September 15, 1995
If your lawn is brown, you have lots of company. The summer of 1995 has been tough on turfgrass. Cool, wet spring weather slowed the growth of grass roots. Searing heat during parts of late June and July set the stage for a relentlessly hot, dry August and stressed-out turf.
Lawn weed control can be quite a challenge in existing turf. In newly established turf, it can be an even bigger challenge. Weed control begins with taking the proper steps for establishing turf. This includes soil testing, proper seeding methods and good post-seeding care of the seedbed. The most helpful practice you can employ is to establish the turf at a time of year when weed and grass seedling competition is at a minimum. For cool-season grasses, fall is the proper time. Warm-season grasses should be established in late spring to early summer.
Many homes have patios and decks complete with large pots containing shrubs or trees. These containers provide a feeling of permanence and beauty to the area. Unfortunately for those of us in Iowa, containerized plants often experience severe winter injury and often death if unprotected. In containers, the roots of the plants are exposed to below-freezing temperatures on all sides. As temperatures fluctuate, the soil thaws and refreezes causing the plant to heave out of the soil. This tears the roots and can expose the roots to drying winds.
We have received several plum samples with brown rot caused by the fungus, Monilinia fruticola. Brown rot can affect peaches, cherries, plums, apricots, and almonds. This is the time of year where sanitation becomes very important to control this disease next year.