Tag Archives: overseeding

IPM for School Grounds Workshop – April 21, 2015

Join the NYS IPM Program of Cornell University and Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES for a seminar on implementing integrated pest management on school grounds. Emphases will include managing quality athletic fields in light of the Child Safe Playing Field Act, developing school IPM policies, and pest situations such as weeds, grubs, stinging insects, and geese.

Lynn Braband talking geese at a school grounds workshop.
Lynn Braband talking geese at a school grounds workshop.

There is no fee for the workshop, but pre-registration is requested. Contact Kelly Wasson of Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES at kwasson@wflboces.org or 315-597-3469.

WHERE

Canandaigua CSD Operations Center, 5500 Airport Rd., Canandaigua, NY 14424

AGENDA

7:30 – 8:00            Registration

8:00 – 8:45            Developing School IPM Policies – Lynn Braband, NYS IPM Program

8:45 – 9:30            Regulatory Update – Kelly Wasson, Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES

9:30 -9:45             Break

9:45 -11:15          Managing Your Athletic Fields & School Grounds in Light of the Child Safe Playing Field – Jennifer Grant, NYS IPM Program

11:15 – 12:00       Managing Stinging Insects & Geese on School Grounds – Lynn Braband, NYS IPM Program

Snow, Frost a Big Help for Head Start on Quality Turf

Want a two or three week head start on getting your athletic fields ready for spring? Consider a proven IPM practice: dormant overseeding.

Yes, right now those artic blasts might still be leaving us chilled. But winter weather has its advantages: snowmelt and freeze-thaw cycles can aid in both pushing and pulling seeds into the ground, maximizing seed-to-soil contact.

Freeze-thaw cycles can affect soil dramatically, opening crevices and ridges that seed can slip into and will later collapse, maximizing seed-to-soil contact. Photo Credit: Joellen Lampman

Freeze-thaw cycles can affect soil dramatically, opening crevices and ridges that seed can slip into and will later collapse, maximizing seed-to-soil contact. Photo Credit: Joellen Lampman

Meanwhile, spring is just around the corner — meaning it’s time to be on the lookout for weather conditions that allow you to apply grass seed.  So secure your seed and calibrate your spreaders.

What conditions are you looking for? Choose a time when:

  • there’s no snow cover
  • nighttime temperatures are predicted to dip below freezing and …
  • days warm to above freezing.

Ideally the forecast will also call for snow — snow that will push the seed into the ground while also protecting the seed from marauding birds. When that snow melts and is absorbed into the soil, it also helps pull your seed down through the crowns of existing plants, further increasing seed-to-soil contact.

Frost heaving is more extreme on bare soil. Note that the effect of frost heaving is reduced on the area covered by grass. Photo Credit: Michal Maňas

Frost heaving is more extreme on bare soil. Note that the effect of frost heaving is reduced on the area covered by grass. Photo Credit: Michal Maňas

Choose which seed to apply by your expectations for each field. Will your athletes be on the field in early spring? Then apply the quickly germinating perennial rye at a rate of 6 lbs./1000 ft2. If you have fields that won’t be used until June or July, apply Kentucky bluegrass at a rate of 3 to 4 lbs./1000 ft2. There will be some loss due to seed mortality, so these rates are 50% above conventional rates. If your budget is low, you can reduce costs by only overseeding on bare soil.

Your IPM benefits? Dormant seeding allows you to avoid cultivating the turf when the soil is too soft and wet to work. It saves fuel and equipment costs, too. And getting this turf management practice out of the way early means you’re better set up for the busy field season. Best of all, the seeds you apply in winter can germinate two to three week earlier than those applied during a conventional spring seeding — and your grass will be better able to face the onslaught of spring weeds and athletic cleats.

Want more info on maintaining athletic fields? Seek no further: Sports Field Management.