August 30, 2012

It's About To Get Ugly Out There....

We have had a terrible summer for weeds in the tightly mowed turf areas, mostly collars, approaches, and fairways.  Most of these were able to take hold in the spring with so much dead grass out on the course early on as a result of the dry, open winter we experienced last year. 

Most of the weeds were eventually choked out by the turf as it filled in, except for one.  Prostrate knotweed popped up early in the summer (May for the most part) but didn't really start taking over until the middle of July or so.  Unfortunately, looking back I wished we had sprayed the fairways and collars a little more extensively early in the summer than just the few small spot treatments that we did.  The knotweed has become out of control in a few areas.

We sprayed the last summer application on the fairways this week with our typical mixture of Civitas, growth regulator, and fertilizer.  In this last one however we added another product to the mix, a herbicide called Sterling Blue.  Although it has a very low use rate (4oz/acre, think spraying out half of a pop can over an entire football field) it is a rather potent and very cost effective formulation that will hopefully knock down some of the knotweed this fall and give the turf the ability to start filling those areas in before winter. 

That being said, we are about to find out exactly how much knotweed is out there.  It has already started to turn a little white and curl up a bit, and hopefully will go to yellow and then brown in the coming weeks.  When that happens, there are going to be some pretty ugly spots out in the fairways throughout the fall as the turf takes back over those areas.

Hole 9 fairway, pretty thick

The knotweed in the approaches drives me absolutely crazy.  If I had enough
time I would go out and pull it all by hand.  Definitely learned my lesson
this year, I bet next spring we nail the weeds a little earlier....

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