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Truth About Weed Control
by Rick Orr
A customer wrote:"I see that the dollar weed is all but gone but what is the other turf/grass/sod/weed that is infused with the Floratam and what’s to be done?"
Good question because it addresses a serious problem with lawns in Pinellas county – the problem of a having a weeds mixed in with turf The short answer is there is nothing available from any source that you can “spray today and weeds will be gone tomorrow”.
People think that by hiring a lawn spraying company that they will “spray today and weeds will be gone tomorrow”. Simply put, the technology to spray a lawn and rid it of everything but St Augustine does not exist.
Truth about Herbicides
What we do have is a set of diverse herbicides – one herbicide for this weed and another for that weed and nothing for some weeds. In addition herbicides can negatively impact and stress the St Augustine giving a null result in the end – you killed the weeds but weakened the turf and another set of weeds return before the St Augustine can recuperate.
Weed Science is a Philosophy
My success in weed control is from my “Weed Science Philosophy” which is “Keep the St Augustine healthy and vigorous and the weeds weak and dying”. This makes weed control a process not an event. A process that takes years to complete and every kind of variable from water stress from a broken sprinkler to a bucket of mop water thrown on the lawn can restart the process.
Process not an Event
It is a never ending process. Some years I win and some years the weeds win! The customer noticed that I eliminated dollar weed from the lawn but other weeds remained. What he observed was the use of a specific herbicide to weaken and kill a specific weed. What he hasn’t noticed is over the past two years his lawn has become healthy and vigorous and he never saw the cornucopia of weeds that never flourished in his lawn because it was so healthy and vigorous (free from disease and insects).
St Augustine can Choke out Weeds
What are left are the more difficult weeds to remove – the ones that there is no herbicide available.So, “…what’s to be done?”. What is being done is that by keeping the fertility medium to medium high, killing the bugs and “discouraging” the weeds the St Augustine will crowd out and dominate the remaining weeds. “Keeping the St Augustine healthy and vigorous and the weeds weak and dying” is the best management practice for weed control in St Augustine available anywhere.
ILoveTurf.com - September 3rd, 2009
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