, can also invade a home lawn during the fall and winter. I am sure all of you have faced those critters and know what kind of nuisance they can be. The best mode of action to reduce their population is the Texas Two Step approach which incorporates using broadcast baits and mound treatments at the proper time.

All of these topics will be covered in detail at the Fall Turfgrass Field Day. Speakers for the program include Dr. Hennen Cummings, Associate Professor and Director of Turfgrass Management and myself. Please pre-register by Oct. 2 by contacting the Extension Office at 254-965-1460. There is no charge for attending this program.

One last thing, a sharp lawnmower blade is very important in managing turfgrass and reducing the risk of stress and disease on turf. The first 20 people to sign up will have the opportunity to have their lawnmower blades sharpened by the Tarleton Turfgrass Club.

For more information, call the Extension Office at 254-965-1460.

Whit Weems is an Erath County extension agent. His column appears weekly and online at yourstephenvilletx.com.