Weed of the Month for June 2013 is Fountain Grass

Fountain Grass  

Biology: Fountain grass ((Pennisetum spp.) is an ornamental grass common to the landscapes of homes, commercial sites, and golf courses. However, following years of planting in these landscapes, we now realize that this species produces many viable seeds that drop onto the adjacent turf and then become tough-to-control perennial grassy weeds. Although most of the ornamental grasses cannot withstand short mowing, fountain grass does.

Identification: Typically, this grass can be identified by its visible shredded leaf blades in mid- and late summer, which leaves a whitish, wispy looking clump when mown. 

Shredded leaf tips. Fountain grass is difficult to mow in summer even with a sharp mower blade.

Shredded leaf tips. Fountain grass is difficult to mow in summer even with a sharp mower blade.

Shredded leaf tips. Fountain grass is difficult to mow in summer even with a sharp mower blade.

Shredded leaf tips. Fountain grass is difficult to mow in summer even with a sharp mower blade.

Shredded leaf tips visible in this lawn.

The brown clumps in the lawn are fountain grass plants from the landscape bed.

The brown clumps in the lawn are fountain grass plants from the landscape bed.

Even when mown, fountain grass will produce a seedhead occasionally in summer. 

Fountain seedhead that formed in an unmown lawn.

Cultural control: Don’t plant fountain grass in landscape beds unless you want it in the adjacent turf.

Biological control: None known.

Chemical control: This weed can be controlled by applying herbicides that contain quinclorac (Drive, Drive XLR8, Eject 75DF, Momentum Q, Onetime, Q4 Plus, Quincept, Quinclorac 75DF, QuinPro, Solitare, SquareOne). Two applications are needed for control. Glyphosate (Roundup and others) will also work as a nonselective spot-treatment option.

For more information on weed control, search this blog and archived turf tip postings and check out our Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals Publication.

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist

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2013 Indiana Pesticide Clean Sweep Project

WHAT: An Indiana Pesticide Clean Sweep Project designed to collect and dispose of suspended, canceled, banned, unusable, opened, unopened or just unwanted pesticides (weed killers, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, miticides, etc.) is being sponsored by the Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC). This disposal service is free of charge up to 250 pounds per participant. Over 250 pounds there will be a $2.00 per pound charge. This is a great opportunity for you to legally dispose of unwanted products at little or no cost.

WHO: All public and private schools, golf courses, nurseries, farmers, ag dealers, cities, towns, municipalities and county units of government or others receiving this notice are eligible to participate.

WHEN: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Local Time

Download the 2013 Clean Sweep Planning Form (pdf)
August 14 - Boone County Fairgrounds, Lebanon, IN
August 15 - Vanderburgh County Fairgrounds, Evansville, IN
August 20 - Miami County Fairgrounds, Peru, IN
August 21 - Bartholomew County Fairgrounds, Columbus, IN
August 22 - Clark County Fairgrounds, Charlestown, IN

HOW: Complete Page 2 of the 2013 Clean Sweep Planning Form to the best of your ability. Mail, fax or e-mail the completed form to Kevin Neal at 765-494-4331 or nealk@purdue.edu no later than Mon., July 29, 2013. Then bring your labeled, leak free and safe to transport containers to the collection site. DO NOT mix materials. In case of an emergency, you should bring with you a list of products you are carrying and a contact
phone number.

*NOTE: OISC reserves the right to cancel this Pesticide Clean Sweep Project if there is not adequate demand. Participants submitting the enclosed planning form by July 30, 2012 will be contacted immediately if cancellation is necessary.

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Turf and Landscape Field Day: July 9, 2013

Purdue Turf & Landscape Field Day
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
W.H. Daniel Turf Center, West Lafayette
Register on-line, US mail, fax or call. 
Registration Form (PDF format)
Exhibitor Contract (PDF format)

  •  Free Attendance for one person with new MRTF membership
  •   Up to 4.0 category 3a/3b/RT CCHs, 3.0 category  6 CCHs, 2.0 category 2 CCHs and 1.0 category 7a CCHs requested.
  • GCSAA PDU’s requested
  • Lodging available at Hilton Garden Inn, 765-743-2100, for $99 (single/double) until June 24. Mention Group Code: MRTF to get the reduced rate. Address: 356 E State Street; West Lafayette, IN 47906

 We look forward to seeing you this year at the Purdue Turf Field Day!  If you have any questions please contact Jennifer Biehl at 765-494-8039 or biehlj@purdue.edu

Morning Schedule

8:00 am               Registration

8:00 - 9:00          Tradeshow & Equipment Demonstration

9:00 - 9:20       Opening Remarks and Recognition of the MRTF Award of Achievement winners:
Mr. Ryan Baldwin, Highland Golf and Country Club; 
Purdue Imprelis Response Team

9:30 - 11:30       Research tours :(2.0 cat. 2/3a/3b/RT CCHs, 1.0 cat. 6/7a CCH requested)

Lawn & Sports Tour
Where the rubber meets the road, Fred Whitford
Fertilizing turf with nitrogen: when and what should I apply, Cale Bigelow
Tough to identify weeds , Aaron Patton
State Chemist, what have we seen in 2013?, Joe Becovitz
Understanding billbug biology and control, Doug Richmond
Durable dandelions: biology and control, Dan Weisenberger
Selecting species and mowing strategies to reduce your mowing needs - Quincy Law

Golf Tour
Where the rubber meets the road, Fred Whitford
Fertilizing turf with nitrogen: when and what should I apply, Cale Bigelow
Tough to identify weeds , Aaron Patton
Fungicides, disease control, and putting green quality, Rick Latin
Understanding billbug biology and control, Doug Richmond
Turf and organic matter: a love/hate relationship, Jon Trappe
Selecting species and mowing strategies to reduce your mowing needs - Quincy Law

Landscape Tour - NEW!
Variegation or virus?  (Diagnosing  virus diseases on ornamentals), Gail Ruhl
Out of sight, out of mind (Hidden diseases of trees and shrubs), Tom Creswell
Quick and dirty tree assessment, Lindsey Purcell
Decoding conifers, Rosie Lerner
Cheap and deep: Proper planting depth=long term success, Kyle Daniel
Responding to this year’s pests without causing bigger problems, Cliff Sadof
How to best manage YOUR emerald ash borer situation, Adam Witte

Afternoon Schedule

11:30 - 3:00       Trade Show & Equipment Demonstration

12:00 - 1:00       Pork Chop Lunch by Shoup’s Catering

1:00 - 3:00          Afternoon Workshops

Calibrating ride-on sprayers (meet in classroom) Cat. , 3b, 6, RT CCHs –Aaron Patton

1:00 - 3:00          Afternoon Research Tour

Crabgrass control research update (meet on north putting green) Cat. 3b, 6, RT CCHs – Dan Weisenberger and Quincy Law

Cultivar evaluation trials: See the newest cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue Cat. 3b, RT CCHs - Cale Bigelow

1:00 - 3:00          Afternoon Landscape Tour

Tour of horticulture gardens on Purdue Campus: Plant selection and culture Cat. 3a CChs - Kyle Daniel

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Seed corn beetle being reported by superintendents

In addition to earthworms, there are several insects that can create small mounds of soil above the surface of turfgrass. Occasionally, the mounds can become a nuisance, especially on closely mowed greens where they are more noticeable and may interfere with play.
The photos below depict one such insect, the seed corn beetle, and the kind of damage it can cause on putting greens. Superintendents across northern Indiana are currently noticing a fair amount of this activity.
Despite their name, corn seeds are not the primary food source for seed corn beetles. Rather, they feed on other things they find in the soil including other insects. They are also highly attracted to lights at night. There are two generations per year, typically occurring in May/June and again in August.
Although these beetles are generally beneficial and do not represent a serious management concern, their damage can sometimes be an annoyance. Management recommendations for these beetles usually include applying a surface insecticide (e.g. pyrethroid) as soon as mounds appear. Superintendents who have in place preventive white grub/cutworm applications using a higher rate of Acelepryn (16 floz/Acre) have reported success at minimizing damage and witnessed dead beetles to serve as evidence.

Figure 1. Adult seed corn beetle

Figure 2. Damage to a golf course green caused by burrowing activity of adult seed corn beetle

Doug Richmond    
Purdue University Turfgrass Entomologists

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Yellow Nutsedge: Two New Publications on Controlling this Troublesome Weed

Yellow nutsedge is a troublesome, difficult-to-control turf weed. Understanding this plant’s biology makes it easier to know how to best control it. Two new Purdue publications help answer questions on the best way to control this weed.

Yellow Nutsedge Control (AY-19-W) | PDF (for homeowners)
Sedge Control for Turf Professionals (AY-338-W) | PDF (turf professionals)

Yellow nutsedge
Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist

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Perennial ryegrass seedheads: Now and Later

Perennial ryegrass seedheads are in full production now. These seedheads are tough to cut so make sure to keep your mower blades sharp. Now is a good time to sharpen your mower blades if you haven’t yet this year.
Close-up of a perennial ryegrass seedhead.
Perennial ryegrass seedhead in a lawn.
Perennial ryegrass seedheads don’t easily decompose and you may notice how they will remain in your lawn over the next month or so.

From a distance you can see the perennial ryegrass seedheads still present a month after being formed.
A close-up of the above photo.

Here is a lawn with perennial ryegrass seedheads (although not noticeable when they are green) in the spring and the same lawn photographed during last year’s summer. Notice how the ryegrass seed stalks are still visible.
Spring-time view of a perennial ryegrass lawn.
Perennial ryegrass lawn during summer drought stress in Indiana.

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist

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Rounds 4 Research auction is open through June 16!

Bid now for get great deals on great golf! Click here to see what's available. Click Indiana on the left side of the screen to see rounds up for auction now.

Whether you choose to bid on courses that have challenged the greatest players in golf or whether you just want a great deal on a local gem, you are supporting the future of the game by funding turfgrass research programs.

Rounds from across the country are available for bidding through June 16. However, please check each item for its specifc auction ending time. 

Can't get enough? Come back Aug. 1-11 for even more opportunities for great golf in our next auction. To learn more about the program, visit the Rounds 4 Research website. You can contact Rounds 4 Research at 800-472-7878 or via email at Rounds4Research@gcsaa.org.

Main Article ImageRounds 4 Research is administered by the Environmental Institute for Golf and presented in parternship with the Toro Co. The EIFG is the philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
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Weed of the Month for May 2013 is Wild Violets

Wild Violet 

Biology: Collectively, turf managers refer to the Midwest species common blue violet (Viola sororia), wooly blue violet (Viola papilionacea), and confederate violet (Viola sororia f. priceana) all as wild violet. Additionally, yellow violet (Viola pubescens) is also found in Indiana. Wild violets are a persistent, perennial, and difficult-to-control broadleaf plant. It is regarded as a desirable perennial plant by some as well as a weed by others.
Common blue violet.

Wild violets in a shady lawn.

Wild violet leaf.
Identification: Violets can be identified by their heart shaped leaves which are pointed at their tip and have rounded teeth on their margins. Violets spread by short rhizomes and by seed. Short rhizomes about the size of your “pinky” finger are common to all Indiana wild violet species. Wild violets are typically found in shady areas with moist soil but they can also grow in sunny, droughty areas.
Wild violet rhizome on soil surface.
Wild violet plant showing rhizome after washing off soil.
Flower color varies by species. Common blue and wooly blue violets (both have a purple, blue, violet color. Confederate violet has white petals with an inner violet color. Yellow violet has a yellow color. 

Common blue violet. Wooly blue violets have the same flower color.
Confederate violet.
The confederate violet and common blue violet are often  found in the same area.
Yellow violet.
Following flowering and pollination, fruit capsules form. Seed is dispersed from the capsules by gravity after the capsules dry.  

Seed capsules.
Seed capsules after drying showing the dark-colored seeds.
Cultural control: Cultural practices such as proper mowing, fertilization, and irrigation can be manipulated to control some weed species but these practices have little impact on wild violet populations in lawns. Wild violet can be decreased by more frequent mowing but not by fertilization. It is unknown how irrigation, drainage, and soil compaction influence wild violet populations. As such, turf managers rely on herbicides to control wild violet.

If you wish to increase wild violets in your lawn, simply reduce your lawns nitrogen fertilization and maintain moderate to high levels of shade by withholding pruning of trees.

Biological control: Some organic herbicides are available. Among the postemergence organic herbicides, the most common are pelargonic acid (Scythe) and acetic acid (5 percent or greater solutions). Other products that contain medium-length fatty acids and clove oil (eugenol) show some promise; however, these organic postemergence herbicides are nonselective and can injure actively growing desirable plants in the lawn and landscape, so their use should be limited to directed spot treatments. The bottom line is that most organic postemergence herbicides have limited use in turf and are better suited to weed control in parking lots, fence rows, and other bare ground applications. Many new organic products contain the active ingredient iron HEDTA (FeHEDTA). Multiple applications of this product are required for control. FeHEDTA containing products injure turf less (can actually make turf darker green), but their efficacy for weed control is yet to be well documented.

Chemical control: Good chemical control of wild violet is typically obtained with triclopyr (Turflon Ester Ultra or Triclopyr 4). Many herbicides are available with triclopyr as the key ingredient (see Commonly Used Broadleaf Herbicide Combinations for Turfgrass, page 62). For best control with triclopyr use more than 0.5 lb ai/A. Turflon Ester Ultra and Triclopyr 4 at 1 pt/A will deliver 0.5 lb ai/A; and at 1 qt/A will deliver 1.0 lb ai/A. Chaser, Chaser 2 amine, Confront, 2-D, and Tailspin will also deliver ≥0.5 lb ai/A.

For more information on weed control, search this blog and archived turf tip postings and check out our Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals Publication.

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist

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