• October 26, 2020

GARDENING: Managing turfgrass weeds - Odessa American: Gardening

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GARDENING: Managing turfgrass weeds

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Posted: Sunday, October 11, 2020 12:45 am

Aggressive competitors for sunlight, moisture, and nutrients and effective multipliers even under harsh conditions, weeds present a challenge for even the most experienced turfgrass managers. The color, texture, and growth rate of weeds often contrast markedly to those of the turfgrasses they may be associated with in a lawn or sports field. Consequently, weeds detract from the uniformity of a turf and add to its maintenance requirements.

The aggressive nature of weeds and their prolific reproductive capacity enable them to invade thin, weak turf areas. Cultural practices should always be viewed as the first step to effective weed control. Always determine why weeds established a foothold and correct those deficiencies. If the basic problem is not corrected, weeds will continue to occur. An effective weed-control program also requires identification of the undesirable species as to its classification as a grassy weed, a broadleaf weed, an annual, or a perennial. Most turf weeds belong to two principal categories - grasses and broadleaf plants. Chemical controls for these two categories of plants frequently differ.

Perennial weeds live more than one year, and recover or regrow from dormant stolons, rhizomes, or tubers as well as from seed. Control of perennial weeds requires a postemergent herbicide during its season of active growth.

Effective chemical weed control requires identification of the weeds as to their classification (grass, broadleaf, sedge, etc.), life span (annual or perennial), and season of active growth (cool season or warm season). Effective chemical control also requires accurate timing of applications, proper rate of application, and uniformity of application. Always follow label directions for a product and observe all warnings and precautions relative to safety of the application. Herbicide labels should be carefully reviewed for additional details on specific uses of each product, soil and sunny locations.

For more information, call the AgriLife office at 498-4071 in Odessa or at 686-4700 in Midland, email jeanette.castanon@ag.tamu.edu or visit aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu or westtexasgardening.org.

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