Category Archives: K-State Extension

Soil Testing: A Tool to Combat High Fertilizer Prices

Chad Guthrie
District Extension Agent, Crop production and Forage Management
Southwind District
210 S. National
Fort Scott, Kansas 66701
Office: 620-223-3720
Cell: 308-991-8415
cguthrie74@ksu.edu

Fertilizer prices have reached new highs as we move into 2022, and they show no signs of coming back down for this growing season. Many farmers wonder if they’ll be able to properly fertilize their crops, or if they’ll have to settle for lighter rates, and consequently, lighter yields come harvest. While there is no slam dunk way to raise a healthy crop without the use of chemical fertilizers, farmers can take small steps now to possibly lower the amount of fertilizer they apply come spring. One easy, and affordable, step every farmer can take is to have soil tests done for their field prior to spring planting.

Many farmers guess what the nutrient levels are in their soils. Sometimes the assumption is made that most of their fields will have similar nutrient levels, and one soil test is enough to make fertility decisions across their entire operation. The fact of the matter is, that each field is different, and each field should have its very own fertility plan.

The problems that can arise from treating an entire operation as one field can range from over-fertilizing, and wasting money, to under fertilizing, and missing out on the added yield potential of a field. With rising grain prices, farmers are not going to want to miss out on any yield potential from their fields.

Taking soil samples is very simple. Each of our Extension offices have soil probes and sampling bags that farmers can check out to take proper samples. I recommend taking multiple probes from each field, mixing those subsamples together in a clean bucket, and then filling one of our sampling bags from the congregated sample. For large fields, I recommend splitting the field into sections, no bigger than 40 acres, and using the same method to pull samples from each of those sections. More information on taking proper samples can be found on the KSU soil testing lab website, or by contacting your local extension office.

Once you have gathered soil samples from your fields, you can bring them into our extension offices and we can take care of the rest. Tests run around $15 to cover shipping and lab fees, and results are typically received 10-15 days after the lab receives the samples. Each test result will have recommendations made by the KSU soil testing lab, and adjustments can be made by the extension office to fit our area.

Spending the money now to get testing done may seem like an unnecessary, added expense to rising input prices, but knowing exactly what each field needs to raise a quality crop can either save money by removing excess fertilizer, or equate to added yield and higher profits at harvest time.

 

 

Beating the Post-Holiday Funk

Barbara Stockebrand. K-State Extension Agent. Submitted photo.

Some of us may still be winding up our holiday celebrations – gift exchanges may be lingering on our calendar yet, and the decorations may remain hanging to keep those festive vibes alive. The holidays can take over our lives in many ways, given the deadlines and extra hubbub that go along with the festivities.

Often, our regular routines change in the time leading up to the holidays. Our work life changes with having some work days off. Our energy level may be heightened to meet the demands of the holidays. Then we are expected (or we expect of ourselves) to jump back into our regular daily life where we left it before the holidays.

For many, having the holiday break is reinvigorating and refreshing, as we have broken completely away from the norm of our daily lives. However, being out of our routine for a week or two can also leave us struggling to get back into the swing of things.

Making that adjustment can create a funk that is real. Feeling unmotivated or even sluggish are some of the signs. We’ve just come off of an intense level of holiday activity. Then suddenly, it’s all over. The excitement is gone. The highly anticipated moments are done (and those moments we dread, for that matter.)

Beating the post-holiday funk begins with realizing that it is a form of loss and is in reality an adjustment to less stimulation. It can be similar to feeling at loose ends after completing a big project at work, or feeling somewhat empty after a vacation, even though you are glad to be home.

Consider these suggestions if you are feeling the funk.

Continue your social connections. The holidays usually create more occasions for social gatherings. Make an effort to call or visit a friend or two to catch up on their holiday experiences and then share yours also. Don’t let it be a texting conversation. A phone conversation, at a minimum, will stimulate your mind as your conversations transpire.

Get out of the house. Weather this time of year may create challenges in getting out. However, even on a gray day, pushing yourself for some time outside can raise your energy. You are also creating space and interrupting moods that may be tied to those parts of the house with lingering reminders of the recent holidays.

That leads me to getting some exercise. It’s likely we’ve overindulged over the holidays, whether it be with food or drink, sitting around visiting, or binge-watching the various sporting presentations available. Be ready for a pleasant mood shift following some vigorous body movement.

Look forward, not backward. It is common at the beginning of the year to think about those things we didn’t achieve when we review our accomplishments from the previous year. These reflections are often the source of many people’s New Year’s resolutions. Instead, think about one thing you would love to have happen this year. Don’t make it a ‘life goal,’ as that could lead to more exhausting feelings. Identify one small thing and then make a plan to bring it into being.

Try one of these ideas to help you take charge of your mood. It might be just what it takes to shake off those funky feelings that may be hanging around. Have a truly happy new year!

For more information on combatting post-holiday blues, contact your local Southwind Extension District Office.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

K-State Garden Hour – 2022 Line-Up

Krista Harding
District Extension Agent, Horticulture
Southwind Extension District
111 S. Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Office: 620-244-3826
Cell: 620-496-8786

K-State Garden Hour – 2022 Line-Up

If you haven’t participated in the K-State Garden Hour in the past, plan to start this year! The K-State Garden Hour began in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for K-State Research and Extension horticulture experts to share research-based information to gardeners of all abilities and experience. Due to the overwhelming success, the K-State Garden Hour continued through 2021 and is gearing up for this year!

The 2022 lineup has been announced and it is full of great topics. Each program is held online from 12 noon to 1 p.m. (CST), including a 45-minute presentation and 10-15 minutes for viewer questions.

We are excited to offer a new round of webinars in 2022, based on the topics our participants requested most,” said Matthew McKernan, a K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent in Sedgwick County. “There’s no better time than the cold, winter months to be planning for next year’s garden. That’s why, whether you are wanting to grow more produce from next year’s garden, or redesign your landscape next year, our K-State Garden Hour webinars will kick off the new year to will get your garden started right in 2022.”  

A one-time registration gives viewers free access to all of the 2022 sessions, which include: 

  • Feb. 2 – Indoor Seed Starting. 
  • March 2 – Landscape Design 101. 
  • April 6 – Pollinator Plans for Continuous Food Sources. 
  • May 4 – New and Improved Annual Flower Varieties. 
  • June 1 – Organic Pest Management for Vegetable Gardens. 
  • July 6 – Growing Culinary Mushrooms at Home. 
  • Aug. 3 – Landscaping for Wildlife. 
  • Sept. 7 – Recommended Trees for Kansas. 
  • Oct. 5 – Improving Soil Health in the Landscape and Garden. 
  • Nov. 2 – Wildlife Damage Prevention and Control in the Lawn and Garden. 
  • Dec. 7 – Accessible Gardening for All. 

In 2021, the K-State Garden Hour was watched by viewers in 39 states, five countries and four continents. Between February and December, the program drew 16,326 viewers, including a single-session high of 1,034 live viewers for a workshop on container gardening. 

To register for this free, on-line series, visit: http://www.ksre-learn.com/KStateGardenHour  

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Horticulture agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at kharding@ksu.edu or 620-244-3826.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

A Strength Building Program Offered by K-State

Joy Miller, RD, LD
Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent
Adult Development and Aging
Family Resource Management
K-State Research and Extension
Southwind Extension District
210 S. National
Fort Scott, KS 66701
Office: 620-223-3720
Fax: 620-223-0332
joymiller@ksu.edu

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy, A Strength Building Program 

You can start on the road to better health with the Stay Strong, Stay Healthy program,  an eight-week course of one-hour, twice-weekly classes.

The evidence-based program is built on simple, strength-building exercises that will improve balance, health, and state of mind.

No, it’s not difficult or complicated weight-lifting. You’ll start at a level that’s right for you. No one is too inactive to participate. Building strength promotes quality of life and independence, especially for adults over age 60. 

The class meets at Buck Run Community Center in the large meeting room Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m.

Registration and first class will be January 11. 

The fee is $20 for the eight-week series.  For more information, contact Joy Miller at 620-223-3720 or joymiller@ksu.edu. 

Radon the Silent Killer

Barbara Stockebrand. K-State Extension Agent. Submitted photo.

 

We hear about the dangers of radon, known as the ‘silent killer’, but what is it really? Radon is a naturally occurring odorless, colorless, and tasteless radioactive gas created by the decay of uranium in the earth’s crust and is present everywhere on the planet.

Radon gas can make its way into any type of building. However, it’s estimated that one in four Kansas homes have elevated levels of radon. It enters a building from the soil through cracks in concrete floors and walls, floor drains, sump pits, etc. If the concentration of radon is high, your family may be at risk.

Governor Laura Kelly, has designated January, 2022, as “Kansas Radon Action Month” (KRAM). Radon levels outdoors are relatively low, due to dilution with the outdoor air. Our enclosed homes, where we spend more time during the winter months, can lead to higher concentration levels. With many working remotely from their homes, due to Covid, there is cause for more concern around home radon concentrations.

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer death for non-smokers. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you are exposed to smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is much higher.

Testing for radon is fairly simple, and winter is an excellent time for Kansas residents to test their homes. Short-term, do-it-yourself test kits are relatively inexpensive and can reveal the amount of radon in any building.

All Kansans are encouraged to test their home and address any elevated radon levels. About one out of every three radon measurements performed in Kansas are elevated, being above 4 pCi/l (picoCuries per liter). Those with high levels can usually be fixed with simple and affordable venting techniques.

Radon kits can be purchased for $7.50 per kit by contacting your county Extension Office. The cost includes the return shipping by USPS to the laboratory and the cost of the device analysis.

Some areas have higher levels than others, though elevated levels of radon have been detected in every county in the state. As many as one in 15 homes across the U.S. has elevated radon levels that often go undetected.

Experts state that just because the house across the street or two doors down doesn’t have elevated radon levels, doesn’t mean all housing in the neighborhood is safe. There isn’t a clear way to tell where the radioactive gas will move through the rock formations below ground.

Homeowners should talk with a certified radon contractor if levels above 4 pCi/l are detected. A list of certified radon contractors is available by calling the Kansas Radon Hotline at 800-693-KDHE (800-693-5343).

Additional information about radon can be obtained at www.kansasradonprogram.org or by contacting the Yates Center Southwind District Extension Office at 620-625-8620.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Winter Houseplant Care by Krista Harding

Krista Harding
District Extension Agent, Horticulture
Southwind Extension District
111 S. Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Office: 620-244-3826
Cell: 620-496-8786

 

I always find that my home seems a little bare after the holidays when the tree is taken down and all of the holiday knick-knacks are put away. To be quite honest, it can be depressing! The winter months can be extremely long for many people.

One way to brighten your home up a bit is to add a new houseplant. Right after the holidays, you will find new shipments of houseplants arriving in stores.

The plants in the stores will look great, but they may not stay that way for long once taken home. One reason for this is because these plants are grown in a climate and light controlled greenhouse. Our homes are definitely not even close to greenhouse conditions. But a few simple things can help you grow your houseplants with more success.

Plants grow during high light times, such as summer, and that is the time to provide ample water and fertilizer. Winter is a low light time and plants should be allowed to go dormant. During dormancy, do not apply fertilizer and supply only small amounts of water. Remember, plants grow in the summer and sleep in the winter. Don’t force a plant to grow during the winter.

Light is probably the most essential factor for indoor plant growth. A plant needs light from five directions. Obviously this is not possible in most homes. But you can increase light availability. To acclimate a new plant that was grown in high light conditions, place it in a high-light (southern exposure) area of your home and gradually move it to it’s permanent, darker location over a period of four to eight weeks.

Most foliage plants prefer day temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees with night temperatures usually 5 to 10 degrees lower. Avoid extreme temperature changes, such as cold and hot air blasts from windows, radiators, heating and air conditioning vents.

Ninety-five percent of plant problems are caused from incorrect watering. How much water a plant needs is influenced by several factors. Not only is the individual plant size and species important, but also the growing conditions. Light, temperature, humidity, container type, container size and finally soil type all influence the speed of growth and therefore the amount of water needed. It is best to look up individual plant types for their watering needs.

Frequency of fertilizer application varies somewhat depending on the individual plant. Some need it every two weeks, while others will flower well for several months without any supplementation. As a general rule, fertilize every two weeks from March to September.

Here are some common plant symptoms and possible causes:

General defoliation

  • Sudden change in temperature
  • Transplanting shock
  • Sudden change in light intensity
  • Over-watering
  • Lack of light

Browning of leaf tips

  • Improper watering
  • Exposure to cold drafts
  • Insect attack
  • Excess fertilizer

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Horticulture agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at kharding@ksu.edu or 620-244-3826.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Women’s Agriculture Risk Management Program

Sending on behalf of Chamber member
Southwind Extension District…
Register for the series by visiting: www.AgManager.info
under the events tab,
or contact the Fort Scott or Yates Center Southwind Extension Offices:
620-223-3720 / 620-625-8620
Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce | 231 E. Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS 66701

Finding Inner Peace

Barbara Stockebrand. K-State Extension Agent. Submitted photo.

 

 

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is here! Some people thrive on the extra hubbub and can’t wait to be a part of the goings-on of the season. On the other hand, some individuals don’t enjoy the season at all. To them, all of that bustle just creates a dizzying array of demands.

Whether we enjoy the added demands or not, a lot of those stresses are based upon expectations we place upon ourselves and those perceived expectations we feel others have of us. It’s no wonder it’s often difficult to experience true ‘peace’ – a term that is a wish for all this time of year.

So, what does peace look like? Think of the “P” as a reminder to spend time with the “people” who mean the most to you. That may include close family and a few special friends. When was the last time you called or wrote a card to your grandparents or a distant family member? A personal handwritten note represents a lot of thought and care for those loved ones. Let’s hope we are able to get back to family traditions with gatherings this season.

Did you know the breath cycle actually begins with an “exhale” (for “E”)? The longer the exhale, the deeper the inhale will be. Deep breathing will often aid in relaxation and reducing stress. So if things begin to get tense at your perfect family gathering, practice your deep breathing – especially before you choose to respond.

Consider “anticipation” for the letter “A”. There is usually a lot of anticipation associated with the holidays. Research has shown that the part of the brain responsible for feeling pleasure is activated when we think about doing something we enjoy or anticipate it. Daydreaming about favorite things is actually good for you. Remember when you were young you probably looked forward to Christmas morning with great anticipation. Now that you are older, find new ways to look forward to the holidays.

Make a list and “check-off” (“C”) items as you finish them. Completing items on a list (be it a written list or one put in your handheld device) brings success. It often reduces the overwhelming feelings that go along with many tasks to be done. Choose one system for tracking and stick with it.

Let go of your “expectations” — the final “E”. The passage of time brings change. Families evolve, babies are born, people pass. Accepting the reality that time changes holiday traditions can help you overcome feelings of stress. Begin to look for exciting new things for the season instead of focusing on days past. Start new traditions while sharing your own treasured holiday memories. It’s okay to miss what was, but do not let your focus on the past steal the joy of the present.

Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Do some preparation to prevent the stress that can descend during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, before they seem to take over. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.

For more information and guidance on managing holiday stress, contact a Southwind District Extension Office.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Low-Cost Tree and Shrub Seedlings Available December 1st

Krista Harding
District Extension Agent, Horticulture
Southwind Extension District
111 S. Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Office: 620-244-3826
Cell: 620-496-8786

The Kansas Forest Service is offering low-cost conservation tree and shrub seedlings for purchase again this year. These seedlings are to be used in conservation plantings, such as home/livestock windbreaks, living snow fences, Christmas tree plantations, firewood lots, habitats for game birds and wildlife, barriers to reduce noise pollution, blocking ugly views, marking property lines and creating habitat for songbirds.

These plants are 1 or 2 years old, and their sizes vary from 5 to 18 inches, depending on species. Most of the trees are bare-root seedlings, however some are available as container-grown seedlings such as Ponderosa pine and Southwestern white pine. Some of the deciduous trees that are available include: bald cypress, black walnut, bur oak, cottonwood, hackberry, redbud, and sycamore. Shrubs available include American plum, chokecherry, lilac, and sand hill plum. This is not a complete listing of available trees and not all trees are recommended for this area.

The Kansas Forest Service also offers tree “bundles” for purchase. The Quail Bundle offers a variety of shrubs designed to attract quail, including American plum, fragrant sumac, golden current and chokecherry. It was created in cooperation with Quail Forever to provide excellent food and habitat for upland bird species in eastern Kansas.

Another popular favorite is the pollinator bundle. Designed to improve the habitat for a diverse array of pollinating insects, it primarily focuses on native bees, honey bees, butterflies and moths. This bundle is composed of seven species of shrubs and small trees – American plum, chokecherry, golden currant, false indigo, elderberry, buttonbush and eastern redbud.

Not certain what you would like to order? Then stop by the Extension office and pick up a brochure that has color pictures of various trees and shrubs at maturity. Orders for conservation trees are accepted December 1st through the first full week of May, with shipments beginning in March. However, I recommend that you order early to ensure availability of trees. Order forms and price sheets are available at the Southwind District Extension Office in Erie, Iola Fort Scott, and Yates Center or can be mailed or e-mailed.

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at kharding@ksu.edu or 620-244-3826.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Starlite FCE Minutes November 18, 2021

The November meeting of Starlite FCE was held on November 18th at the Yeager building on the Bourbon County Fairgrounds.  The meeting was called to order by President Glenda Miller.  Deb Lust led the club in reciting the Flag Salute and the Club Collect.

 

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.  Eleven members were in attendance.  They reported that they had recycled fifty-five pounds and had volunteered forty-seven hours.

 

Doris Ericson presented the Treasurers report.  She reported that she had written a check to purchase a wreath for “Wreaths Across America” and had books printed for the 2022 club year.  There was no Council report.

 

Glenda announced that she had delivered the bags for the Veterans, baskets to the VFW, and had taken stickers and buttons to UHS and West Bourbon Elementary to educate them on Veterans.  Letha and Glenda reported that we had received several thank you from Veterans for the gift bags. The club also wrote a Christmas card to be sent to the VA hospital in Topeka.

 

Glenda gave a report on the Regional Meeting that was held in Parsons.  Bourbon County had received a reward for 100% reporting, Starlite received a 60-year gold seal, Clarice Russell received her 30-year membership award and Doris Ericson was named the Heart of FCE recipient for the Southeast Kansas district and will advance to the State level.

 

Megan Brillhart was recognized for having a November birthday.

 

Glenda also gave the club highlights from the Family Consumer Science newsletter, which included the introduction of the Southwind Districts’ new agent Clara Wicoff, scam awareness updates, and reminded us that now is the time for Medicare enrollment if you have questions contact Joy Miller.

 

New Business consisted of sending a Memorial gift for past member Maybelle Mertz.  Letha Johnson moved we send a gift, Terri Williams seconded the motion, motion carried.  Other new business consisted of the Christmas party.  Deb lust moved that we make donations to Preferred Living instead of exchanging Christmas gifts, Claudia Wheeler seconded the motion, motion carried.  The Date of December the 7th was selected for the Christmas potluck.  It will be held at noon at the Yeager building.  It was decided to also have a sweater contest.  At the Christmas party, the club will be putting together gift bags for Tri-Valley.

 

Glenda Miller presented the club with Tuff Turkey Teasers to enjoy.

 

Deb Lust moved that the meeting be adjourned, Doris Ericson seconded the motion, meeting adjourned.  After the meeting member enjoyed refreshments of Apple Cake, mints, and nuts provided by Doris Ericson and Deb Lust.

 

Prepared by

Terri Williams

 

Sustaining Family Caregivers

Barbara Stockebrand. K-State Extension Agent. Submitted photo.

November is National Family Caregiver’s Month. It gives us a reminder to acknowledge those family members who have taken on the ‘work’ of caring for a loved one. Caregiving can really become a full-time job, where those who had other meaningful employment may have made the noble and loving choice to care for their loved one instead.

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has said there are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers. Caregiving knows no economic or cultural boundaries. It will affect all of us or our families at some time.

Family caregivers are often doing all they can to meet the daily needs of their care recipient. In meeting those other needs, their own personal needs may continually get placed on the ‘back burner’ if they are not careful.

Research studies find high rates of depression and anxiety among caregivers and increased vulnerability to health problems. They often feel they have no control over events – and that feeling of powerlessness has a significant negative impact on caregivers’ physical and emotional health.

We might be reminded of the safety instructions given by the flight attendant before a flight. One of them is “If the oxygen masks drop down, put on your mask first before helping others.” The same goes for family caregivers. They need to make sure their needs are met so they can be the caregiver they want to be. A specific plan may be needed to take care of themselves.

How can family caregivers manage their self-care?

–Take responsibility and make it a priority to continue to include activities and relationships that are meaningful to them. Take daily breaks.

–Have realistic expectations on what a good caregiver is. Burdensome expectations placed on oneself as a caregiver can set the caregiver up for failure, resentment, and guilt.

–Focus on what can be done. The caregiver cannot change the care receiver if they have always been demanding and inflexible. However, the caregiver can control how they respond to the care receiver’s demands.

–Communicate effectively with others. These include family members, friends, health care providers, and the care receiver. The caregiver needs to convey their own needs and concerns in a positive manner.

–There will be emotional ups and downs as a caregiver. Don’t bottle up emotions. Repressing feelings decreases energy, causes irritability, depression and physical problems, and affects the ability to make the best decisions.

–Get help when needed. Don’t wait until ‘the end of your rope’ has been reached. Help might come from community resources, family and friends, or professionals. Find a way to follow through with vacation plans.

Not everyone is cut out to be a family caregiver. Kudos to those who have taken on this very caring responsibility. For those who may currently be in a caregiving situation, seek ways to take better care of yourself along the way so that you thrive, and not just survive. The rest of us need to find ways to help you succeed.

For more on support of caregivers, contact a Southwind Extension District Office. K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Early November is Time to Control Lawn Weeds and to Fertilize

Krista Harding
District Extension Agent, Horticulture
Southwind Extension District
111 S. Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Office: 620-244-3826
Cell: 620-496-8786

 

When it comes to weather, this fall has been a pretty good one in my opinion. But it won’t be long and winter will be upon us. Before the bitter cold hits, fall lawn weed control and fertilization needs to be done.

Lawn weeds are probably the last thing on your mind right now. But think back to last spring. Did you have a purple cast to your lawn from henbit or a good crop of dandelions? If so, believe it or not, they were already growing in your lawn last fall!

Cool season broadleaf weeds such as henbit, dandelions and chick weed all germinate in the cool moist periods of September and October. They overwinter as small plants, barely visible unless you get down close to the ground to look. Once warm weather arrives in the spring, the plants grow rapidly and flower.

Fall control is ideal for these cool season broadleaf weeds. The weeds are storing food in their roots and will send a leaf applied herbicide to their roots as well. The herbicides will translocate to the roots and will kill the plants from the roots up. These plants are also small and easily controlled right now.

There are several products on the market that are effective on these fall germinating weeds. Herbicides such as 2,4-D or combination products that contain 2,4-D, MCCP and Dicamba, sold under the trade names of Trimec, Weed-B-Gon, or Weed-Out, can be used. A product called Weed Free Zone is also an option. It contains the three active ingredients mentioned above plus carfentrazone.

Newly planted lawns should not be treated with any herbicide until the new grass seedlings have been mowed two or three times depending on the product. Read and follow label directions closely.

Herbicide drift can be a problem during the spring when warm temperatures prevail along with winds. The cooler fall temperatures and the dormant state of most plants reduce this problem considerably, making it an ideal time for application.

As we enter November, it is also the time to give cool-season lawns the last nitrogen application of the season. Why November? November is a good time because it will really help the grass next spring. As the top growth slows due to the cool temperatures in November, grass plants continue making food (carbohydrates). Carbohydrates that are not used in growth are stored in the crown and other storage tissues in the plant. These reserves help the turfgrass green up earlier in the spring and sustain growth into May without the need for early spring nitrogen application.

How much fertilizer should you apply? One to 1½ pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn area is sufficient. A quick nitrogen carrier such as urea or ammonium sulfate should be used.

Take action now to have a beautiful, weed-free lawn next spring!

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District.  She may be reached at kharding@ksu.edu or 620-244-3826.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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