Lawn care for busy people


By Dave Case

On Fertile Ground

It’s almost fall and still lots going on as we enjoy these last few weeks of what has been a great summer! Temperatures decently warm, plenty of moisture and another great Champaign County Fair. Hopefully y’all were able to enjoy a nice vacation somewhere too.

And with Fall almost here, school has started, and schedules are packed as always. So, what needs to happen in the next month or two?

Good time to renovate your lawn. Make sure to get good seed to soil contact. Rent a power seeder if you have a large area. Be on the lookout for fall grub damage. (Examples could be yellowing or wilting of patches of grass as well as increased wildlife activity like moles, crows or raccoons digging).

As your garden finishes up, plant a cover crop then plan on tilling it next spring. A cover crop will keep soil in place, suppress weeds, increase soil moisture, and supply a few nutrients next spring. Also, begin early garden cleanup of any diseased plant materials, leave the healthy plants. And plant fall vegetables like radishes, turnips, spinach and lettuces.

Good time to plant woody ornamentals like Japanese maple, hydrangea, lilac, forsythia, dogwood, rhododendron, and azaleas.

Get your spring bulbs ordered.

Have a bad dandelion situation this summer? If you mowed high, they are less of an issue! But those of you who mow short, they can emerge early and often. If you want an herbicide option, look for a product that contains 2,4-d and dicamba. Trimec® is an example (Rate 1.5 ounces Trimec® per 1000 sq feet).

Lastly, remember fall is when we get invaders wanting to get in our homes like Asian lady beetles. You can tell them from regular ladybugs with their foul-smelling yellowing fluid. How to get rid of them? Prevent entry by sealing cracks and gaps. Repair damaged screens. Vacuum them up! Consider an insecticide and read and follow the label. Consider a trap near entry points.

Champaign County Ag Sector

206.7997! Pretty good corn yield right! Not great but pretty decent. How about the new Soybean Yield record! Yes! 206.79! Is that not unreal! The grower is from GA and not one of our Midwestern states. Alex Harrell broke the previous record of 190.23. How did he do it? He says variable rate lime, along with Gypsum as well as chicken litter and some micros like Zn. He used a Group IV bean in 30-inch rows. He strip-tilled and planting population was 85,000. Unbelievable!

Seemed like a lot more aerial applications went on this year than in years past, mostly on corn, so hopefully your disease situation is well under control.

Diseases to be watching out for would be tar spot (wrote about this last month) and Gray Leaf Spot. Tar spot has been confirmed in Madison (8/17), and Clark County has a probable (8/18). There is a large group of counties in Ohio that have positive reports from Allen to Erie County. Just as I was finishing up this article, heard from a consultant friend in the eastern part of the county who has found tar spot near the Champaign/Union County Line.

Soybean disease situation has changed. SDS is showing up earlier than normal. The weather is also favorable for white mold. Be on the lookout for frogeye leaf spot. A new disease we’ll be watching for (just what we need!) is red crown rot. It’s been detected in Kentucky and Illinois. Can be misidentified as SDS or brown stem rot. If you think you have a soybean disease like SDS, BSR, RCR or SCN, fall is a good time to sample and confirm numbers.

Fertilizer prices continue their downward slide. Expansion in global production is one reason along with lower demand are reasons.

Wheat sowing will soon be upon us. Planting after the Hessian Fly Date (Sept. 29) remains the best way to avoid insects and diseases.

Got your yield monitor calibrated? We make so many decisions off yield, like hybrid, fertilizer, and marketing. Get it calibrated now so it will be ready.

Fall burndown/spring weed control! We’ll talk more about this next month so stay tuned!

Harvest will soon be here. Be vigilant and safe during the long hours.

Question or comments? Email me at [email protected].

A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Dave Case majored in Agronomy and Ag Econ with an emphasis in Weed Science. Dave’s career spanned Champaign Landmark, Crow’s Hybrid Corn Company and 30 years with Bayer CropScience. In 2018, Case formed Case Ag Consulting LLC. He is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Agricultural Fraternity. He is on the Board of Directors of the Agribusiness Association of Kentucky, Chairman of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association Educational Trust Foundation and Secretary of the Alpha Gamma Rho Alumni Board. He is on the Board of Directors of the Champaign Family YMCA, Champaign County Historical Society Agricultural Capital Campaign Committee and is a Trustee for the Champaign County Farm Bureau. Dave and his wife Dorothy live on a small farm south of Urbana where they raise goats, cattle, chickens and various crops and they donate all profits to Pancreatic Cancer Research. Dave can be reached at [email protected].

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