Time to sow grass seed for lawns dwindling


We are in the final stretch of the time to sow grass seed for lawns which began Aug. 15 and runs through Sept. 30.

The seedling of pastures and hay fields are best done in August to give time for the seedlings to grow before cold weather sets in. In lawns, we want to see Kentucky Bluegrass seeded earlier in this period with tall fescue and perennial ryegrass seeded later if needed. The earlier the better for all of them. Some suggestions for getting good seeding include these ideas. If seeding a new lawn, kill all existing vegetation with a product containing glyphosate a week or two before seeding the area. Get a soil test to determine if fertilizer is to be added or if the pH of the soil needs adjustment with lime.

More info on soil testing can be found on the OSU Extension factsheet #HYG-1132 titled “Soil Testing for Lawns, Fruit trees and Vegetable Gardens.” Visit http://ohioline.osu.edu to find this fact sheet as well as one titled “Grass Cultivar Selection” #HYG-4027. Once on the website, look at the top of the page and type in your fact sheet number — for example: HYG-4027 and hit “Search.”

Always remember to add some starter fertilizer when seeding grass and you must have seed-to-soil contact and soil moisture for germination. Some of the advantages of seeding in the late summer or fall are fewer weed problems, cooler temperatures, and more soil moisture. Cover the seeded area with clean weed-free straw, if possible, to hold moisture and water daily depending on the weather.

As I write this column we are in a period of hot (85-plus degree) weather. If you can track yourself across the lawn when walking in the grass stay off the lawn including mowing. The grass blades are low in water and will break leaving your footprints.

Grub problems have been spotty with some areas having none and others having many of the Japanese Beetles as well as June Bugs and others. Damage to lawns may show up later than normal this fall according to Dr. Dave Shetlar, OSU Extension entomologist. Watch for the dug-up areas in your lawn by skunks or raccoons. They will be looking for grubs. If you have brown turf areas and dig up spots every 6-8 feet and find a grub in most spots, plan on treating with a product like Bayer 24 Hour Grub Control which will give a quick kill. If you had a lot of Japanese Beetles on your roses and other plants in July and August, it is likely you will have a lot of grubs next spring if not treated.

The adult beetles lay eggs in green grass and with sufficient moisture, the eggs will develop into grubs. For more information on grubs, look at the OSU Extension fact sheet titled “Japanese Beetles” ENT-46 found on the Ohioline website mentioned earlier. Treatment late in August or in September may require a product like Bayer Advanced 24-Hour Grub Control containing the chemical trichlorfon. It must be watered into the lawn. For more on this topic, visit https://buckeyeturf.osu.edu/News.

ANR educator hired

Marina Miquilini was introduced at our July meeting of Farm Forum as the recently hired OSU Extension agriculture and natural resources educator for Greene County. She started work on June 1. Miquilini is a graduate of University of Sao Paulo in Brazil with a degree in agronomical engineering. From there she attended The Ohio State University, graduating in animal science. Miquilini currently works out of the Greene County Extension Office at the Greene County Fairgrounds, 100 Fairground Road, Xenia.

Farm Science Review

The Farm Science Review will be held Sept. 19-21 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London. It features many educational programs on farming, gardening, pest control farm safety, farm equipment, food preparation, and other related topics.

Tickets can be purchased at http://fsr.osu.edu or you can purchase them at the local extension office. The cost is $10 per person for those over five years of age. Tickets are $15 at the gate. If you want to come home with more than tired feet, consider planning what you want to see and hear by checking the website. The event is sponsored by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. If you have trouble walking, consider renting a golf cart at 1-800-940-8068.

Jerry Mahan is a retired OSU Extension educator for agriculture and natural resources for Greene County. He can be reached at [email protected].

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