Soils are starting to dry. The playing surface has been used for three weeks. I think I am getting some surface compaction. Should I core cultivate?
It depends! Right now can be a great time for the right type of cultivation to address compaction. First the drying soils across the region will warm rapidly now. The soils will be very receptive to cultivation that will result in soil disruption and fracturing, creating more air filled soil pores that offers roots a welcome growing environment. There are variety of tools and tines available for these purposes listed on our Safe Sports Fields website (http://safesportsfields.cals.cornell.edu/cultivating). At this time of year sports fields and native soils are effectively and quickly cultivated using slicing or shatter-blading. This allows for deeper fracturing without significantly disrupting the surface, such as with hollow or even solid tines. More disruption can also lead to more weeds if active growth is not underway, nutrient needs are not being met, or soils are excessively wet to promote weed germination. Of course seeding at this time is also a good practice.
The base 50 Growing Degree Days (GDD) are piling up now. I see dandelions in various stages of bloom. Is it time for my Spring Broadleaf “Three-Way” herbicide?
The first answer to a Spring perennial broadleaf herbicide application is that it is always better to apply these materials to perennial broadleaf weeds in the late summer early Fall. At that time, plants are producing and moving energy from leaves to storage organs like tap roots and stolons and the herbicide can move with them for more thorough control. At this time of year many plants are maintaining most of the energy above-ground to sustain top growth, some will translocate down. Our FORECAST website identify ideal times for applying any herbicide product containing 2,4-D in either an ester or amine formulation. In general ester formulations are designed to penetrate cuticle more effectively, are often effective earlier than amine forms, and can volatilize when applied at air temps above 80F. Amines are more soluble and effective later than esters and are “safer” to apply with lower risk of vapor drift that might injure adjacent ornamentals. All this said, the current model is indicating the ideal period for 2,4-D ester is now for the next week from NYC south, ideal amine timing still a few weeks off.- From Dr. Frank Rossi’s blog shortCUTTS, http://blogs.cornell.edu/turf/