By Garth Ruff, ANR Educator OSU Extension Henry County
Another cool, soggy start to the week is not what the doctor ordered in terms of crop quality and standability. As noted by several educators across the region, there are a number of harvested soy bean fields that have a green hue to them. Upon further investigation it appears that the seedlings coming out of the ground are soybean plants. In some instances, the beans may have been sown out of the back of the combine, especially if the beans were small. Another more likely cause of the beans reaching the soil, is that the pods were shattering upon contact with the grain head. This current pattern of wet to dry will only increase the rate of shattered pods in any remaining beans to be harvested.
In past columns I have wrote about how the wind in Henry County is something that I am not particularly used to, and at this point the standing corn is less immune to it as well. A wind such as the one that blew Tuesday evening could be damaging as the harvest season progresses.
Last week I also promised a bit on fall lawn maintenance, and one thing you may want to do in the next month is a final lawn fertilizing. I would suggest to wait until we have had a couple good killing frosts in the coming weeks. At that point grass may be done growing, but the roots are still active. A shot of lawn fertilizer will help the roots to store carbohydrates and thicken, making a denser, healthier turf next year. In addition, the grass will green up after application and first thing in the spring. Fertilizing now will help, but may make the grass grow and not store as much energy in the roots, so the best time to fertilize is usually between Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.
I recommend a high nitrogen fertilizer, and apply only ½ to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet (which is not a lot). When you purchase fertilizer, the first number in the analysis is nitrogen expressed as a percent. So, a 50 pound of a 20-0-5 fertilizer will be 29 percent nitrogen or expressed in a different way, it will have 10 pounds of nitrogen in the 50 pound bag. This bag of fertilizer would then cover 10,000 to 20,000 square feet which would be approximately ¼ to ½ acre of lawn. In most ready to use lawn fertilizers, the middle number of the analysis will be 0, indicating there is no phosphorus fertilizer in the product. The third number represents the percentage of potash (potassium fertilizer) in the package. If you have questions about fertilizing, give me a call.
I’ll end this week with a quote from businessman Peter Drucker who said, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things”. Have a great week.