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Top 5 Home Lawn Questions & Answers By SAM BAUER Extension Educator, Turfgrass Science University of Minnesota Extension

As turf and grounds managers, we frequently receive questions from the general public related to problems encountered in home lawns. For some of these problems there may be a quick and simple solution, while for others the remedy may be more complex. Outlined below are five of the most common questions that we receive in the Extension office, and the answers may help you to address these issues for your clients, friends, or neighbors. How do I Control Creeping Charlie? By far the number 1 question that we receive from homeowners relates to the control of creeping Charlie, and if you haven’t been asked this question then you may be living under a rock. Creeping Charlie, or more accurately- ground ivy, is a perennial broadleaf weed with aggressive stolons that enable it to spread rapidly in the right environment. It thrives in moist, shady areas and will outcompete grasses in this situation. Effective control and prevention of creeping Charlie requires a holistic approach aimed at improving the environment for turfgrass growth, proper selection of shade tolerant grasses, judicious use of herbicides, and in some cases giving up and embracing creeping Charlie or planting more shade tolerant ground covers. Improving the environment may include pruning tree canopies, aerating the soil to reduce compaction and surface moisture, and removing plants to allow for more air movement. Shade tolerant grasses include fine fescues, tall fescue, and rough or supina bluegrass. The most effective herbicides for control of creeping Charlie are those that contain the active ingredient triclopyr and control is most effective in the fall through several applications. For more information on the control of creeping Charlie, please visit: http://blog-yard-garden-news.extension .umn.edu/2016/ 04/weed-management-creepingcharlie.html 16 MTGF CLIPPINGS ~ SPRING / SUMMER 2017

Ground Ivy

Why is My Lawn so Lumpy/Bumpy? Bumpy lawns can present a safety issue for those maintaining or recreating on the lawn. Most bumpy lawns are caused by earthworms or nightcrawlers due to the castings that they create when they come to the surface of the lawn. These invertebrates often indicate a healthy, well aerated soil, and their presence is more common on irrigated lawns or during seasons of heavy rainfall. There are no pesticides labeled for the control of earthworms, and our first suggestion would be to try and tolerate their presence. In situations where safety is a concern, two approaches must be taken. The first approach includes leveling existing castings by the use of a power rake set to penetrate the grass canopy; in some cases rollers can be used to smooth the lawn. To prevent reoccurrence of earthworms, Early Bird Organic Fertilizer, which contains a certain oil seed, will act as a deterrent (http://www.oceanorganics.com/ labelpages/lbl_earlybird.html). This is the only product recommended for preventing earthworms. For more information on earthworms in lawns, please visit: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/ 554.pdf (Continued on Page 17)

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MTGF CLIPPINGS Summer 2017  

A magazine from the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation promoting the green industry in Minnesota through support of research, education a...

MTGF CLIPPINGS Summer 2017  

A magazine from the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation promoting the green industry in Minnesota through support of research, education a...

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