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    Tom Glasgow: Dont underestimate winters last hurrah - March 14, 2015 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Especially given recent temperatures in the 80s, it might seem safe to assume that we have seen our last frost for the winter of 2015. But this being the month of March in Eastern North Carolina, its best to proceed toward April with some caution.

    Freezing temperatures during the last week of March following days or weeks of mild weather is a familiar scenario if youve lived in the area for a while. And during my 28 years in Craven County, I can remember snow the first week of April, at least once.

    Among other considerations, we should be careful about planting tomatoes, peppers and other warm season vegetables or annuals too early. Buying early for good selection is a great idea, but you dont have to actually plant things in the garden right away. Consider holding these plants in containers in a sunny spot, so that they can be moved into a shelter overnight if a freeze is expected. And remember that temperatures as high as 41 degrees Fahrenheit can subject tomatoes to chilling injury, which in turn can affect growth and fruit set for potentially the rest of the season (and peppers are even more cold sensitive).

    Looking at March from a different perspective, we should move ahead with seeding new lettuce, mustard, radish and turnips as soon as possible, so as to sneak in one last crop before hot weather arrives. And if the weather turns out to be unseasonably warm for the rest of March and into early April, these late plants may be in for a bit of a rough ride. Potatoes also need to be set as soon as possible.

    As always during March and April, weve been fielding a number of inquiries regarding fertilization of centipedegrass and the use of weed and feed products. Centipedegrass lawns are definitely starting to show some green foliage now, and theres always a temptation to go ahead and fertilize so as to push the lawn into greenup a little faster.

    We strongly discourage fertilizing centipedegrass during March and April, and suggest waiting until around the end of May or early June. Since centipedegrass root systems have mostly died back and are starting over at greenup, fertilizer uptake will be very inefficient. Obviously, the portion of applied fertilizer not taken up by the lawn and the weeds will be lost to the environment.

    Early season nitrogen that is taken up by your centipedegrass lawn will primarily have the effect of making it more susceptible to Rhizoctonia large patch disease. Furthermore, if we do have a late freeze which admittedly doesnt seem to be in the picture for this year centipedegrass lawns that were fertilized early will be more prone to cold damage. Finally, the case can be made that nitrogen applied in early spring will have the effect of pushing shoot growth at the expense of the recovering root system. Among other consequences, this increases the likelihood of iron deficiency and resulting streaks or patches of yellow (chlorotic) grass.

    Regarding weed and feed, perhaps the best answer we can give is that these products are fine on centipedegrass if you apply them in late May or June, and if the fertilizer grade matches the needs of your lawn as determined by soil test results.

    Tom Glasgow is the Craven County Extension director. Contact him at tom_glasgow@ncsu.edu.

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    Tom Glasgow: Dont underestimate winters last hurrah

    1.5m Rankin Park football complex is a 'disaster' - March 13, 2015 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Published: 12 Mar 2015 11:30

    A NEW grass pitch at a 1.5m football complex in Greenock is diseased and flooded before a ball has even been kicked, says a local councillor.

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    Inverclyde Councils redevelopment of Rankin Park has been marred by delays but now there are claims the project is in disarray due to drainage and turfing problems.

    Local authority SNP group leader Chris McEleny says he has received a number of reports from people that the 1.5m complex is a disaster and he has pressed officials for an explanation at a meeting of the education and communities committee on Wednesday.

    Construction work is still to be completed on site and council officers have admitted there are a number of issues, but they say it should be ready for amateur teams for the next football season.

    Despite assurances that turfing the pitch would create a better end product instead of seeding it, Cllr McEleny says he has been told that large areas of the park are dying from disease already and that the park is badly flooded with newly installed drainage at fault.

    He said: Ive had reports that the drainage just isnt working and the turfing of the new pitch has been a disaster.

    I have requested a site visit with council officials so that we can ascertain if reactive measures are indeed required as feared.

    To be perfectly blunt I think people are getting fed up of public money being spent on facilities only to see more money required to fix problems that shouldnt have been there in the first place.

    Excerpt from:
    1.5m Rankin Park football complex is a 'disaster'

    1.5m Ranking Park football complex is a 'disaster' - March 13, 2015 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Published: 12 Mar 2015 11:30

    A NEW grass pitch at a 1.5m football complex in Greenock is diseased and flooded before a ball has even been kicked, says a local councillor.

    Share this image

    Inverclyde Councils redevelopment of Rankin Park has been marred by delays but now there are claims the project is in disarray due to drainage and turfing problems.

    Local authority SNP group leader Chris McEleny says he has received a number of reports from people that the 1.5m complex is a disaster and he has pressed officials for an explanation at a meeting of the education and communities committee on Wednesday.

    Construction work is still to be completed on site and council officers have admitted there are a number of issues, but they say it should be ready for amateur teams for the next football season.

    Despite assurances that turfing the pitch would create a better end product instead of seeding it, Cllr McEleny says he has been told that large areas of the park are dying from disease already and that the park is badly flooded with newly installed drainage at fault.

    He said: Ive had reports that the drainage just isnt working and the turfing of the new pitch has been a disaster.

    I have requested a site visit with council officials so that we can ascertain if reactive measures are indeed required as feared.

    To be perfectly blunt I think people are getting fed up of public money being spent on facilities only to see more money required to fix problems that shouldnt have been there in the first place.

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    1.5m Ranking Park football complex is a 'disaster'

    River Heritage Park now open; set for Memorial Day grand opening - March 12, 2015 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The grass seeding took off a lot better than Zachary Peterson expected, so now there's a place to sit and throw a picnic for anyone visiting Davenport's River Heritage Park.

    The park along River Drive near where 3rd and4th streets connect is open to the public just in time for this week's early spring weather. Peterson, a landscape design architect for the city, called it a "soft launch" at Wednesday's Levee Improvement Commission meeting.

    The big-deal opening is scheduled for Memorial Day, when he said the city will dedicate the park with a boulder etched with the names of thethose who made it possible.

    With a gazebo, river walk and railing designed to mimic the Centennial Bridge arcs, there's something for visitors to see now apart from the river view.

    The Davenport Rotary Club invested more than $100,000 in the construction of the gazebo. The city and state are investing about $725,000.

    "We're definitely getting bang for our buck here," Peterson said.

    One project that remains undone is construction of a bioswale. The city and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continue to investigate clogged sewer infrastructure in the area.

    "It's a real mess, but it's being worked on," Peterson said of the sewers.

    Another future project that awaits private donations includes meandering paths through a prairie landscape on the west end of the park.

    The Davenport City Council is expected to approve future plans at its April 8 meeting.

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    River Heritage Park now open; set for Memorial Day grand opening

    Flood bypass construction to close McKinstry Street - March 10, 2015 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A section of McKinstry Street will close for 45 days beginning March 23 so workers can remove the final, big obstacle to completing the downtown Napa flood bypass channel.

    That obstacle is McKinstry Street itself. The street extends across the eastern end of the bypass like a 6-foot-high dam. For the bypass to function as planned, McKinstry Street needs to be reconstructed at a lower elevation.

    Once the McKinstry Street section is lowered, water will be able to flow over it during those rare times when the bypass is handling Napa River floodwaters.

    The McKinstry Street work signals that the $12.6 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bypass construction project is entering its final stage. Besides lowering McKinstry Street, remaining tasks include hydro-seeding parts of the bypass to provide more vegetation.

    Well be out of there come mid-June, Corps spokesman Tyler Stalker said Monday.

    Then Napa will have an escape valve for the Napa River when big storms hit. Rising floodwaters will top the weir at the eastern end of the bypass near the Oxbow Public Market and run for a quarter mile through the bypass to rejoin the Napa River just below First Street near Veterans Memorial Park.

    Most of the time, the bypass will be dry and Napa will have a 13-acre, park-like setting with walking paths linking the downtown with the Oxbow business district.

    McKinstry Street is not a thoroughfare. It provides a secondary entrance to the Oxbow district, which has shops and restaurants. People during the street closure will still be able to reach the Oxbow through the primary entrances at First Street from either Soscol Avenue or Silverado Trail.

    In addition, the northern section of McKinstry Street outside the bypass will remain open.

    Nordic Industries is the contractor doing the McKinstry Street work. A letter from the company said it will demolish the McKinstry Street asphalt in the bypass section, lower the street and build new curbs, gutters and a concrete street surface.

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    Flood bypass construction to close McKinstry Street

    8 Events to Get College Football Fans Through the Offseason - March 10, 2015 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Use your (arrow) keys to browse the slideshow

    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    We feel your pain, college football fans.

    Ever since Ohio State was crowned as the first playoff-determined national champion back in mid-January, we've been mired in a seemingly endless offseason. It's still almost six months until the first games of the 2015 season are on our TVs, and it feels like there's nothing to keep us entertained until then.

    Or is there?

    Believe it or not, there are other sporting events between now and then. And while nothing can match the excitement of those Saturdays filled with collegiate action, they're better than nothing.

    Check out our suggestions for events to help tide you over during college football's long offseason.

    USA TODAY Sports

    When: March 17-April 6

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    8 Events to Get College Football Fans Through the Offseason

    Moreni Power Harrow M.A. 3.000 Smooth Roller + SOFT Seeder 3.000 High Quality Grass Seeding – Video - March 9, 2015 by Mr HomeBuilder


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    Moreni Power Harrow M.A. 3.000 Smooth Roller + SOFT Seeder 3.000 High Quality Grass Seeding - Video

    Seeding mixtures recommended for midwest lawns - March 9, 2015 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Study finds optimal ratios of kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass for seed blend

    LINCOLN, NE - Turfgrass professionals have created seed mixes specifically blended to ensure disease and insect resistance, water use efficiency, and tolerance to traffic. For example, a commonly used mixture of kentucky bluegrass (KBG) and perennial ryegrass (PRG) seed offers advantages such as rapid germination and establishment and provides turf cover that can compete with weeds. A new study shows how initial composition of KBG:PRG in the seed mixture affects species composition over multiple years in the Midwest, and offers recommendations about seeding ratios for optimal results.

    Although the KBG:PRG seed blend is popular with consumers, both types of seeds have distinct advantages and drawbacks. Despite its ability to germinate quickly, perennial ryegrass is susceptible to numerous diseases when grown in humid regions of the Midwest United States, and can become thin during the heat and humidity of late summer or when subjected to winter stresses. Kentucky bluegrass is slow to germinate and establish, but is desirable in the long term because it spreads by rhizomes, is relatively drought tolerant, and will accommodate a wide range of management systems. Christopher Proctor and Zachary Reicher from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Daniel Weisenberger from Purdue University, published a study in HortScience that provides new recommendations for initial composition of the common seed mixture.

    "Landscape contractors are pressured to deliver lawns from seed quickly for customer satisfaction," the authors said. "However, few studies have evaluated how initial composition of KBG:PRG in the seed mixture affects species composition over multiple years in the humid Midwest, just north of the transition zone of adaptability between cool- and warm-season turfgrasses." Proctor, Reicher, and Weisenberger studied the establishment and species composition after 3 years of a turf stand seeded with different ratios of KBG and PRG maintained as a lawn. They conducted experiments in West Lafayette, Indiana, using seed mixtures of KBG:PRG of 100:0, 90:10, 80:20, 70:30, 50:50, and 0:100 of pure live seed. The plots were seeded in late August, and the researchers rated speed of cover for 6 weeks after seeding and also percent KBG in the stand in August for 3 years. According to the authors, analyses showed that 100% PRG, 50:50, 70:30, or 80:20 KBG:PRG ratio had the highest percentage turf cover at 6 weeks after seeding during establishment because of the quick germinating and establishing PRG. This was especially important in 2007, when late summer heat stimulated late summer crabgrass germination. Regardless of turf cover during establishment, all treatments except 100% PRG shifted to greater than 95% KBG cover by 3 years after establishment.

    "For the region in which our study was conducted, it may be desirable to seed with a higher proportion (greater than 50%) of PRG to speed initial establishment for customer satisfaction, erosion control, and/or to offset years with high weed pressure," the authors said. "Under lawn conditions similar to our study, seeding ratios with high KBG (80:20 or 90:10 KBG:PRG) will likely shift to a stand composition of greater than 95% KBG within 2 years, whereas all other ratios lower in KBG will likely shift similarly within 3 years."

    ###

    The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site:

    http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/50/1/137.abstract

    Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org.

    Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

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    Seeding mixtures recommended for midwest lawns

    1D damage: WAFC says Eagles will be back on Domain Stadium in two weeks - March 9, 2015 by Mr HomeBuilder

    West Coast and new captain Shannon Hurn face an anxious wait to see whether Domain Stadium will be ready for training this month.

    The West Australian Football Commission say it will work to ensure the West Coast Eagles will be able to commence training at Domain Stadium in two weeks, despite reports there could be a delay after Friday's One Direction concert.

    The Sunday Times reported West Coast was concerned it might not be able to use the ground for up to a month. The first AFL game for the season scheduled at Domain Stadium is Fremantle against Port Adelaide on April 5.

    "We've got no clear timeline for when we'll get the oval back," Eagles general manager of football Craig Vozzo told The Sunday Times.

    Thousands of fans turned out to see boy band One Direction play at Domain Stadium on Friday night. Photo: Matthew Tompsett

    It was reported large parts of the ground's surface had been damaged following the One Direction gig and that sections of the ground would need to be replaced and would take two to four weeks to settle.

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    But in a press release that first trumpeted the value of having major concerts at the venue, then addressed the ground damage issue, the WAFC said damage to the ground was not significant and in line with expectations.

    "We currently have a booking for West Coast to recommence training at Domain Stadium on Monday, March 9 and will ensure the turf is prepared to meet AFL standards for this booking," he said.

    Mr Walton said after the turf was installed, the last pre-season renovation work would then get underway, including re-coring, sanding and seeding for the rye grass to ensure the surface was well prepared for the AFL season.

    More here:
    1D damage: WAFC says Eagles will be back on Domain Stadium in two weeks

    Herbicide future under threat - March 9, 2015 by Mr HomeBuilder

    HERBICIDES are one of the most important tools in a no-till farmer's arsenal, but increased - and sometimes incorrect - use has the potential to render these vital chemicals ineffective.

    Speaking at a recent herbicide resistance forum at Karoonda, organised by the Mallee and Coorong NRM group and the Karoonda Ag Bureau, the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative's Peter Newman, Geraldton, WA, said resistance was a growing problem.

    "Herbicide resistance is a big issue worldwide, and in Australia WA and parts of SA have been the leaders," Mr Newman said.

    While herbicide resistance in the SA Mallee is not as great as other parts of the country, issues are starting to crop up.

    "Our big concern for this part of the world is that brome grass will very quickly evolve resistance to Imi (imidazolinone) herbicides and once they fall over these growers are going to have a lot of trouble on their hands, so we're trying to intervene before that happens and make those herbicides last a lot longer.

    "The reason more farmers don't have Imi resistance is because they haven't used enough of it, but it will happen - it's not one of those low-risk groups," he said.

    "If you're just in the stage of getting a few resistant populations, that's the warning sign that it's going to happen."

    He said herbicides were not the answer to herbicide resistance.

    "Herbicides are fantastic - but has anyone actually completely eradicated ryegrass on their property? We've had 30 to 40 years of new ryegrass herbicides coming out, and we've still got ryegrass. Herbicides are brilliant, but they're not the complete answer," he said.

    "With a lot of farmers, when herbicide resistance bites, they just start rotating herbicides. They're still living year-to-year, just focusing on killing this year's weeds, then it's all the same the next year. As soon as farmers make it about the seed bank, they start to have wins.

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    Herbicide future under threat

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