Turfgrass Science News

It’s 8 a.m. inside the WCCO-AM studios and callers are already in the queue, seeking expert help from University of Minnesota Extension and Master Gardeners as “Smart Gardens” begins.

And expertise is available in droves during “Smart Gardens,” WCCO’s new hour-long hit show covering gardens, lawns and more. A sampling from a recent show:

Last year’s heat and drought and this year’s late spring have added extra stress to lawns.

With buds finally starting to bloom on trees in the southern part of Minnesota and ice still stubbornly floating around on lakes in the north, it’s a good time to take stock of a strange year of weather and its effect on our lawns and vegetation.

2012-13 has been a year for the record books with extreme heat and droughts across the state in the summer and a winter that never seemed to end. Consider: 

For those of you who are wondering when to put your preemergent summer annual grassy weed herbicides down, NOW IS THE TIME. Soil temperatures are near 55 degrees in the upper profile and crabgrass will be germinating at 60 degrees. Any preemergent applications made after crabgrass has germinated will be ineffective. This application can be combined with fertility for increased density and spring turf greenup. Be sure to apply at the correct rate as directed by the herbicide and fertilizer label.

What a difference a year can make.  We certainly didn’t expect to be writing this report in the end of April while looking at snow on the ground across the state.  Now compare this to last spring, with golf courses opening in mid-March, and it gives us a little perspective on the influences that Mother Nature can dish out from season to season.  This winter has certainly gone on long enough, but the end is near (let’s hope).  We rewrote the record books last summer and fall with heat and drought extremes across the state, and this winter broke some records of its own.  How about these new T

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The University of Minnesota's Turfgrass Science Program conducts field-based research and offers education and consultation to both commercial turfgrass managers and homeowners caring for their yards. Want to search our site? Click here.

For turfgrass or home lawn questions, contact:

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For questions related to turfgrass extension, contact:

Dr. Brian Horgan, Professor
bphorgan@umn.edu or 612-624-0782
Dr. Brian Horgan

For degree questions, contact:

Dr. Eric Watkins, Professor
ewatkins@umn.edu or 612-624-7496
Dr. Eric Watkins