This Week Felt Too Much Like 2014!

This cold weather reminded me of the cold weather we experienced last winter. While it is too early to tell what effect the weather might have had on the turf, it could have damaged some warm-season turf areas in north central Indiana (like our bermudagrass and zoysiagrass areas at the Daniel Turf Research Center) where there is little to no snow cover. Below are the temperature departures from normal the past 7 days as well as our current snow cover.

I have also linked last year's articles on winter kill if you want a refresher to prepare you for what might occur.

Cool-Season Turf Winterkill: Potential Losses and a Pathway to Recovery (3/26/2014)
Warm-season Turf Winterkill 2014: What Can you Expect and NOW WHAT? (March 12, 2014)
Winterkill Here on Bermudagrass! Now What? (June 27, 2014)

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist


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2015 Turf Weed Control for Professionals, Now Available

The revised edition of Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals is now available. The 96 page publication includes content on:
  • Turfgrass Culture
  • Weed Types
  • Weed Life Cycles
  • Developing a Weed Control Program
  • Indicator Weeds              
  • Herbicide Information (use, nomenclature, classification, mode of action, movement, resistance, etc.)
  • Control of Tough Weeds
  • Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Weed Control with Herbicides
  • Nonselective Herbicides/Fumigants for Turfgrass Renovation
  • Nonselective Herbicides for Turfgrass Border Maintenance (Edging)
  • Preemergence Herbicides (weed control ratings for preemergence herbicides, turf tolerance information, and more instructions for each product)
  • Postemergence Herbicides (weed control ratings for postemergence broadleaf herbicides and turf tolerance, and more instructions for each product)
  • Commonly Used Broadleaf Herbicide Combinations for Turfgrass
  • Active Ingredients in Commonly Used Herbicide Combinations
  • Sedge Control Herbicides (sedge control and turfgrass tolerance ratings, turf tolerance information, and more instructions for each product)
  • Plant Growth Regulators for General Turf Use
  • Preemergence, Postemergence and PGR Options for Putting Greens
  • Postemergence Weed Control in Creeping Bentgrass Putting Greens
  • Common and Trade Names of Registered Herbicides and Plant Growth Regulators (300 different products and 105 unique herbicide ingredient combination are discussing in this publication)
  • Herbicide/PGR Common Names, Chemical Families, and Modes of Action
  • Herbicide Math
This is truly a comprehensive guide for those using herbicides in turf regardless of whether you manage athletic fields, a golf course, lawns, cemeteries, sod farms, parks, or other turf areas.

Added in 2015 are
  • New Herbicides (6 new products)
  • Updated weed control recommendations based on label changes and new research
  • Revised and udpated answers Frequently Asked Questions

It is sold for $12 as a hard copy (paperback). A .pdf version is for sale for $10 for those that want an electronic copy. Use this electronic copy on all your devices. For companies with many employees interested in this information, a 25% discounted bulk order of 25 copies is available for $225 ($9 each).

Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals, 2015

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist

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Purdue Ackerman-Allen Hills Course Renovation Update

As this year's golf season came to a close, the highly anticipated renovation of Purdue's 80 year-old Ackerman Hills golf course began. In addition to upgrading the course for collegiate-level play, the refurbishment also offers a unique opportunity for students in Purdue's Horticulture and Landscape Architecture program to gain valuable, hands-on, turf management experience.

Source: Boiler Bytes:
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Indiana Green Expo Coming to Town

January 21-23, 2015 • Indiana Convention Center
100 S. Capitol Avenue,  Indianapolis, IN 46225
Here are directions (map/directions) and parking information (parking)
. We look forward to seeing you this week at the Indiana Green Expo (IGE). To help you get the most out of the IGE, we want to share some highlights and the digital version of the Show Program.
2015 Indiana Green Expo Show Program

Indiana Green Expo 2015 Show Program
click to open

Safe travels to the Expo and see you soon!

EDUCATION HIGHLIGHTS    13 Workshops – Over 75 Education Seminars! 
>  Opening Session:  Thursday, Jan. 22, 8:00– 10:15 am 
    With Keynote Speaker David Mellor of the Boston Red
    Sox and Fenway Park speaking at 9:35 am. 

>  FREE Spanish Workshop: Thursday, Jan. 22, 8:00– 10:00 am
    Workshop presented in Spanish by Eduardo Medina,
    Davey Tree Expert Co.

>  Free Consulting Opportunities: Thursday, Jan. 22
    Two speakers have offered free consultations —
    career consultant, Carol Rau and marketing consultant,
    Jeff Korhan. See page 8 in the show program for details.

>  MRTF Awards Reception: Thursday, 5:00-7:00pm, Room 134 >  INLA Annual Meeting and Award Reception:
    Thursday, 5:00-7:00pm, Room 140

>  New Product Showcase:
    First year to offer this unique showcase! Check it out!

>  INEF Scholarship Silent Auction: One day only!  
    Thursday, January 22, 8:00 am–3:30 pm, Trade Show Floor
    Check out the HOT silent auction items! Preview list

>  Annual Landscape Challenge:
   Thursday, January 22, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm, Trade Show Floor
    Landscape teams compete to build a 300 sq. ft.
    landscape/garden project in 4 hours! Attendees and
    judging committee vote on the winner.

>  Lunch available both Thursday and Friday at the show.
    Tickets available onsite for $15.

IGE 2015 Corporate Sponsors  >  Blue Grass Farms & Brehob Nursery
The Indiana Green Expo is presented in partnership by the Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association and Midwest Regional Turf Foundation
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Weed of the month for January 2015 is Common Mallow

Common Mallow  

Biology: Common mallow (Malva neglecta), also known as cheese mallow, cheese weed, and dwarf mallow, is a winter annual broadleaf weed, though it can also act as a biennial if environmental conditions that favor growth persist. It is generally found in low-maintenance turfgrass lawns, nursery crops, and landscapes. The ability of common mallow to survive in multiple environmental and soil conditions, such as frigid temperatures and dry, compacted soils, as well as its ability to survive lower mowing heights, make common mallow a common turfgrass weed throughout the state of Indiana.

Identification: Common mallow is a broadleaf winter annual weed that has the ability to persist into a biennial or perennial life cycle if environmental conditions are favorable. Common mallow can be found in lawns throughout the United States as a low-growing, spreading/prostrate broadleaf weed that will grow more erect in the absence of mowing. It reproduces by seed, which typically germinates from spring to early autumn; however, it is anchored to the ground by a short-to-deep, straight taproot which allows to plant to persist for an extended amount of time. Though it spreads primarily though seed, fragmented stems can also produce adventitious roots when nodes come into contact with the soil and conditions are moist enough. Plants initially develop as a basal rosette, and stems branch-out and elongate along the soil surface as the plant matures. The base of each thickened, hairy stem lies close to the soil surface while the tip (apex) is turned upward. The leaves can range from 0.5 to 1.5 inches in diameter and are located at the apex of thinner stems (petioles) branched alternatively from the main stems. Leaves are palmately veined (similar to fingers branching from the center of your palm), circular- to kidney-shaped, dark green with a ‘crinkled’ appearance, slightly hairy on both the upper and lower surfaces, and sharply toothed in the margins. Flowers are produced in May and can be present throughout the summer and into October. Flowers appear as 5 white, or whitish-lavender colored petals that are often tinged with purple or have purple veins. Flowers then produce a small fruit that can be described as the shape of a button or a wheel of cheese, hence its multiple common names. Each fruit contains 10-12 wedge-shaped seeds that break apart at maturity. Though common mallow seeds have a relatively low germination rate, they can remain viable in the soil for many years (decades). Often the stems will remain green and viable throughout the winter months, allowing the plant regenerate and sprout from the surviving crown the following spring. Common mallow can often be mistaken for ground ivy; however, ground ivy leaves are located opposite each other on the main stem and have rounded edges. Ground ivy also emits a strong mint-like odor when cut or damaged and has square stems commonly found within the mint family but not on common mallow (rounded stems). 

Common mallow (left) and ground ivy (right)

Common mallow growing in a sidewalk crack.

Cultural control: None known specifically for common mallow. Hand pulling or hoeing can be an effective method of physically removing the plant when it is young and the taproot is shorter. Its ability to survive in low maintenance conditions helps common mallow out-compete desirable plants; however, it is not as competitive with dense vigorous turf that is maintained at adequate mowing heights, fertilization rates, and irrigation practices.

Biological control: Some research has been focused on developing a fungus to help control other weedy mallows with a small amount of success; however, there are no commercially available products for the biological control of common mallow.

Chemical control: Since it reproduces from seed (generally), it is possible to manage common mallow through the use of preemergence herbicides. Postemergence herbicides can also be used to control common mallow. Two- or three-way mixtures of 2,4-D, dicamba, MCPP, or MCPA should provide adequate control. These products are available at local garden retailers and professional turf suppliers. Additionally, products that contain triclopyr, fluroxypyr, and quinclorac as one of the ingredients in a two- or three-combination herbicide will also work. In warm-season turf, metsulfuron (Manor) can control common mallow when applied in combination with a non-ionic surfactant (0.25%).

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

For archives of past weed of the month postings, visit our Weed of the Month Archive.

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist
Leslie Beck, Postdoctoral Research Associate
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Weed of the month for December 2014 is Pineapple Weed

Pineapple Weed  

Biology: Pineapple weed (Matricaria matricariodies), behaves as either a summer or winter annual and it is commonly found throughout the United States. It is a weed of both high- and low-maintenance turfgrass lawns, landscapes, and nursery crops. Its ability to tolerate low mowing heights and highly compacted soils allow pineapple weed to compete with in weak turf.

Identification: Pineapple weed can behave as either a summer or winter annual broadleaf in both high- or low-maintenance turf throughout the Midwestern United States. It has a very low-growing, bushy, and branching growth habit and it reproduces by seed, which have the ability to emerge year-round if environmental conditions are favorable. Typically, the seedlings germinate in late summer to early fall and again from early spring to early summer. Young plants form a small, but dense rosette of fragrant, hairless, shiny bright green leaves that are also thick and succulent. Rosettes form from a very shallow taproot with a secondary fibrous root system. As the plant matures, the smooth, hairless stems continue to elongate in either an erect or a low-branching/spreading growth habit. The leaves are also hairless, fleshy and are pinnately divided with deep, finger-like lobes and short linear segments. All pineapple weed foliage (stems and leaves) have a very sweet odor similar to that of pineapple when damaged or crushed; thus, giving the plant its common name. From May through September, the plant produces flowers that are yellow, egg-shaped, and are composed of densely-packed, tiny, yellowish-green flowers. Flowers also emit a very sweet, pineapple like odor when crushed. Pineapple foliage can sometimes be confused with that of wild chamomile; however, the foliage of plants in the chamomile family can range from highly bitter to absent, not sweet and pineapple-like.  

Cultural control: None known specifically for pineapple weed. Though it tolerates low mowing heights and compacted soils, a combination of frequent mowing, adequate fertilization, and irrigation to keep turf dense will help the desired turf compete and gradually eradicate pineapple weed. Reducing traffic will also help increase turf density and reduce pineapple weed invasion. Additionally, hand pulling small populations may help to physically remove pineapple weed due to its shallow tap root.

Biological control: None known specifically for pineapple weed.

Chemical control: Since it reproduces from seed, it is possible to manage pineapple weed through the use of preemergence herbicides. However, control with preemergence herbicides may be difficult since the seeds have the ability to germinate year-round under favorable environmental conditions. Postemergence applications of two- or three-way mixtures of 2,4-D, dicamba, MCPP, or MCPA will likely provide adequate control in established turf. Though dicamba does the majority of the work in controlling pineapple weed, the addition of MCPP often helps to increase the effectiveness of the overall application. These products are available in multiple formulations at local retailers.

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

For archives of past weed of the month postings, visit our Weed of the Month Archive.

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist
Leslie Beck, Postdoctoral Research Associate
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Weed of the Month for November 2014 is Roughstalk Bluegrass

Roughstalk Bluegrass  

Biology: Roughstalk bluegrass, primarily known by its scientific name (Poa trivialis), is a cool-season perennial grass that can be found throughout the Midwestern United States. Though roughstalk bluegrass can be found in landscapes, roadsides, meadows, and waste areas, it is primarily considered a turfgrass weed. It can successfully germinate in multiple environmental conditions, but it has a preference for moist soils and high levels of shade. This ability to successfully establish in conditions ideal for the growth and development of most turfgrass species, as well as its ability to spread throughout the turfgrass canopy by stolons, make roughstalk bluegrass a common turfgrass weed throughout the state of Indiana.

Identification: Roughstalk bluegrass is a cool-season perennial grass that can be found in both high- or low-maintenance turfgrass throughout the Midwestern United States. Though the plant looks like it has clumping growth patterns, the plant survives from year-to-year through creeping, above-ground stems called stolons, which spread easily throughout the surrounding turfgrass canopy. Seedlings of the plant are generally small and slow to establish compared to other turfgrass varieties. Despite being included in turfgrass seed mixtures for shady areas, roughstalk bluegrass is also a common contaminant of uncertified turfgrass seed mixtures, and will successfully germinate alongside the desired turf species with adequate soil temperature and moisture conditions. Roughstalk bluegrass leaves are folded in the bud with a membranous ligule that can range from absent to very distinct (long) in size (NOTE: when samples are sent to me for identification, it is usually the type with no or very short ligules). The presence of very small, scabrous hairs give the leaf surface and margins a rough feel, thus accounting for the common name ‘roughstalk bluegrass’. The plant has a broad collar and a boat-shaped leaf tip that is characteristic of other bluegrass turf species. The leaves are shiny, and are pale green or yellow-green in color, but they often turn red or maroon during periods of drought or heat stress. Seedheads are produced from mid-May through June in an open panicle similar to that of Kentucky bluegrass. Roughstalk bluegrass can remain green throughout the winter (with some minor leaf-tip burn) and during the summer months it generally goes dormant. Stolons can successfully germinate after many years of prolonged dormancy. It is often confused with other bluegrass species such as annual bluegrass, though it is considerably larger, and Kentucky bluegrass, though it is generally lighter green in color. Annual bluegrass is primarily bunch-type. Kentucky bluegrass has rhizomes (underground creeping stems). Roughstalk bluegrass can also be confused with creeping bentgrass which is also stoloniferous; however, creeping bentgrass is rolled in the bud while roughstalk bluegrass is folded in the bud.  

Rough bluegrass stolon.

New growth emerging from a node on a rough bluegrass stolon in September following summer stress.

Most rough bluegrass samples have a small or absent membranous ligule with no visible auricle present.

Heat stress in summer will start off as a purpling of the leaves.

Patches of rough bluegrass turn brown.

Eventually rough bluegrass patches will enter summer dormancy and appear dead.

This golf course had a lot of rough bluegrass which created a perennial problem of summer decline in their fairways.

Green stolons look like spaghetti.

Green stolons look like spaghetti. Stolons easily pull up in summer when plants are stressed and rooting is poor.

Cultural control: Rough bluegrass likes shady, wet areas. Therefore, reduce irrigation frequency to reduce the spread of this grassy weed. Mowing practices alone will not provide adequate management since roughstalk bluegrass can survive in many of the same environmental conditions and management programs as other desired turfgrass species. The best method of cultural control for roughstalk bluegrass is to avoid contaminating your turf system in the first place by buying certified seed mixtures/blends from a reputable seed company. Carefully read the labels of each seed bag. Unless the seed is advertised as a shade tolerant mixture, make sure roughstalk bluegrass species are not mentioned in the varieties of seed contained within the bag as a 'weed seed'.

Biological control: None known specifically for roughstalk bluegrass.

Chemical control: Small areas and patches of roughstalk bluegrass can possibly be managed by making repeat applications of non-selective herbicides such as glyphosate and glufosinate; however, complete control is difficult due to the survival of creeping stolons.Spring application timings before the stress of summer will aid in the control of rough bluegrass with these non-selective herbicides.

For golf courses and sod farms, other products exist that are not labeled for use in lawns. For more information on these products and on weed control, check out our Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals Publication.

For archives of past weed of the month postings, visit our Weed of the Month Archive.

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist
Leslie Beck, Postdoctoral Research Associate
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