From Across the Field – Summer’s End


Over the weekend I finally got caught up one a little bit of lawn work. With these above average temperatures and ample moisture, the grass is growing rather quickly for this time of year. Remember we should be mowing at a height that is an inch to an inch and a half higher than your summer mowing level. Mowing higher will promote a stronger root system going into the winter dormant period.

This past week was the Farm Science Review, at the Molly Caren Ag Center in London, along I-70. One of the highlights of this year’s show was the world’s largest Script Ohio. The design was made using precision planting technology and soybeans of two different maturities. Henry County native Ryan Tietje was instrumental in making the design a success. Speaking of soybeans, I know a few fields in the southern end of the county have been harvested. Be on lookout for pod damage caused by either stinkbugs or bean leaf beetles. On the corn front there seems to be an above average level of diplodia ear rot, just one more thing to keep an on as fall progresses.

In addition, for those who will be planting wheat or small grains for a crop, we shortly approaching September 23rd, the fly free date for Henry County, minimizing the chances early establishment of foliar fungal disease spread by the Hessian Fly. The best time to plant small grains is in the 10-day period after the fly free date, therefore consider planting wheat in those early harvested bean fields, if feasible.

Fall is also a great time to divide perennials such as daylilies. Division is necessary in maintaining many perennials. Most others will need division every three to four years or so. It’s time to divide when a dead center forms in the crown area, with a ring of plants around it; blooms are fewer and smaller; and/or growth appears crowded.

A general rule is to divide the plant in the non-bloom season. Midsummer bloomers should be divided in spring. In spring (April/early May), divide when plant growth is 2″ – 3″ in height. Fall divisions are done in late August or September; plants should be semi-dormant and temperatures cooling. Use a spade to dig the clump and cut off divisions. If you don’t want to divide an entire clump, divisions can be cut from the edge of a clump using a spade and trowel.

Finally, if you have black walnut trees and want to harvest the nuts, you may allow the nuts to fully ripen and fall to the ground, or the nuts can be shaken from the tree when you can dent the hulls of several nuts on the tree with your thumb. Before gathering “wild” nuts, it is a good idea to crack a few to see if the kernels are full. Once ripe remove hulls to prevent staining and flavor contamination of the kernels.

Don’t forget to check out our new Grill Smart program taking place on October 9th. I’ll end this week with a quote from Napoleon Bonaparte: “Water, air, and cleanness are the chief articles in my pharmacy”.  Have a great week. Go Bucks!

Oct. 9 – Grill Smart


Garth Ruff,

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator

OSU Henry County Extension

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