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Our annual horticulture bus tour planned by Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners in Platte County will be held Thursday, Sept. 5. 

We will be traveling to Omaha and touring a memorial and Bioretention garden near Creighton Prep, heirloom gardens at General Crook House Museum, a rain garden and more at Dundee Elementary, and then onto Lauritzen Gardens for lunch and a trolley tour.

If you would like to join us, reserve your seat soon. The bus fills up fast. The cost is $65 per person and includes transportation, tour fees, lunch, water, and snacks. Please call the Extension office at 402-563-4901 or email kfeehan2@unl.edu for information. 

And now for some lawn tips. The ideal time of year to seed tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass lawns is fast approaching. Late August into early September is the best time to establish new lawns or overseed a thinning lawn. 

Start by purchasing quality seed from a reputable retailer. It is a slightly more expensive seed, but the extra cost will pay for itself over the year, and you can reduce the risk of introducing problem weeds or having disease issues.

Seedbed preparation, even with overseeding, is important. If a new lawn is being seeded, such as a new construction, improve soil with organic matter like compost and use tillage to relieve construction compaction.

If an older lawn is being renovated, vigorous power raking and core aeration of the old turf will improve seed to soil contact; and leaving old sod in place will help reduce weeds.

If perennial weeds, like violets, bindweed or others are an issue, apply glyphosate, such as Roundup, two weeks before seeding; then use vigorous power raking and core aeration before seeding.

For more information on improving turf in fall, go to turf.unl.edu and search for the publication with this same title. The care provided to lawns during fall is most important to have a dense, vigorous turf.

For example, early September is also the most important time to fertilize cool-season turfgrasses; and a little later in the season is the most effective time to control broadleaf weeds like dandelions and white clover.

Late summer and fall is an active growth period for cool-season grasses, with new roots, stolons and rhizomes being developed. Late summer fertilization promotes this growth to increases turf density. It also eliminates the need to fertilize lawns in early spring when soils are too cold for active root growth.

For perennial broadleaf weeds that survive from year to year, an application of a herbicide made from mid-September up to late October is more effective than applications made during spring and summer.

Use a broadleaf herbicide containing two or more active ingredients to control dandelions, plantain, wild violets, clover, black medic and other perennial weeds. For the most effective control, identify the weeds you have to select the most effective herbicide combinations.

Read, understand and follow all directions on the herbicide label. As always, be careful when using these products because they can damage desired vegetation such as flowers, trees, shrubs, or vegetables.

Kelly Feehan is a community environment educator for Nebraska Extension in Platte County.

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