September 12, 2016 at 10:20 am

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year as I really look forward to the cooler weather, beautiful foliage, and Cleveland Browns football. Well, at least 2 of those things are worth the wait, right? Fall is also a great time to address issues that have surfaced throughout the growing season. This year, we have had many turf related challenges in my part of the world. We suffered turf loss in non-irrigated areas due to an extended stretch of hot, dry, and extremely humid weather. This has left many areas of patchy, ragged turf throughout the region, which have been created by insects, drought, and disease or a combination of 2 or more of those factors.

Although this causes a lot of stress to those of us that manage turf, it is also an opportunity to address and correct these problems. Aeration, overseeding, or even total renovation are some options for providing long-term solutions to our customers. Newer cultivars of turfgrasses can improve color, disease/insect resistance, and even increase drought tolerance by moving toward more drought tolerant grass varieties.

Fall is also an important time for managing both lawn and ornamental bed weeds that have taken over. Using bed pre-emergents in the fall will be a great way to get ahead of winter annual weeds, like hairy bittercress (pic below), before they germinate. This invasive weed is a HUGE problem in many landscapes/lawns. It is one of the first to flower in the spring, so it is the source of many irate phone calls and unnecessary service calls. Getting a pre-emergent down now will mitigate your exposure to many other problematic weeds and the issues that they create.

Post-emergent broadleaf herbicide uptake is increased at this time in the fall, so you can make maximum impact by a properly timed fall herbicide application. I would strongly urge you to consider using adjuvants with your broadleaf herbicides. Spraying herbicides without them is like eating a PB and J sandwich without the jelly; it’s still good, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Spray adjuvants are relatively inexpensive and will make a tremendous difference in efficacy and customer satisfaction. The last part is especially important for LCOs as customer retention often times hinges on how you finish the season.

There are many pre and post emergent herbicide options. You will have to determine which makes the most sense for your particular situation. Your ATS rep can help you find the one that is right for you. Unless I am your ATS rep, then I just feel sorry for you…

Aaron Bucci
ATS Sales Representative