An Open Invitation to come speak at MSU Turfgrass Seminar

For those who do not recognize the photos below; they are of the renowned Starkville eatery Bulldog Deli.  As you can see there are major changes happening.  After years of service this location will now be Bullydog Burger Co (still under the management of the same restaurant group, but a new dining concept).

The reason I bring this up is that for the past 16 years this is the location I have taken our Turfgrass Seminar Speakers to dine before Turfgrass Seminar.  I am sure that I have probably eaten with over a hundred speakers in that time period.  The last may have been MSU turfgrass Alum turned realtor Jerome Nettles.  I am not sure who the first was.  It would have been in January of 2000 with Dr. Krans, and Dr. Goaley.  I remember MSU Alumnus Jonathan Harris was one of our speakers that semester.

Turfgrass seminar is one of the threads that keeps our MSU Turfgrass alumni network strong.  It allows alumni to come back and share what they have been doing and what they have learned since leaving MSU.  It gives the students a chance to build their network by interacting with the speaker and many speakers find it is a great way to recruit potential co-op students or employees.  Sage advice has been passed out from “Nitrogen and Water are the 2 best plant growth regulators we have!” to “NEVER fool around with a member’s wife”

I need speakers for seminar this spring.  We usually use some of the early seminar to prepare for turf bowl but beginning February 25 to April 21 I need speakers every Thursday night at 6:30 pm.  If you can get here around 5 pm I will treat you to a sandwich someplace close to campus, maybe at the Bulldog Burger Co. (@BulldogBurgerCo on twitter).   If you are planning a baseball weekend in Starkville, starting it off with Turfgrass Seminar is a great plan.  The Baseball Bulldogs have home series the weekends of February 26: March 10 (Oregon); March 24 (Georgia); April 1 (Ole Miss); April 15 (Texas A&M, Super Bulldog Weekend).  If you cannot make it this spring perhaps next fall.  Dr. McCurday, Dr. Baldwin and I would love to see you!    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year #HailState


Where does this guy Scott Live?


 I am a college basketball junkie, have been for a long time, so I have been watching a lot of basketball the last week or so (Go Badger’s and HailState Hoops).  About every hour there seems to be an advertisement for Scott’s lawn products featuring Scott, the Scotsman, although I think he should be in a kilt and not just a plaid shirt.   The guy is everywhere, even in my local Lowes store.  He’s telling me it is time to feed my lawn.  I am trying to figure out where he lives.  In the commercial his turf and his landscape seems to be in wonderful form except for his neighbors  grass that is whispering “ feed me” .  Pretty sure he has never seen Little Shop of Horrors.  If my grass was whispering “feed me” I think I would move.  I can’t think of anyplace but a narrow band in the northern transition zone that might need fertilizer plus PRE product right now maybe in Kentucky or Southern Ohio or on the West Coast.  Checking soil temps in northern IL I see they still have not cracked 40, and I am pretty sure that things are similar in the cool season grass zone. 

In my Mississippi Lawn bermudagrass is just starting to wake up and put out a few tender blades.   The soil temps hit 50 a few weeks ago (March 1) and I put out my PRE then, on a calcined clay carrier as my grass is far from needing any fertilizer.  I like to wait until it is fully green and I have mowed it a couple times.  I am talking mowed the grass and not a few renegade weeds.    

With all the concern about nutrient pollution should Scott’s be encouraging home owners to put out fertilizer, particularly N that their dormant or nearly dormant grass does not need?  In my patchwork experimental  lawn my zoysia grass is coming on, maybe 30% green, my bermudagrass and St. Augustine grass are just barely active.    This is certainly good marketing on Scott’s part, but even though they market nationwide these are cool season grass products that have little business being marketed in warm season grass regions.  The photo is from my Starkville Lowes Store.  Our grasses probably don’t need any fertilizer for at least another month if not two, save for the few  tall fescue lawns that may exist in northern Mississippi.  Also the concept of feeding your lawn twice for the season is just not adequate for our long summer growing season where we need at least 3 applications of fertilizer. 

It’s probably not too late to get a good PRE out.  I would either spray it or use a neutral carrier product.  Our local Co-op carries a prodiamine plus sulfentrazone product that would be a good application now.    A PRE on a 0-0-20 fertilizer would be a great product but I do not see that available to the homeowner.  You may have some crabgrass already germinated but we might get lucky with a late frost.  If crabgrass is a problem you can use some quinclorac POST.  Remember feed your lawn when it is ready. 

So tell me, where do you think Scott Lives?