Influence of Weed Population, Establishment Method and Soil Characteristics on Conversion of Weedy Lawn Areas to Tall Fescue
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Use of appropriate turfgrass species and varieties, together with reasonable management practices, can reduce reliance on chemical fertilizers, water and pesticides. There is growing interest in more sustainable turfgrass species, such as tall fescue, that require less water, fertilizer and pesticides to maintain density. This project compared site characteristics, timing and pre-seed site preparation to develop a protocol for the conversion of weedy lawn areas to tall fescue. In this study, rapid infestation of weeds following seeding, together with unfavorable site conditions, prevented successful establishment of tall fescue at both sites and timings. Scalping (very low mowing) as a technique for mechanical control of existing vegetation was not effective, regardless of scalping height. Chemical control of vegetation was also unsuccessful. While establishment of tall fescue was not successful, a decrease in dandelion population in the Kentucky bluegrass site was observed in plots mowed to one inch in the fall timing. This research, while still unable to replicate previous success with establishment of fine fescue native areas, suggests properly timed scalping of existing lawn areas can significantly reduce weed populations on rhizomatous turf species such as Kentucky bluegrass.
New York State IPM Program
Community IPM; Turfgrass