you know that fall is the perfect time to treat for spring weeds? Summer
herbicide applications have likely burned down top growth, but weeds will
reappear once air and soil temperatures start to drop. With warm days and cool
nights, weeds begin to store energy and send it to the crown and roots — and
the herbicide moves with it, making it an ideal time for application. Many
annuals and perennial weeds will be present on golf courses and turfgrasses during
this time, giving you the perfect opportunity to attack a broad spectrum of
weeds. Follow these handy steps to create a fall weed control plan:
waste time and money trying to control the wrong weeds. It’s important to know
your offenders ahead of time. Here are some weeds you can target with a fall
annuals, including chickweed, henbit and speedwell. They germinate in late
summer and fall, survive through the winter and produce seed in the spring.
weeds, such as dandelion, white clover and broadleaf plantain. They live for
more than two years and reproduce by seeds, which are spread readily by wind,
or attaching to mowers, or foot traffic. It is best to use systemic herbicides
as they control the plant — roots and all.
weed hot spots
the places where you’ve had difficulties controlling weeds in the past. The
growth stage of the plants in these problem spots will indicate when in the
fall you should start your broadleaf weed control program.
the proper herbicide
If you make your application prior to germination, you’ll want to use a preemergence herbicide, such as Dimension® or Gallery® specialty herbicide. Gallery prevents broadleaf weeds that germinate in the fall, winter and spring. Dimension controls crabgrass and other grassy weeds.
In the North, golf course superintendents (GCS) can make preemergence applications as early as Labor Day. In warmer climates, GCSs can apply as late as October. If you are targeting perennials or weeds that have already germinated, try Defendor® specialty herbicide, a postemergence herbicide that works at preemergence timing. When applied in late fall or early spring, it will eliminate plant growth and prevent bloom.
This step gives you your application window for the most effective control. Preemergence herbicides should be applied two weeks prior to weed seed germination. If you are using a postemergence herbicide, such as Defendor, you can make applications into late November.
highly effective for postemergence broadleaf weed control for golf course
superintendents (GCS) in established cool- and warm-season nonresidential turf.
It is an ideal choice for applicators who work on golf courses, parks, commercial
sites, school grounds and more. Confront provides superior control of more than
35 difficult-to-manage species, including thistle, black medic, clover,
dandelion, ground ivy, oxalis and wild violet.
Depending on environmental conditions, one application can provide eight to 12 weeks of control, saving you product and labor costs associated with repeat treatments. You can depend on Confront to knock down weeds, roots and all. Confront works by penetrating the tough outer-leaf coating of emerged weeds before moving through the plant to the roots, keeping your course pristine — by keeping noxious weeds out.
Holt, owner of Golden Landscaping and Lawn in Orem, Utah, had a problem: It was
too hot. As summer temperatures rose above 90 F, Golden Landscaping lacked a
postemergence herbicide that could withstand the heat. At the same time,
secondary water and reclaimed water sources were washing seeds on lawns and
commercial properties, littering otherwise-grassy lawns with dandelions, clover
and black medic.
reduce callbacks and save on cost, Holt would need to implement both innovative
business practices and a herbicide program that could stand up to heat and
weeds alike. Read on to learn how Holt streamlined his business — and, in the
process, cut his callbacks by nearly 95%.
Assessing the Problem
tackle the problem at hand, Holt first needed to assess the situation.
“Year-round, we used both pre- and postemergence herbicides, but we lost track
of control because we didn’t have products that worked in the heat,” Holt said.
“At best we tried to fertilize and spot-spray before it got too hot in the day,
but our portfolio just wasn’t effective in those summer conditions. So, in the
past, we didn’t perform a summer application.”
and the team were diligent, but challenges remained. “We were servicing a large
church at the time with a lot of congregants, and all it takes is one or two
people to complain,” Holt said. “We started getting callbacks.” As time went
on, fielding complaints became an increasingly expensive process. “We offer a
full-service contract, so we need to avoid those callbacks. If it takes an hour
to drive to the property and an hour to drive back, that’s two hours spent
fixing a problem — not to mention the time spent spraying,” he said.
the end, a single customer motivated Holt to consider new strategies. “We had
someone call and tell us we would have their business for a long, long time if
we could provide them with control each season. They said: ‘You guys would be
rock stars if you could get rid of the weeds and dandelions in the grass,” he
said. Holt accepted the deal — and began hunting for new solutions to avoid
bringing in old, costly challenges.
Outside the Box
upgrade his operation, Holt turned to a local distributor sales representative,
who referred him to Corteva Agriscience Territory Manager Frank Santiago. “I
came to our sales representative and to Frank and said: ‘There’s got to be some
product out there that can help us,’” Holt said.
Santiago was able to point Holt toward Defendor® specialty
herbicide. “We decided to try applying Defendor in late fall and early spring
as a preventive solution rather than a reactive solution,” Holt said. “It was
the first out-of-the-box solution we tried.”
results? “We’ve been using Defendor for three years now, and we’re impressed
with the product,” Holt said. “With typical postemergence spraying, you can
kill existing weeds, but won’t stop new ones from blooming.” Now, the Golden
Landscaping and Lawn team is able to manage dandelions and other weeds before
didn’t stop there, however. He also invested in Dimension® specialty
herbicide, applying the preemergence herbicide in the fall to prevent excessive
postemergence applications in spring, shifting some tasks away from that busy
time of year. Together, Defendor and Dimension allowed Holt to service
contracts more efficiently, reducing both the number of callbacks and the cost
of multiple applications on the same property, while spreading out his
Upgrading to GameOn® specialty herbicide
Defendor and Dimension provided Holt with additional control, Golden Landscaping
and Lawn was still in need of a herbicide that allowed lawn care operators
(LCOs) to spray throughout the summer. Enter GameOn® specialty
GameOn, Holt was restricted by products that couldn’t be applied when
temperatures exceeded 85 to 90 degrees. Because GameOn has no temperature
restrictions, Holt can now rely on its efficacy to withstand the heat, reducing
the risk of plant damage and liability.
“With GameOn, we’re able to play offense instead of defense,” Holt said. “Because the product works so effectively, I can count on my applicator to get the job done, and there’s greater insurance that it’s going to get done the right way.”
GameOn, Holt has a product that delivers exceptional broad-spectrum
postemergence weed control, providing him with a flexible solution for
summertime blooms. “With this new portfolio, we’ve got a solution for the
dandelions — and the heat — thanks to a product that tackles weeds and can
withstand high temperatures,” Holt said.
trusts Defendor, Dimension and GameOn not only because of the control they
provide but also because they help stave off costly callbacks. “A callback
might be hundreds of dollars. Our new portfolio might be a little more
expensive than generic products, but it has saved me on both time and the
amount of applications we need to do to get control. Overall, it’s less costly
for my bottom line,” he said.
Open to Change
there’s anything Holt wants other LCOs to take away from his experience, it’s
this: “Be open to change. In our industry, things are changing very rapidly —
the challenges we face now are completely different than the challenges we were
facing 10 years ago.”
admits that even he had some trouble adapting to change at first. “At first, I
didn’t believe in changing our product portfolio or our strategies. You know
how it is. You read about success, but everyone has their marketing campaigns,”
Holt said. But he continued to listen and learn. For instance, Holt drove hours
away to see multiple product trials, and he even called a video testimonial
interviewee to verify if Defendor and other products were effective. “It was
helpful to get that boots-on-the-ground viewpoint. I wanted to talk about what
it was and what it did,” he said.
the end, Holt took all the information available and decided to innovate.
Looking back, Golden Landscaping and Lawn has never been better off. “In our
line of work, our industry, we have a lot of issues we have to contend with,”
Holt said. “Let’s tackle them instead of looking the other way. Some people
shrug and say: ‘Dandelions are dandelions.’ I say: ‘Dandelions might just be
dandelions, but it’s our job to adapt to them, look at them in a new light and
provide our customers with the control they deserve.”
or Toxicodendron radicans, is one of many environmental hazards
lawn care professionals face each day, but its risks shouldn’t be overlooked. According to the American Academy of
Dermatology, about 85% of the population is allergic to the plant and one can
develop sensitivity to it at any time. So most people are susceptible to its
toxins. Because poison ivy grows virtually everywhere in the United States,
except Alaska and Hawaii, this toxic plant can be a serious issue. Here are
some tips on how to control poison ivy and protect yourself, your crew and your
customers from the painful, itchy rash.
identifying poison ivy in the field is crucial to prevention. Because it takes
on many different forms, it can be difficult to spot. Poison ivy can grow as a
climbing or trailing vine or a small woody shrub. The perennial broadleaf weed
does not typically invade mowed lawns, but prefers shade along fences, rock
walls and in wooded areas.
know the old adage, “Leaves of three, leave it be.” Yes, poison ivy always has
leaves that are divided into three leaflets. The lateral
two leaflets are attached directly to the leaf stem or petiole, while the
terminal leaflet is on a short leaf stalk. The leaves may vary in size, shape
and appearance — some may be smooth-sided, lobed or tooth-edged and appear
glossy or dull. Leaves are reddish in spring; green in summer; and yellow,
orange or red in fall. They have whitish-yellow berries about quarter-inch in
diameter and may have greenish-white flowers.
is the best cure
ivy plant contains an oily resin called urushiol, which causes the allergic
reaction. This oil is in all parts of the plant, including the leaves, stems
and roots, and is toxic all year. Remember: Dry leaves are just as poisonous as
the green growing plant. Here are some tips to avoid exposure:
yourself completely. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirt, gloves,
tall socks and shoes to avoid any contact with exposed skin.
your skin right away. If you come into contact with poison ivy, be
sure to clean up as soon as possible to reduce your chances of getting a rash. Wash
exposed areas with soap and lukewarm or cool water. Hot water may spread the
urushiol oil and can open your pores. Dish soap and rubbing alcohol are
effective at removing the oil.
clothing and equipment. The plant oil is sticky and very potent – only a tiny amount on the skin can cause a rash. It
is possible to develop a rash from plant oil transferred from clothing or
gloves to your tools, phone or steering wheel. Carefully remove any clothing
that may have touched the plant to avoid spreading the oil to your skin,
especially your face. Be sure to remove your gloves last. Wash clothing in hot
water and thoroughly clean equipment to remove oil.
burn poison ivy. Inhaling the smoke can cause serious injury
to the lungs. The smoke also can travel and cause health problems for anyone nearby.
If you do develop a rash – typically redness followed by
blisters and severe itching – expect it to take one to three weeks to clear up.
The good news is the rash is not contagious and can’t be spread to other people,
but avoid scratching to prevent infection and scarring. There are many
over-the-counter remedies to help relieve the itching.
Poison ivy can be removed by hand, but only when the plants are young and lack thick, woody stems. Be sure to remove the entire plant, including the roots to prevent regrowth. A herbicide can also be used to help control the poisonous plant. Confront® specialty herbicide is labeled for controlling poison ivy and should be applied when the plant is in the full-leaf stage. Because poison ivy has an extensive root system, multiple herbicide applications may be needed for effective control. Refer to the product label for application rates and directions. Confront is not labeled for use on residential turf.
Personal protective equipment, or PPE as it is commonly
referred, used to be an acronym that the average person may not have
understood. That’s not the case anymore. The coronavirus public health crisis
has cemented the term and its vital importance into everyone’s lexicon.
Clearly, PPE is extremely important in health care, but it
is equally important in our industry. Though not always popular, especially in hot
weather, PPE’s purpose is to ensure the health and safety of workers. And if
that’s not reason enough to wear it, it is also the law. An applicator is
legally responsible to follow the PPE requirements listed on the product label.
To avoid hefty fines, be sure you are following regulations.
The recommended protection will vary from product to product
based on the type of formulation, the toxicity of the pesticide and the
potential exposure to the body. Always read the label carefully to determine
the required PPE for both application and mixing. Here’s a review of the most
common PPE requirements for lawn care operators.
pesticide labels require long-sleeved shirts and long pants when mixing,
loading and applying the product. There is no exception for hot or humid
weather. Coveralls may also be listed for certain chemicals and can be worn
over a layer of clothing.
Shoes and socks
are often the minimum requirement on many labels, but comfortable waterproof
boots combined with a chemical-resistant shoe covering are a smart choice. They
can be cleaned easily at the end of the day.
your hands is essential. Most labels will specify chemical-resistant gloves ≥14
mils thick, and some may list examples of suitable types, such as nitrile,
neoprene or butyl rubber. Look for gloves that cover the hand and forearm.
glasses or goggles are important to prevent a splash, mist, particle or prill
from landing in the eye. There’s a wide array of choices available that are
comfortable, won’t fog up and stylish.
not likely listed on product labels, protect yourself from the damaging effects
of the sun. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen when working outdoors.
Cleaning and maintenance
It’s important to remove PPE as soon as possible after
completing a task.
reduce the chance of contaminating yourself, wash your gloves with soap and
water first and then remove other PPE while wearing your gloves.
any clothing that has been exposed to pesticides in detergent and hot water and
separately from other laundry. Be sure to discard any clothing that might have
been drenched or heavily contaminated.
should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s
instructions for proper maintenance.
PPE only works if it’s worn. Selecting equipment that is
comfortable to wear and easy to clean along with regular reminders of its vital
importance can help ensure a safe workplace. To learn more, visit OSHA’s Personal
Protective Equipment topics page.
Specially designed for native and naturalized areas, NativeKlean™ herbicide provides a low-maintenance solution for consistent control of broadleaf weeds. With one simple application per season, NativeKlean reduces the need for mowing and frequent herbicide applications by controlling and suppressing more than 100 broadleaf and high-anxiety herbaceous weeds.
Here are a couple ways NativeKlean helps superintendents simplify native and naturalized area management:
Long-lasting control: NativeKlean combines the advanced chemistry of aminopyralid and 2,4-D amine. With the systemic mode of action and residual activity of NativeKlean, only one application is needed throughout the year for season-long control.
Application flexibility: With a wide application window, NativeKlean can be applied in spring or fall and offers effective, long-lasting control on most herbaceous weed species found in native or naturalized areas on golf courses. It’s rainfast in two hours and does not need supplemental irrigation.
Maximum weed control: NativeKlean is a nonrestricted use product that provides three months of residual control or suppression of emerged broadleaf weeds, including Canada thistle, cocklebur, horsenettle, pigweed, plantain and ragweed.
Proper stewardship is critical to ensuring product performance, minimizing impact to environmental conditions and assures continued access to the technology. For more information on the stewardship guidelines for NativeKlean, click here.
NativeKlean will be available for purchase in fall 2019. To learn more about NativeKlean here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, @CortevaUSTurf, to be among the first to hear about all our new products coming this year.
NativeKlean is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions.
Goosegrass (Eleusine indica) is a troublesome grassy weed commonly found in athletic fields; golf tees and fairways; and in other turfgrasses that are mowed short. With a prostrate growth habit and wagon-wheel-like appearance, goosegrass competes very well with warm- and cool-season turf that is subject to intense traffic or use.
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Dimension® specialty herbicide provides preemergence goosegrass control. Here are tips to help you get goosegrass under control this spring:
For best results, apply Dimension at 0.5 lb a.i./A just prior to goosegrass germination. Make sure to base your timing on experience or soil temperatures. Apply a second application at 0.5 lb a.i./A roughly six weeks after your first application.
Working with bermudagrass? Dimension can be applied at any time on bermudagrass in wet or dry conditions, and will not delay spring greenup.
Dimension allows for overseeding six weeks after the initial application, and will also provide early-season Poa annua
Goosegrass (Eleusine indica) is a troublesome grassy weed commonly found in athletic fields; golf greens, tees and fairways; and in other turfgrasses that are mowed short. It competes very well with warm- and cool-season turf during summer months and is most competitive in thin open turf and turf subject to intense traffic or use.
Goosegrass has a prostrate growth habit and is often white to silver in the center with a wagon-wheel-like appearance. Unlike crabgrass, it does not root at the nodes but grows well in compacted soils. It is a prolific seeder; in most cases, having three to seven fingerlike racemes on a stem. A mature plant may grow 20 stems and contain as many as 50,000 seeds. Once goosegrass becomes established, annual reinfestations are likely to occur.
Applying a preemergence herbicide sequentially in the spring, with the first application prior to soil temperatures reaching a consistent 55 degrees is recommended. This timing will provide season-long control of both crabgrass and goosegrass. For control of goosegrass, use Dimension® specialty herbicide at 0.5 lb. a.i./A just prior to goosegrass germination and soil temperatures at 55 to 60 degrees.
State restrictions on the sale and use of Dimension specialty herbicide products apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. Always read and follow label directions.
Spring can’t come soon enough for much of the country that endures long winters. However, lawn care operators (LCOs) are not awoken with the sound of birds chirping but rather a throbbing headache and a need to race against the clock – or more accurately – to race against Mother Nature.
“There is a lot of pressure on LCOs to get those first fertilizer and preemergence applications of the season made before the crabgrass germinates,” Jamie Breuninger, technical leader for Dow AgroSciences, said. “The window of opportunity is slim, and they need to get to all their customers before the weather warms and the phone starts ringing with customers complaining about weeds.”
Pressure continues to build as the next big weed to make an appearance is likely the most dreaded of all — the dandelion. With its conspicuous bright-yellow blossom, it is one of the most hated by homeowners nationwide.
According to recent research conducted by Jefferson Davis, once a customer calls a lawn care company to complain, the likelihood the customer will cancel the service is more than 45 percent1 — even if the lawn care company comes out to re-treat.
Timing is everything
Timing of the first application of the season is critical. For effective preemergence control, LCOs need to make that first application in the spring before weeds begin to germinate. So, while they’re racing to get the first applications made to provide their customers’ lawns with a quick greenup and prevent crabgrass, dandelion, chickweed and clover, which have overwintered, are just waiting to bloom.
A new tool
There are many effective products on the market to control dandelions, but they typically should be applied later in spring or summer when the temperatures rise and the weeds are actively growing. What if there was a way to treat dandelion, as well as clover and other annual and perennial weeds, during the first applications of the season? Defendor® specialty herbicide is most effective when applied early in the season before dandelion and clover bloom.
“Defendor acts somewhat like a growth regulator when applied pre-bloom, because it stops the emergence of the dandelion seed head while the herbicide slowly controls the plant,” Breuninger explained. “The end result keeps the declining weed below mower height and nearly invisible to the homeowner. This weed often has a large taproot, so a second application in round two may be needed for total control, but this gives the LCOs more time to control them without ever going to flower.”
Defendor, with the active ingredient florasulam, is a liquid postemergence herbicide that can be tank-mixed with Dimension® 2EW specialty herbicide and applied at the same time your customers are putting down the first fertilizer and preemergence crabgrass applications of the season. The combination can be used on both cool- and warm-season grasses.
“The fact that there aren’t yellow blooms and seed heads covering their lawns greatly increases homeowner satisfaction with their lawn service company,” Breuninger said. “And it buys them more time to finish up the first application and come back with the postemergence second application.”
1Jefferson Davis 2012
State restrictions on the sale and use of Defendor and Dimension 2EW apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. Always read and follow label directions.
Broadleaf plantain (Plantago major) is a perennial that grows best in moist areas with full sun or partial shade, and compacted soil.
The broad, oval-shaped leaves have three to five prominent parallel veins and are attached to the root system by a fibrous celery-shaped plant.
The upright flowering stalk terminates in a long cylindrical spike head that can range from two to six inches in length. This weed produces a fairly weak root system.
Buds grow from the uppermost area of the root, producing a crown that can regenerate “new” plants even when the plant is cut off at or below the soil surface. There are no true stems; rather, the leaves are clustered in a rosette at the base of the plant.
Help your customers control broadleaf plantain with Confront® specialty herbicide or Turflon® Ester Ultra specialty herbicide. For your commercial accounts, recommend Confront to provide postemergence broad-spectrum weed control in established cool- and warm-season nonresidential turfgrasses. Turflon Ester Ultra can be used on commercial and residential sites to control actively growing weeds in ornamental turf. Broadleaf plantain is more easily controlled when applications are made to younger plants in the early spring.
Confront is not for sale or use in Nassau and Suffolk counties, New York. State restrictions on the sale and use of Confront and Turflon Ester Ultra apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. Always read and follow label directions.