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This is a common question many turf managers will be asking before herbicide applications this summer. Responsible pesticide applicators will always read and follow label directions before applying any product. However, there is often confusion regarding the language on labels about this issue.
Occasionally turfgrass begins to thin and moss and algae begin to grow. These primitive plants develop because conditions for growing dense, healthy turf have declined. Neither moss nor algae are thought to be parasitic and both are spread by wind blown spores. Moss and algae can both form crusts on the soil surface which reduces air and water movement into the soil. Factors that favor the development of moss and algae include wet and humid conditions and compacted soils with thin turf.
The introduction of new turf herbicides will continue to enable practitioners to control troublesome weeds. In 2010, turf managers will see several new options for weed control from novel active ingredients, combination products, and label amendments. The following article contains an unbiased view on these products and discusses efficacy for turfgrass weed control.
Celsius (thiencarbazone + iodosulfuron + dicamba)
Often one of our biggest problems in the spring is fertilizing turf too early. Early application of fertilizer can lead to early green up. Though this may please the client, turf that greens up early can be more susceptible to damage by late cold weather. Early fertilization may predispose the turf to disease problems. Also, nitrogen applied too early may not be taken up by plant roots which are still dormant. This nitrogen can be lost by leaching and runoff.
Florida betony or rattlesnake weed (Stachys floridana) is a problem weed in both turf and ornamentals. Florida betony or rattlesnake weed is a “winter” perennial. Florida betony is dormant during the hot, humid summers of the South. In most of Georgia, Florida betony growth begins in early to mid fall, slows in the extreme cold of winter, and continues until late spring.
Hand-held and backpack sprayers are extremely useful for treating small turf areas infested with weeds. But they have to be calibrated to apply the recommended rate of a herbicide.
Most herbicides used in turf grasses control weeds without injuring the turf. But that depends on the rate applied. The rate is usually on the product label as the amount to be applied to 1 acre or 1,000 square feet.
For example, the highest recommended rate of Trimec Classic for Bermuda grass and tall fescue is 1.5 fluid ounces per 1,000 square feet.