“Plants get sick, too”
I spent the morning doing two workshops (with the above title) with 6th graders where they had the opportunity to do some hands-on stuff with viruses, bacteria, fungi, and nematodes. Every year, this activity gives me a renewed appreciation for teachers, especially middle-school teachers, as I’m pretty wiped out right now after a mere 4 hours. Kids love plants, though, and in they end they start to enjoy the pathogens, too. All of you reading this webpage can help get kids interested in plants and biology, too, by pointing out flowers, different kinds of leaves, insect galls on trees, planting grass seed in a pot for a kid to grow in a windowsill, etc.
That's my warm & fuzzy thought of the day.
With the kid-induced exhaustion, I’m not feeling too creative about turf diseases.
The weather is still unusually cool. Dollar spot is out there, and we are still seeing lingering symptoms of large patch and spring dead spot.
Wet conditions in some areas are making me worry about root establishment. When soils are water-logged and roots are deprived of oxygen, the roots can’t fully develop. Then, once summer heat and drought set in the turf just can’t take it. For cool-season grasses in Kansas, we grow most of our roots in spring and then do what we can to keep everything going through July and August.