Sedge control used to be a major challenge for Jerad Hamilton on the tall fescue lawns his company manages throughout California. “It can get pretty ugly,” says the Quality Assurance Ag Manager at Clark Pest Control, based in Lodi, Calif.
Since sedges grow faster than the lawn turf and are a lighter lime green color, they really stand out as an unattractive nuisance weed. And though sedges grow especially fast in well-watered lawns, Hamilton has lately seen them growing in areas without watering.
“They’re becoming a nightmare,” he adds. “Usually healthy lawns withstand weed pressure pretty well. But sedges manage to find their way into our California lawns no matter what. You definitely have to have the right products to control them.”
On a day-to-day basis, Hamilton travels among Clark Pest Control’s 21 branches in northern California and in the San Diego area. Since the company offers termite and pest control, in addition to commercial and residential lawn care and tree and shrub service, his job is filled with variety.
“I perform quite a bit of field training and write standard operating procedures as well as making applications for the various branches,” says Hamilton, who notes the company has 1,000 employees. “But a major part of my job is testing new products.”
Impressive Sedge Control
A few months ago, Hamilton conducted a trial with his FMC representative, Alea Miehls. He tested FMC’s Dismiss® CA Turf herbicide on a particularly problematic patch of sedge on the grounds of a school in Modesto, Calif. To say he was excited about the speed of control the product delivered is an understatement.
“It blew my mind! Dismiss CA worked twice as fast on sedge as our previous product,” Hamilton says. “And it provided knockdown on the first application, with minimal retreatment. I was really impressed with the product.”
Registered for use in Arizona and California, Dismiss CA attacks weeds on the surface, as well as penetrating the soil to prevent sedge tubers from germinating. Since it also provides postemergence broadleaf weed activity, turf managers usually see a reduction in weed populations where they’ve treated for sedges.
After seeing the outcome of the trial, Hamilton began rolling out Dismiss CA to several other Clark branches. He wanted to see how it worked before offering it as a standard treatment for sedges.
“We’ve had great results,” he adds. “We’ll be rolling Dismiss CA out company-wide soon.”