Know your products limitations and special performance abilities

No one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. So, you’ve got a Winter weed problem, Clover, Flatweed, Bindii Prickle, and there’s even a few that look bad but you have no idea what they are. Most probably they are all under the general term of broadleaf weeds and will be pretty much cleared up with one of those pretty generic products (eg Bromoxynil, Dicamba, MCPA – just to name a few active ingredients) Yes they’re the ones on the shelves at the garden centres, generic and in the main, effective if applied properly.

But there are pitfalls to not fully understanding just what you are spraying, it’s no go zones, weather condition limitations, its susceptible plants bordering a lawn area, its pitfalls and its strengths. For example Dicamba is never to go on a Buffalo lawn.

There are new generation, safer active ingredients to go on a Buffalo surface, but with the new breeds of Soft Leaf Buffalos, from time to time some discoloration may occur.

Some products now are coming pre mixed with leaf wetting agents and surfactants to help a product perform in a rain interrupted treatment window. Speaking of treatment windows – How long does the product take to reach its optimal performance? Some active ingredients will do all their dirty work in 4-10 days, some products will take 20-25 days for full effect, in some cases taking up to 6 weeks. So, if you’ve applied a longer to reach full kill product, don’t lose patience and re-apply before product has run its full course. Re-applying when unnecessary just loads up grass species, putting pressure on lawns/turf in the cool time of year when it’s just trying to get through into the warmth, recovery period of Spring.

Does your product have a specialty? Do you need a specialty?

For example, Guildford grass has been treated as a hard, almost impossible species to kill. There has been available for a few years now a broadleaf weed product that not only effectively takes care of a myriad of the Winter nasties but specialises in sterilising the bulb at the base of the Guildford grass plant, best results witnessed in subsequent germination years with viable bulb numbers being dramatically reduced each treatment year/cycle. So, this product is an effective, earlier in the season product as well as an August product to begin the eradication process on the Guildford grass.

What about grasses, do some Broadleaf products kill some grass weeds as well?

Yes, there are products available that will give you a general Broadleaf result but take full notice of the information on the label as there will be some omissions, make sure one of your targets aren’t one of those. But yes, there are products that will selectively pick out grass species such as Wintergrass, nutgrass and even nutgrass. But be warned these products come at a price, you are paying for the research and product technology that provides the result.

Summing up, yes there are products out there to address almost all lawn and turf problems. The key is product understanding and a proactive, not reactive approach to your product performance abilities and the special care needed to allow that product to reach its full potential.

Right date, right rate, no she’ll be right mate when applying herbicides.