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County Canola Election Scheduled - Seed Selection for Lawns

Published March 1, 2015
County Canola Election Scheduled - Seed Selection for Lawns

Lawn

County Canola Election Scheduled

Canola growers in Williams County are being urged to participate in the election of a county representative for the North Dakota Oilseed Council.  All canola growers who have a definite interest in the membership of the council are encouraged to participate in the election at 10:00am on Wednesday, March 11.  This will be held at the Williams County Extension Office in Williston.  This is located at 302 East Broadway.

Each person, landlord, tenant, husband and/or wife, who planted canola in 2014 or intends to plant canola in 2015, is eligible to participate.  Additionally, the producer must reside in Williams County and must be present to be a candidate and vote.

County representatives from District 1 will assemble March 25, 11:30 am at the North Central Research Extension Center.

The Oilseed Council was created by legislative enactment to facilitate the production, development, marketing and promotion of safflower, sunflower, rapeseed or canola, flax or crambe.

Seed Selection for Lawns

Last fall new homeowners frequently called asking for information about seed selection for lawns.  My recommendations to these folks were based on personal experience.  What homeowners have told me what has worked for them, and the suggestion from our former NDSU Extension Horticulturist, Ron Smith.

For most folks a seed mixture of Kentucky bluegrass with perennial ryegrass, fine fescue is a good choice for this area.  Kentucky bluegrass is the most durable of these species because it produces rhizomes which are horizontal underground stems (roots) that help the turf recover from injury or disease.

Kentucky bluegrass thrives best in full-sun locations.  This grass requires good management.  This includes added water above normal rainfall, fertilization and proper mowing.  There are varieties that have lower maintenance requirements and have the ability to recover from moisture stress much like crested wheatgrass.

Perennial ryegrass is a quick germinating, bunch-type grass that thickens when mowed.

The fescues, sometimes referred to as fine fescue or creeping red fescue, produce short rhizomes, resulting in a turf canopy that blends well with Kentucky bluegrass.  I find that fine fescue is better suited for constant shaded areas which are usually on the north side of the house or under large trees.

Mixes of these grass species will establish quickly and have the genetic variability to better withstand traffic, drought, insect and disease problems than a single species planting.

Timing and soil moisture are critical for good lawn grass establishment.  Grass seeds should barely be covered with soil and no deeper than a 1/2 inch.  It is important to have this soil moist at all times during the first two weeks.  If the soil becomes dry, even for a day, during this period of time, the very tender seedling will likely perish.

For quick germination, the soil should be warm, approximately 70°F.  Planting during the hot months of July and August will require frequent water sprinkling.  I successfully established a lawn seeded the first week of August but waterings were applied four times per day for the first 10 days.

Regarding seeding rates, the goal is to get about 15 to 20 seeds applied per square inch.  Seeding bluegrass blends at the rate of 1 to 2 pounds per 1000 square feet, mixes at 2 to 3 pounds per 1000 square feet and straight tall fescue cultivars, or a mix of tall fescue, at 6-8 pounds per 1000 square feet will come close to achieving that objective.

-Warren Froelich

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