The massive cleanup after a destructive tropical storm or hurricane is overwhelming. Once the flood waters recede, the first step is removing branches, leaves, trees and all the other debris littering the golf course. When that is complete, the damaged turf underneath can be evaluated. The tees, fairways and greens may be covered in sand and silt. Turf that has been submerged under floodwater suffers loss of oxygen and nitrogen and may be yellow or brown.
One of the long-term agronomic effects of flooding and storm surge is weed control. The floodwaters carry and spread weed seeds and dilute or leach previously applied preemergence herbicides. Here are some tips to boost turf recovery and minimize weed outbreaks:
silt and sediment. Depending
on how deep it is, the sediment deposit may need to be physically removed or
blasted away with high-pressure water. It can be labor-intensive, but even a
thin layer can cause long-term drainage issues.
Because the root systems have been damaged, a light nitrogen fertilizer
application will give the turf a boost and help improve nutrient and water
aerification of all impacted areas will provide needed oxygen to roots to
promote healthy growth and encourage drainage.
turf. Seed or
sod bare areas as soon as possible to establish turf and prevent weeds from
taking over voids. For best results, use proper cultural practices and
mechanical equipment to maximize seed-to-soil contact.
initial efforts focused on turf recovery and establishing new turfgrass,
increased weed pressure is inevitable. Wait until damaged turf has
significantly recovered and newly seeded areas are well established before
making herbicide applications. Always read and follow label directions. If
planning to overseed, it may be best to skip a year or delay as long as
possible to aid in Poa annua control. In coming seasons, plan to make
split preemergence and multiple postemergence herbicide applications to get
weeds under control.
turf recovery from a devastating hurricane takes time and requires patience.
Reopening the course too soon before flooded areas are dry and fully recovered
can cause more damage.
The damage caused by tropical storms and hurricanes can be devastating, but if there is a silver lining, these storms develop slowly and provide crucial advance warning.To maximize the time before the storm hits, here are the top five things you can do to prepare:
Develop an action plan. With sustained winds and torrential rain, protecting the safety of people and property is critical. Begin your plan with a safety checklist. Include specific actions that need to be taken at different times — 72, 48 and 24 hours — leading up to the storm. Be sure to include:
Identification of potentially hazardous materials — fuel and combustible storage
Location of emergency shutoff switches, including water, gas and electric
Proper storage of pesticides and hazardous equipment
Inventory and current images of course, equipment and maintenance facility
Evaluation of insurance policy to determine coverage and ensure premium is paid
Backup of computers and safe storage of valuable business papers and records
Identification of all potential flying debris (trash cans, bunker rakes, signage, tee marks, pins) for removal and safe storage
Pumping down pond levels and removal of any materials from low-lying areas
Assigning individuals responsible for actions.
Verify communication. Inform all employees of the plan. Be sure to update all current contact information. Determine how you’re going to communicate and use multiple vehicles in case one line of communication is disabled. Test the system. Include response mechanism for staff to mark themselves accounted for and safe.
Outline evacuation plan. Designate individuals who will stay on-site during the storm. Release all nonessential staff after storm preparations are complete and safely before storm makes landfall. Follow any mandatory evacuation orders from local authorities.
Stage equipment for cleanup. Confirm chainsaws and generators are operational and stored off-site and fuel is available. Fill water coolers with fresh water. Have recovery materials staged and ready for return. Make arrangements with contractors or vendors before the storm to ensure rapid response for recovery.
Practice your plan. Emergency preparedness training should be conducted for all employees on a regular basis to familiarize everyone with the plan. Prior to hurricane season, practice what to do in a real-life storm. Run-throughs can help identify any gaps or areas that need improvement.
detailed action plan can help keep people safe and aid in the quick recovery
for your course.
spring may seem a long way off, the first frost of fall is an ideal time to get
ahead of herbicide applications before the season begins next year.
The first frost of the season signals that weeds are absorbing nutrients and
are sending plant energy to the roots for overwinter storage in preparation for
a spring thaw. That process makes it a great time to apply postemergence
the herbicide will efficiently translocate from the plant’s surface down to the
weed’s root, treating weeds at this time of year can greatly improve product
efficacy and can result in more lasting control. In comparison, herbicide
treatments made prior to a frost may result in partial control of perennial
weeds, because while the green plant material is controlled and top-kill is
achieved, treatments may not reach the weed’s roots – leaving ample time for
weeds to grow back next year.
that are ideal to control around this time include:
have your solution.
that first hard frost comes, making a preemergence herbicide application also
can help prevent winter annuals from germinating. Dimension® 2EW specialty herbicide is a strong
preemergence herbicide option when temperatures approach 45°F.
these products can be used at many different times during the year, they are
also ideal as postemergence applications after or around the first frost:
GameOn® specialty herbicide delivers exceptional broad-spectrum postemergence control of more than 100 broadleaf weeds. GameOn offers three active ingredients, including Arylex® active, 2,4-D choline and fluroxypyr.
Defendor® specialty herbicide is designed to perform in cold weather. Defendor prevents dandelion bloom and controls other spring weeds before they are ever seen.
Turflon® Ester Ultra specialty herbicide controls a broad-spectrum of your toughest weeds, including ground ivy, wild violet and yellow woodsorrel.
Legals: ™ ® Trademarks of Dow AgroSciences,
DuPont or Pioneer, and their affiliated companies or their respective owners. Arylex is a registered active
ingredient. State restrictions on the sale and use of Defendor, Dimension, and
Turflon Ester Ultra apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full
details. GameOn 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.
The summer warmth that draws golfers to the course is equally enticing to disease pathogens, which thrive in hot, humid conditions. Three all-too-common summer disease concerns for golf course superintendents (GCS), especially those located in the southern United States, are pythium blight, brown patch and dollar spot. Dollar spot appears in late spring and early summer, but lasts throughout both seasons. Here are a few tips to help understand your opponent better and make a preventive fungicide plan of attack:
Know your opponents.
Three turfgrass diseases commonly found infecting greens during periods of high heat and humidity are pythium blight, brown patch and dollar spot.
capable of killing a golf course green in less than 24 hours. As one of the
fastest-moving diseases on golf courses, treating it quickly is critical to
effective control. Even a small delay in response can cause substantial turf
blight develops in high humidity conditions when night temperatures exceed 65°F
in cool-season turf or 50°F for warm-season turf, and when leaves remain wet
for more than 12 to 14 hours over several consecutive nights. Daytime
temperatures above 85°F also encourage pythium blight development in
cool-season turf, possibly due to increased stress. Excessive soil moisture and
succulent foliar growth also favor disease development.
patch, caused by
the Rhizoctonia spp fungus, can
develop when nighttime temperatures exceed 60°F and leaves on the turfgrass
remain wet for at least 10 hours. It is often severe when nighttime lows exceed
70°F and daytime highs are above 90°F. Other disease development factors
include poor soil drainage, lack of air movement, cloudy weather and heavy dew.
Management issues that encourage prolonged leaf wetness, such as overwatering
or watering in late afternoon, can also increase disease severity.
spot, an early
season disease consideration that often begins in earnest in late spring, but
is pervasive and can last all summer long, can cause permanent damage to
turfgrasses. This disease develops when nighttime temperatures surpass 50°F,
aided by the moisture caused by high humidity levels.
How to treat.
Preparation with preventive fungicide applications is always the best plan of attack when combating turf disease. A few tips:
Limit high-moisture situations when possible and when ambient temperatures are high. Minimize leaf wetness and moisture with cultural practices such as using a leaf blower or other tool to dry heavy dew on grasses.
Use a 10- to 28-day rotation of fungicides for preventive disease control, remembering to rotate modes of action and ensure adequate product coverage. Overlapping residuals with applications made every 14 days also ensures there are no gaps in disease coverage.
Eagle® 20EW specialty fungicide acts as a curative solution for more than 15 turfgrass diseases. It also can be applied before turf conditions become hot and humid to preventively protect turfgrass from infection. When sprayed, Eagle 20EW migrates upward through plant tissue, translocating to new growth, providing continuous protection as new foliage appears for up to 28 days after an application.
Fore® 80WP Rainshield® specialty fungicide provides the most cost-effective control of brown patch and black algae. It also protects against many other troublesome diseases. It is an ideal choice for summertime conditions when heat, humidity and heavy irrigation combine to create the most intense disease conditions of the year.
combination of cultural maintenance and fungicide product solutions can help
prevent and treat your most troublesome diseases.
Legals: ™ ®
Trademarks of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont or Pioneer, and their affiliated
companies or their respective owners. Arylex is a registered active ingredient.
State restrictions on the sale and use of Eagle 20EW apply. Consult the label
before purchase or use for full details. 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.
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.