In Delaware, finding effective and acceptable herbicide options can be challenging. Businesses such as Lawns Unlimited in Milton are required to follow strict rules when it comes to applying these products.
With roughly 3,000 service accounts, owner Ed Fleming strives to balance environmental considerations with business advantages and customer satisfaction.
In early 2014, Fleming discovered new options for herbicides that could be applied in early spring to control winter annual and perennial weeds.
As a result, he decided to treat 450 acres of residential turf with a mix of Dimension® 2EW specialty herbicide at 1.5 pt./A, Defendor® specialty herbicide at 0.25 pt./A, and Gallery® 75DF specialty herbicide at 1 lb./A. He started applications on Feb. 16, 2014 (the first day of the year lawn care operators are allowed to make herbicide applications in Delaware), and he finished after the snow melted in March. He made a second application of Dimension 2EW at 1 pt./A in mid-April.
The program targeted grassy weeds such as crabgrass, dallisgrass, goosegrass and foxtail, as well as broadleaf weeds, including dandelion, clover, chickweed, spurge and red sorrel.
“Homeowners prefer a weed-free lawn, and this program kept weeds from showing up in the first place,” Fleming says.
Dimension 2EW controls the grassy weeds, including crabgrass both preemergence and early postemergence. The wide application window allows more time to make applications.
Defendor, which can be applied early in the season, controls high-anxiety weeds, such as dandelion, before bloom — reducing callbacks and minimizing complaints.
Gallery offers a broader spectrum of broadleaf weed control. It also prevents weed breakthroughs and reduces the need for postemergence applications.
“These products went down in March, and we continued to see control through the fall,” Fleming says. “This combination reduced the amount of callbacks, ultimately giving us more opportunities to focus on other aspects of the business.”
No off-target concerns
The sandy and loamy soils common in the Delaware Peninsula make Fleming’s lawn care program even more challenging.
“These types of soils have a tendency to leach, but with Gallery, you don’t have to worry about phytotoxicity to nearby ornamental trees, shrubs and landscape beds,” Fleming says.
Gallery can be used on more ornamentals than any other preemergence herbicide on the market. When applied according to label directions, Gallery can be used on 714 field-grown ornamentals and 562 container-grown ornamentals, perennials, ground covers and ornamental grasses.
In the past, Fleming also would purchase a dozen 30-gallon drums of Battleship herbicide each summer for follow-up postemergence applications. In 2014, he purchased only one.
“Now, with Dimension, Defendor and Gallery, we don’t have to worry about applying broadleaf postemergence herbicides in the summer. It’s easier on the applicator and on the turf,” Fleming says. “And we’ve reduced our total herbicide load.”
Dimension 2EW and Defendor are sold in a “Value Pak.” Gallery® specialty herbicide is available as a dry flowable and as a suspension concentrate.
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.