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K-State Ag Today
 Lawn Management

Whether you’re planting a home lawn, or overseeing a golf course or athletic field, there are sensible practices common to all. At events like this week’s Kansas Turfgrass Conference, K-State Research and Extension plant pathologist Megan Kennelly instructs turf managers in proper disease identification, and effective cultural strategies.
“For my part, I just cover the basics of what are the turfgrasses we use in Kansas, what are the diseases that affect them, how to identify them, and how to manage them, primarily with cultural practices. And then I also spend a fair amount of time on how to distinguish actual diseases from some of our environmental problems, because I would say about half the time when people think it's a disease, it's actually something else, and they really need to know the difference in order to manage it properly.”
Choosing the right type of turf from the start, can save money on costly inputs like water and fertilizer, down the road. Proper mowing height is one cultural control, but there are others.
“A big problem we have here is thatch buildup, and some of the turf species that we use, and there are things you can do like aerifying and verticutting to break through that thatch and promote healthy roots. If you have a strong, healthy plant, it's easier for that plant to kind of fight off the stresses, insects and diseases all on its own, and in the long run, it's fewer inputs that you're putting into that turfgrass.” 

You can find more information at your local extension office, or on our web site, at KStateAgToday.org.