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Phillips Rooks District

Lawn and Garden

Lawn and Garden Extension services provide seasonal information about the care of your lawns and garden especially for Kansas and our Northwest area.

Have a specific problem?

You may bring soil, turf, weed, insect samples to our offices and they will be sent to Kansas State University for evaluation. Suggested treatments or solutions will be provided through your local agent.

Is My Lawn Still Alive? 

            Normally, a healthy lawn can stay dormant for a good 5 weeks and still recover. After the five weeks are up, it is important to keep the crown hydrated because if the crown dies, the plant dies.

            The recommendations differ for a lawn that was overwatered or received so much rain this spring so that it produced a limited root system. Such a lawn may die unless allowed to slowly enter dormancy. This is done by shutting off the water gradually. For example, instead of watering several times a week, wait a week before irrigating. Then don’t water again for two weeks. Thereafter, water every two weeks as described below.

            Apply about 1/4 inch of water every two weeks to hydrate the crown. This will be enough to hydrate the crown but not enough to encourage weed germination and growth. If you are wondering if the turf is still alive, pull up an individual plant and separate the leaves from the crown. The crown is the area between the leaves and the roots. If it is still hard and not papery and dry, the plant is still alive. When rains and cooler weather arrive, the turf should come out of dormancy. However, we will probably have to deal with weeds that germinate before the turfgrass grows enough to canopy over and provide enough shade to keep weed seeds from sprouting. For further information please contact the local K-State Research & Extension Office.

Lawn Calendar for Buffalograss

Buffalograss has become more popular in recent years due to its reputation as a low-maintenance grass.  Buffalograss does require less water and fertilizer than other turfgrasses but often has problems competing with weeds.

Buffalograss is an open growing grass that will not shade the soil as well as most other turfgrasses.  Weeds are often the result.  A regular mowing schedule can reduce broadleaf weed problems as most broadleaves cannot survive consistent mowing.  Those that do either have a rosette growing pattern (dandelions, shepherds purse) or are "creepers" (henbit, chickweed, spurge).  Annual grasses such as crabgrass or foxtail can also be a problem.  A good weed preventer (prodiamine, pendimethalin, or dithiopyr) may be needed to prevent problems.  Read More...