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Window for forage planting closing

By David G. Hallauer
Meadowlark District Extension Agent, crops and soils/horticulture

Planting a forage during a Kansas spring can be a challenge.

For a number of our forage crops, spring is a great time to get some seeding done. For new stands of cool season grasses (brome and fescue), interseeded clovers, and oats, we plan on a little planting window in the spring to get those important tasks accomplished. Unfortunately, that window is closing!

Brome/fescue, red clover, and oat planting should ideally be planted by March 15. I'm sure not going to tell you that you won't get a stand if you don't make it by that date, but the later those forages emerge, the better the chance that declining moisture and increasing temperatures will give them some real challenges. If you have been planning for a spring seeding of these crops, it should occur soon.

If your planning has begun as you read this, unless that soil and seedbed is almost ideal to begin with, you might plan for a fall cool season grass seeding or to seed clover and oats next spring rather than yet this one. Its easy to toss seed out there, and even do a great job of seeding followed by a nice spring rain so that emergence occurs, only to have the stand hurt by poor fertility levels or weed control problems. In other words, maximize your forage investment and plan ahead for the future if a later March planting date is going to rush you.

For further seeding information, contact your District Office. If you have to have that added forage, other options are available!

Herbicides for home vegetable gardens

So far, I haven't see much in the way of herbicide tolerant vegetables. With that in mind, weed control is still a bid deal to most gardeners.

Mulches will usually take care of most weed problems to some degree. Add in a little hoe work for smaller gardens and you're set. For other, usually larger areas, a herbicide program may be a necessity. If that's you, consider a preemergence or postemergence herbicide for your garden.

Trifluralin is the active ingredient in the preemergence herbicide. These herbicides kill germinating weed seeds with little to no effect on emerged weeds so they must be put on before that emergence. Trifluralin is sold under a number of trade names and labels.

The postemergence herbicide is sethoxydim. It only kills grasses, so it can be sprayed over some vegetable crops. Be sure and check the labels for sure. Like trifluralin, it is sold under a number of different formulations and brand names.

You may run across other products where you buy your garden supplies as well. Make sure that they are appropriately labeled for the vegetables you are growing. The label is the law--follow it. Do not apply where not allowed. Labels do vary, even by active ingredient, so make sure to read all labels thoroughly and follow all label restrictions.

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