Indiana Green Expo 2014

January 8-10, 2014
Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN

Education schedule, workshop descriptions, speaker highlights, exhibitors and trade show events found at or click here for IGE 2014 Brochure.

We are excited to bring in a great group of speakers in the turf sessions this year. Highlighted speakers include:
Eric Baumeister, The Toro Company
Joe Becovitz, Office of the Indiana State Chemist
Cale Bigelow, Purdue University
Bill Brown, CGCS, Turf Republic
Mark Esoda, CGCS, Atlanta Country Club
Kevin Frank, Michigan State University
Keith Happ, United States Golf Association
Rick Latin, Purdue University
Bruce Martin, Clemson University
Aaron Patton, Purdue University 
Doug Richmond, Purdue University
James Rutledge, Bayer
Pamela Sherratt, Ohio State University
David Shetlar, Ohio State University 
John Sorochan, University of Tennessee
Fred Whitford, Purdue University

NEW! ICPI and NCMA installer certifications
Along with a great selection of workshops, IGE 2014 offers two new certification opportunities — Certified Concrete Paver Installer (Workshop F) and Certified SRW Installer (Workshop K)! Check out all the workshops.

Hotel Reservations are still open but subject to availability. Call the Hyatt Regency at 317-632-1234 right away!

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How Late is Too Late to Control Broadleaf Weeds?

Many are asking is how late in the year can I apply a broadleaf herbicide to control dandelions, white clover, ground ivy and other broadleaf weeds. Generally, the best answer is that broadleaf herbicides can be applied in Indiana until mid-November and still provide effective control. This timing is +/- 2 weeks depending upon your location in the state. Broadleaf week control in Northern Indiana is best by November 1, whereas broadleaf weeks can effectively be controlled in southern Indiana prior to December 1. This window can be extended if temperatures are above average and days are sunny.
Many herbicides are effective in late fall because plants are more likely to translocate (move downward) herbicides into root and stem tissues as the day lengths shorten and the temperatures cool. Typically, this will occur near or following our first frosts which has recently occurred. Previous research shows that 2,4-D and/or dicamba were far more effective in controlling dandelions and Canada thistle in Nebraska when applied 1 to 10 days after the first fall frost than when applied 5 to 11 days before the frost (Wilson and Michiels, 2003). Other research in Michigan found that "good dandelion control can result from herbicides applied through late October, even when the plants are not actively growing." (Hanson and Branham, 1988). More recently, research at Purdue (Reicher and Weisenberger, 2007) found the following in regards to ground ivy control and application timing (also see Figure below):
  • November applications of most herbicides resulted in ground ivy control similar to earlier (September and October) applications when rated the following June.
  • Triclopyr was the most effective and consistent in controlling ground ivy.
  • Long-term control of ground ivy from triclopyr was not affected significantly by application date.
  • When using three-way herbicides (2,4-D + MCPP + diacmba) or products containing fluroxypyr, applications on 1 September through 1 November were most effective.
  • Adding carfentrazone (FMC’s Quicksilver, PBI Gordons’ Powerzone and Speedzone) to 2,4-D+MCPP+dicamba dramatically improved short-term control of ground ivy from November applications, but had little long-term benefit on any application date. Products containing carfentrazone will aid in quick “burndown” and immediate customer satisfaction when making fall applications but they may not increase long-term control, especially with ground ivy.
The bottom line is that if the herbicide is rated to provide excellent control on the weed that you are trying to control, it may not bee too late to control broadleaf weeds this fall. 

Other notes:
  • In all cases read the herbicide label before making an application. 
  • Winter annuals. Many winter annuals like henbit, common chickweed, purple deadnettle and others have already germinated and are small and easily controlled in the fall. Applications in October and November will control these small winter annual broadleaves as well as the perennial broadleaves.
  • Newly seeded areas. Read the herbicide label carefully if the area you want to treat has recently been seeded. Most herbicides require that newly seeded turf be germinated and mown 1-2 times prior to a herbicide application. 

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

  1. Hanson, K. V., and Branham, B. E. 1988. Broadleaf weed control research update: II. Late fall weed control. Proc. of the 58th Annu. Mich. Turfgrass Conf. 17:44-51.

  2. Reicher, Z. J., and Weisenberger, D. V. 2007. Herbicide selection and application timing in the fall affects control of ground ivy. Online. Applied Turfgrass Science doi:10.1094/ATS-2007-0831-01-RS.

  3. Wilson, R. G., and Michiels, A. 2003. Fall herbicide treatmets affect carbohydrate content in roots of Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Weed Sci. 51:299-304.

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist

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What To Do With All Those Falling Leaves?

It is that time of year when leaves are falling faster than you can rake them in many places. It is important to rake leaves when there are many leaves on the ground (so many that you can't see the turf underneath) so that heavy layers of leaves will not shade out, smother, and kill turf. However, when only a moderate number of leaves are on the ground, you can use your mower to mulch them back into the turf. Research results at Purdue and other universities demonstrates that:
  • Tree leaves (both oak and maple) can be mulched without any detrimental effects on the soil or turf and usually results in improvements in soil structure.
  • Mulching leaves into the turf will not increase thatch or disease.
  • Leaves have no effect on soil pH and no measurable effect on nutrient availability.
  • Mulching leaves will not result in increased weed pressure and some recent research in Michigan even suggests that mulching leaves back into your lawn can reduce dandelion populations.
Helpful tips:
  • The easiest way to dispose of leaves is to simply mow them into the turf.
  • Regular mowing during the fall will chop the leaves into small pieces and allow them to filter into the turf.
  • Dry leaves mulch more easily and readily than wet leaves.
  • Mulching leaves with a mower is much easier and less time consuming than raking, blowing, and/or vacuuming the leaves like we have done in the past.
  • Mulching leaves disposes of the leaves without filling up our landfills and saves our municipalities thousands of dollars in disposal costs.
  • Do not burn leaves because of our current burn bans and due to environmental pollution.

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist

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Jennifer Biehl Moves to New Position

After 10 years working in the Turf Program at Purdue, Jennifer Biehl is taking a new position.  She will start her new position as Assistant Director of the Global Supply Chain Management Masters Program in Purdue Krannert School of Management the week of September 16.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns for the Purdue Turf Program or Midwest Regional Turf Foundation  please contact Dr. Aaron Patton; or Dr. Cale Bigelow;

"I would like to thank everyone in the Turf Industry for a great 10 years.  I have enjoyed meeting everyone and wish you all the best."  Jennifer Biehl

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New Insecticide Labels to Increase Focus on Pollinator Protection

As part of an ongoing effort to raise consciousness about the potential threat to pollinators posed by neonicotinoid insecticides, the USEPA recently unveiled new pesticide labeling criteria. The new labels will contain a bee advisory box and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions. 

The recent announcement focuses on products containing the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. The EPA will be working with pesticide manufacturers to change labels so they are in compliance the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) safety standards.

In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and EPA released a comprehensive scientific report on honey bee health, showing scientific consensus that there are a complex set of stressors associated with honey bee declines, including loss of habitat, parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure

Although there is no data presently connecting the use of these insecticides in turf to declining bee health, it may prudent for pesticide applicators to become reacquainted with product labels to ensure they are being used in a safe and responsible way. Current labels already include a hazard statement concerning the risk to pollinators posed by these insecticides.

The EPA also recently released new enforcement guidance to federal, state and tribal enforcement officials to enhance investigations of beekill incidents. When it comes to pesticides use, those of us in the turf industry really do need to be doing everything we can to avoid unnecessary risks.

Doug Richmond
Turfgrass Entomologist
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Weed of the Month for August 2013 is Common Bermudagrass

Common Bermudagrass  

Biology: Common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) is the most commonly used turfgrass in the southern United States, but it is also a difficult-to-control weed in northern turf. Bermudagrass is a drought tolerant, warm-season, perennial grass species that tolerates low mowing and actively spreads vegetatively by both rhizomes and stolons but also has the ability to spread by seed.

Identification: Bermudagrass has a blue-green leaf and forms large patches in lawns as it spreads radially from rhizomes and stolons once it becomes established. The stolons can be easily spotted spreading over sidewalks and drives.

Stolons of bermudagrass are visible creeping over a street curb.
Bermudagrass rhizomes are thick and can be found in the soil.

The patches are easily noticed in the summer months when cool-season turf is stressed by heat or drought. Patches are also noticeable in the early morning as bermudagrass holds a heavy dew on its leaves in the early am. In the winter months, bermudagrass is apparent as brown, dormant areas of turf.

Green bermudagrass is apparent in this drought stressed cool-season turf.

Green bermudagrass is apparent in this drought stressed cool-season turf.

Heavy dew on a small bermudagrass patch.

Green cool-season turf surrounding a dormant bermudagrass patch.

Leaves can be very hairy or sparsely hairy depending on the biotype but the ligule will always have hairs.  

The finger-shaped spikelets on the bermudagrass seedhead are similar to a crabgrass. Bermudagrass will produce seedheads from mid-summer until fall. Spikelets typically have 3-6 spikes in number.

Cultural control: Enhance cool-season turf density through overseeding and fall fertilization.

Biological control: None known.

Chemical control: Bermudagrass is the most difficult to control turf weed. Keep this in mind when trying to control it! These “control” methods should be regarded as ways to “suppress” bermudagrass. It is extremely difficult to “eradicate” bermudagrass. Different situations require different approaches. The areas below describe bermudagrass control in different situations for different users:
  • Control before seeding or sodding an area during renovation
  • Control for homeowners 
  • Control for professionals

Control before seeding or sodding an area during renovation
The most effective way to control bermudagrass is with a preplant soil fumigant. For most, fumigation is not an option because it is so costly and because of specialized application equipment needed. A good alternative is to make three applications of glyphosate over the growing season (May, July, and September). Wait three to four weeks for regrowth before making the follow-up applications. Research shows that a tank-mix of 3 qts/A glyphosate plus fluazifop will improve bermudagrass control over glyphosate alone. When using fluazifop, be aware that it will have some residual soil activity. Wait at least 30 days before seeding turfgrass after applying fluazifop to bare ground or 14 days after an application to turf.
  • Professional products that contain fluazifop only that can be used during renovation include Fusilade II and Ornamec. 
  • Homeowner products that contain fluazifop only that can be used during renovation include ORTHO GRASS B GON GARDEN GRASS KILLER 
Control for homeowners 
There are few “over-the-counter” products available for bermudagrass control. One such product is Bayer Advanced Bermudagrass Control for Lawns. Multiple (3 or more) applications will be needed to suppress bermudagrass. I suggest that homeowners make applications at the start of the end of the summer when the bermudagrass is not actively growing. Summer applications are generally less effective on bermudagrass and could injure their lawn when applied to drought stressed turf or heat stressed turf as temperatures approach 90 degrees. I suggest using this product twice in the month of May, twice in September, and once in early October. Treating during the cooler periods of the year while the weed is green will help to control the weed while reducing the risk of injuring your desirable lawn grasses. Having said all of this, remember that this is the toughest turf weed to control and few options are effective. At best, the homeowner will be able to suppress/reduce this weed but likely ever completely eradicate it.

Control for professionals 
There are many situations on golf courses or lawns where bermudagrass invades. There are also many cool and warm-season grasses that bermudagrass invades. Each situation in each different turf spcies requires a different approach. Consult Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals Publication (AY-336) for more information on professional options for control in these situations.

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 Imprelis Update: Tree Maintenance, Replacement, and Disposal

This article provides a 2013 update of this issue and what we hope will be the last and final update on Imprelis. This update addresses some of the frequently asked questions about Imprelis® in 2013.

2013 Imprelis® Update: Tree Maintenance, Replacement, and Disposal (PDF) (08/13)

For a complete review of the facts and a more detailed description of the problem, see “A Turf Professionals Guide to Suspected Imprelis® Herbicide Injury in the Landscape” and “Imprelis Update: 2012 Field Notes on Injury and Recovery” available at our Imprelis Clearinghouse Website.

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist, Purdue University

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New Publication: Calibrating Ride-on Sprayers and Spreaders

The use of ride-on sprayer/spreaders by lawn care operators (LCOs) and the sports turf industry has increased dramatically since they were introduced in the 1980s. Ride-on equipment offers a number of competitive advantages over walk-behind spreaders and the hand-gun/hose-reel type of application. This publication addresses specific procedures for separately calibrating the pesticide sprayer and the fertilizer spreader of ride-on equipment. The goal is to ensure proper application accuracy to optimize performance.

Calibrating Ride-on Pesticide Sprayers and Fertilizer Spreaders: Keys to Application Accuracy (PPP-104)

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist, Purdue University
Fred Whitford, Coordinator, Purdue Pesticide Programs

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Rust Disease – 2013

The 2013 rust disease outbreak seems to have arrived a little earlier than usual.  My thoughts about the current rust epidemic are intended for lawn care professionals, who must address reasonable questions from their clients.  Most professionals are very familiar with the basics of rust disease.  To briefly review from the 2013 perspective--the ample precipitation favors dispersal of rust spores and subsequent infection of susceptible turf.  The disease is largely cosmetic, but the orange spores that are easily dislodged from leaf surfaces can be more than a nuisance, covering shoes, pets, and lawn mowers with a rusty residue.  New spring-seeded lawns that lose vigor during heat and drought conditions of summer may be severely damaged by rust.

One question about rust is asked more than any other—Will it harm my dog?  The answer is no…and no further explanation is necessary.

Another question frequently asked is – If I collect my clippings after mowing, will the disease disappear?  The answer here is “no” also.  There are tens of millions of rust spores in the air--inoculating your lawn every day.  Also, because the rust pathogen must complete every stage of its life cycle on a LIVING host, spores on your clipped grass blades will soon die, and no longer be a threat to the yard.

A final question regards control—both long and short term. 

If the lawn is in need of any kind of renovation, now is the time to consider Kentucky bluegrass cultivars with rust resistance.  Many of the newest cultivars are only slightly affected by the rust pathogen.  Local lawn care professionals or garden stores will have access to information about rust-resistant grass.

Keeping the grass healthy with water, fertilizer, and regular mowing normally will keep rust at bay.  This year seems to be a little different, maybe because of all the rain, and the fact that nutrition is a little low at this time of year.  Suggest trying the fertilizer route first.  Applying the equivalent of 0.2 lb N per acre may do the trick.  Be prepared to resume mowing if the rain continues, and do not apply if the 3-4 day forecast includes daily high temperatures in the 90’s.

The final approach is chemical.  There are excellent fungicides available that will shut down a rust outbreak in less than a week.  The DMI and QoI  (strobilurin) fungicides are very effective against rust but, on well-established turf, should be considered only as a remedial treatment.  On newly seeded stands, fungicides should be applied at the first sign of disease.  In most cases, outbreaks will be quelled with a single application of an effective fungicide combined with efforts to encourage turf growth.

For more about rust disease, access the Purdue Turf Program website and click on “publications”.  In that list, you will find BP-110W  “Rust Disease”. 

Dr. Rick Latin, Professor of Plant Pathology

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White Grub Season Approaching: Remember to Follow Label Directions

Last month, a commercial landscape manager in Oregon made an off label application of dinotefuran to flowering linden trees resulting in the death of more than 25,000 bumblebees and immediate action by the Oregon Department of Agriculture to implement a six month ban on all dinotefuran products labeled for landscape use

The labels on dinotefuran products and all other neonicotinoid products marketed for turf and landscape use (imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin; see table 1 below) contain clear and concise statements warning of the potential environmental hazards associated with applications to flowering plants. One example of a potential environmental hazard is the potential negative effects of these insecticides on bee populations which have declined in recent years.

This unfortunate incident should serve to remind us all about the potential costs of ignoring label directions. One mistake can cost an entire industry the use of critically important tools and, as we’ve seen in the Oregon case, State agencies can and will ban these insecticides in order to protect human and environmental health.

As many folks start to think this time of year about making insecticide applications to protect their lawns from white grubs, it may be prudent to keep a few things in mind.

  1.  In any given year only about 20% of home lawns will be afflicted by damaging white grub populations in this part of the country.
  2. The likelihood of a given lawn being afflicted with damaging white grub populations 2 years in a row is only about 50%
  3. Some of our most common lawn weeds, such as white clover, provide excellent forage for bees and other beneficial insects, so proper weed control is a must if neonicotinoid insecticides will be used to control insect pests. In other words, if the lawn is weed free then an application of one of these insecticides should not pose a hazard to bees, but if the lawn has high populations of flowering clover these insecticides should not be applied.
  4. Since neonicotinoids are systemic compounds that are readily taken up by plant roots, it may be advisable to maintain a reasonable buffer area between treated areas of the lawn and landscape beds where flowering plants that are likely to attract pollinators are less likely to take these products up through their roots.
  5. When possible, it may be prudent to wait until after flowering to apply systemic insecticides to trees or other flowering plants to allow nearly a year between the application and the production of new flowers.

At the very least, use common sense and do your part by following the label.

Table 1. Trade names of turf insecticides containing a neonicotinoid as one of the active ingredients.

Common Name/Active Ingredient
Trade Name
Arena, Aloft
Merit, Allectus and many post-patent products

Doug Richmond, Turfgrass Entomologist
Cliff Sadof, Landscape Entomologist
Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist

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