Tag Archives: turf

Types of Herbicides: Non-Selective VS. Selective

You need to know the difference between a non-selective and a selective herbicide before you perform or authorize any herbicide application on your property.

A non-selective herbicide kills all actively growing vegetation by contact or by a systemic mode of action (chemical transported throughout plant). As an example Round-Up (Glyphosate) is commonly used to kill all existing unwanted vegetation growing in a poorly maintained landscaped area before planting or installing desirable seed or mature plants shortly after. Residual weed control (pre-emergent herbicide, soil sterilants, etc.) should be considered when choosing the correct non-selective herbicide needed for a particular site specific vegetation control task at hand.

A selective herbicide kills only certain target plants (as specified on product label) and leaves behind all other plants virtually unscathed (dosage and timing of application dependent).  Most selective herbicides used on turf (in particular) are systemic in nature (chemical transported throughout plant).

A decision will need to be made if only a select few unwanted broadleaf weeds, grasses, vines, etc. need to be eliminated or if everything growing in a particular target area will need to be controlled.

As always, please consult an industry professional for proper target plant identification and best available control options (organic, synthetic, contact, systemic, dosage, mechanical, cultural, etc.) before any/all pesticide applications are performed.

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Would you like to apply a crabgrass preventer to your lawn or plant grass seed……… please pick just one!

The challenge we turf grass managers face every spring season (in particular) is that in order to prevent the annual unwanted grassy weed called crabgrass from growing in a lawn we either need to maintain great turf grass density to stop undesirable crabgrass (seed) from ever germinating in open soil or we need to apply a preventative herbicide to create a short lasting “barrier” that will stop any/all crabgrass seed from growing or fully maturing.  Even when we have decent overall lawn density and have applied a pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide there is still a strong possibility that crabgrass will grow in weakened lawn areas like those found in heavily compacted soil areas, lawn areas cut too short (usually along curbs, roads, walks, base of trees, etc.), areas that are exposed to extreme heat for long periods of time or lawn areas that were simply left bare (not repaired) from growing seasons past.

When a granular pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide is applied it will generally provide between 6-10 weeks of crabgrass protection.  The life of this synthetic “crabgrass barrier” is dependent on the amount of rain or irrigation following the application and the amount of possible soil disturbance that takes place (post application).  The lower the amount of soil surface disturbance or lessor water applied will extend the life and effectiveness of a crabgrass pre-emergent herbicide application.

No grass seed should ever be planted in a lawn that recently had a pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide applied (+/- 6-10 weeks post application).

The majority of crabgrass pre-emergent herbicides will not allow desirable grass seed to germinate over the course of its effective 6-10 week life span.  The crabgrass herbicide has no way to distinguish between unwanted crabgrass seed and desirable grass seed.  We highly recommend applying a crabgrass pre-emergent herbicide in the spring and planting grass seed mid-August through September especially in full sun exposed lawn areas where crabgrass is more prevalent.

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A few proven ways to rebuild lawn density

Lawn renovation is the process of rebuilding your lawn’s density by mechanical and manual means.  To begin we normally core aerate all lawn areas to relieve soil compaction and allow for improved air-water-nutrient flow to the existing lawn’s root system.  After all lawn areas have been aerated, we will mechanically slit-seed across all existing thin/stressed lawn areas.  Mechanical slit-seeding is the process of planting site specific premium grass seed directly into the soil by slicing through a weakened stand of turf grass.  This service ensures great seed to soil contact which translates into excellent germination rates.  After all existing lawn areas have been mechanically slit-seeded, we will apply a granular seed starter fertilizer that is especially high in phosphorus to all lawn areas to further enhance the seed germination process.  Next we will repair all remaining completely bare (little or no grass) areas by delivering and installing additional top soil (1/2”- 1”), plant premium grass seed and install seed germination blanket or peat moss covering to complete the bare area repairs.  The absolute best time (in my opinion) to perform these services will be from mid-August through September.  Actually, it is only during this time of the growing season that we have optimum seed growing conditions (warm soil temperatures, less weed competition, little chance of frost or freezing temperatures, adequate natural rainfall and cooling temperatures).   The spring season will be the next best time of the year to renovate a lawn, especially for lawns partially covered by shade tree canopies.  It is only in the spring season that trees have not yet fully grown their leaves and greater seed germination/plant vigor can be derived from this short term abundant sun light.  Lawn renovation services in addition to properly scheduled mechanical maintenance, lawn fertilization, weed control and insect management will greatly enhance any failing stand of turf grass over a short period of time.

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