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Core Aeration View
Disease Control View
Fertilization View
General Topics View
Grass Establishment (Seeding and Sodding) View
Insect Control View
Lawn Repair or Renovation View
Mowing View
Thatch Control View
Turfgrasses for Iowa View
Watering View
Weed Control View

FAQs

Are broadleaf herbicides effective when applied during dry weather?

Broadleaf herbicides are most effective when applied to weeds that are actively growing.  During prolonged periods of dry weather, some weeds are likely to curl up or wilt.  An application of a broadleaf herbicide to drought stressed weeds will likely be less effective as wilted foliage will absorb less herbicide ....

Do I need to remove the leaves on my lawn?

Turfgrass plants utilize light, water, and nutrients to manufacture food.  In fall, lawn areas beneath large trees are often completely covered with leaves.  The leaf debris prevents the turfgrass plants from manufacturing and storing food prior to winter.  A thick layer of leaves (little or no grass is visible) will ....

How do I control creeping Charlie in my lawn?

Ground ivy (“creeping Charlie”) in lawns can be controlled with broadleaf herbicides.  Products that contain 2,4-D or triclopyr are most effective.  2,4-D is an active ingredient in many broadleaf herbicide products.  Triclopyr can be found in Ortho Weed-B-Gon Chickweed, Clover, and Oxalis Killer for Lawns and a few other products.  ....

Which turfgrass species grow best in shady areas?

A key to successfully growing grass in shady areas is to select the proper turfgrass species for the site.  Kentucky bluegrass is the most widely grown turfgrass in Iowa.  However, most Kentucky bluegrass varieties do not perform well in shady areas.  The fine-leaf fescues (creeping red fescue, hard fescue, chewings ....

How can I avoid drift problems when applying a broadleaf herbicide to my lawn?

Before applying any herbicide, carefully read and follow label directions.  When applying liquid formulations, potential spray drift problems can be avoided by following simple precautions.   Don’t spray when winds exceed 5 mph.  Also, don’t spray when temperatures are forecast to exceed 85F within 24 hours of the application.  Since coarse ....

There are areas in my lawn where the grass is rather sparse. How do I fix these areas?

The thin areas can be repaired by overseeding.  Overseeding is the sowing of grass seed into an existing lawn.  In Iowa, late summer (mid-August to mid-September) is the best time to overseed a lawn.  Good site preparation is necessary for successful overseeding.  Small areas can be prepared by gently raking the ....

How do I control dandelions and other broadleaf weeds in my lawn?

In small areas, some weeds can be controlled by pulling and digging.  This method is best accomplished after a soaking rain or deep watering.  Unfortunately, pulling and digging is often ineffective on deep-rooted weeds.  In many situations, herbicides are the only practical method of weed control.  Effective broadleaf herbicides ....

What is thatch?

Thatch is the layer of dead and living plant material that forms between the soil surface and green vegetation.  It is composed of shoots, crowns, and roots.  Thatch, to some degree, is present in all lawns.  However, when thatch is present in amounts greater than ½ inch, it is usually ....

How can I control violets in my lawn?

Violets (Viola species) are native to Iowa.  Native habitats vary from dry, rocky prairies to moist woodlands.  Violets are also found in lawns, especially in shady areas.  Violets are difficult to control in turfgrass areas.  Digging up the plants is an option for home gardeners with a small infestation of violets.  ....

How do I control nimblewill in my lawn?

Nimblewill (Muhlenbergia schreberi) is a warm-season perennial grass.  Nimblewill is a thin, wiry grass that is pale green or gray-green.  It spreads by aboveground shoots or stolons, often forming circular spots in the lawn.  Nimblewill is easy to spot in the lawn because it greens up late in spring and ....

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