If you”ve got a lawn-care problem or want to learn more about using less fertilizer and fewer pesticides, stop by the Homeowners Field Day at the University of Wisconsin-Madison O.J. Noer Turfgrass Research Facility. The field day is set for Aug. 23 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and it”s free. The facility is located at 3101 County M, just north of its intersection with County PD near Verona.
The afternoon will feature tours of demonstration plots, and researchers in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences departments of Soil Science, Horticulture and Plant Pathology will lead workshops on an array of turf topics. Emeritus professor Bob Newman will provide lawn-care advice at an ask-the-expert booth.
The demonstration plots show how different mulches, fertilizers and grass varieties perform, and homeowners can see some alternatives to traditional lawns, such as a backyard prairie and ornamental grass planting. Tours of the plots will start on the hour, beginning at 1 p.m. Stops include:
? A comparison of 20 turfgrass varieties, including both cool- and warm-season grasses.
? An evaluation of 12 fertilizers commonly used on home lawns.
? A demonstration of techniques for establishing a lawn using a variety of mulches and starter fertilizers.
? A discussion on ways to renovate your home”s lawn.
? An evaluation of 16 different ways to remedy thatch on sodded home lawns.
? A plot of 60 ornamental grass varieties that will survive Wisconsin winters.
? A comparison of spring and fall planting for establishing a prairie.
In addition to the tours, there will be workshops inside the Noer Facility on fertilizers and turf diseases. Fertilizer workshops will begin at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sessions on diagnosing turf diseases will begin at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.