Soil Treatment Works "Like a Charm" on Pythium Root Dysfunction

I've been superintendent for the Ocean City Golf Club in Ocean City, Md., for three years now. We have two golf courses – the Seaside and the Newport Bay — for a total of 36 holes. We have 19 USGA-spec greens, 10 greens that are straight push-up and nine that are an 80-20 mix. But I handle preventive disease control the same way on all of them. Before joining Ocean City club, I worked for Ruark Golf Management Group, handling maintenance responsibilities at several of their four Eastern Shore golf courses. It was there I learned how to manage root Pythium pathogens. One of the superintendents I worked with at Ruark, Eric Snelsire at Glen Riddle Golf Club, taught me how to prevent Pythium root dysfunction. He showed me how to use Segway® fungicide as a soil spray about six years ago. I’ve been using it ever since. Here’s what I do: Mix the low rate of Segway (0.45 fl oz/1000 ft2) with a wetting agent and apply directly to the turf Run irrigation over the top after application to get the mixture down into the root zone Rotate chemistries to avoid resistance development. Every other application is Insignia fungicide Make a soil-applied root Pythium preventive fungicide application every month from April through September I believe in early season spore control, in addition to preventive foliar applications. Segway works like a charm in my Pythium root dysfunction program. I’m a huge fan of FMC! Did you enjoy Mike’s blog on Pythium root dysfunction? We love featuring guest posts on our blog! If you’d be interested in writing a guest...

Guest Post: Maximize earwig control with a granular insecticide.

Here in north Florida, earwig control really started getting heavy a few years ago. In the past, our customers used to see a few dead earwigs at their door step every now and then, but they started seeing them throughout the house – sometimes all the way into the second-floor bathrooms! I even started seeing them in my own home, too. Every morning, the parade of earwigs would begin in my kitchen. In general, this starts happening in late spring when it gets a little dry outside. They follow the pipes and electric lines inside the house looking for moisture. Earwigs are easily recognized by a pair of prominent appendages resembling forceps at the tail end of their bodies. They feed most actively at night and seek out dark, cool, moist places to hide during the day. Common hiding places are under loose clods of soil, in mulched garden areas, in dense growth of vines or weeds and under the loose bark on trees. While their name indicates they seek out human ears, there is little evidence to support these stories! However, they do prefer warm dark areas. Since the products we were using didn’t seem to be working on earwigs, we decided to try a new product, Talstar® XTRA featuring Verge™ granule technology. Our technicians began using it on call-backs for earwigs, applying it around pipes and the perimeters of houses. We discovered that it really rocks on earwigs! Our customers went from seeing numerous earwigs in the house everyday to seeing none – almost overnight. But what we didn’t expect were the super results we got on...

Bright Ideas: Think Your Turf Has Fungus or Nematodes? Think Again.

Nick Bright is the superintendent at Melrose Golf Club in Daufuskie Island, SC. When the Daufuskie Island resort that owned Nick Bright’s course went bankrupt, Nick and his crew kept the course open with no budget, no pro shop, some broken down equipment and often no electricity or running water. Want to save thousands on fungicide costs? Test your soil pH first. Earlier this summer, three of my greens were suffering from either a fungus or nematodes. Or so I thought. I was about to blow some serious money on fungicides when something told me to wait. After calling around, a friend asked me something I hadn’t considered – had I checked my soil’s pH? He said that sandy soil like we have on the island tends to lose pH with multiple fertilizer applications. And when the pH gets too low, the metals in fertilizer can cause severe root burning. Hence, the patchy, brown turf that looks like Pythium root rot or nematodes. For some reason, it’s not our first instinct as supers to test the soil. But take it from me, if you haven’t tested it in a while, that should be your first step. You can do it yourself with a monitor (about $400 for a good one), but I used a lab in order to get a good baseline work-up. I used Logan Labs but most state universities also offer the service. My soil’s pH came back at 5.3, but the ideal pH on bermudagrass is around 6. For a quick and cheap fix, we went out with two applications of lime at 10 lbs per...

Guest Post: Dealing with Doveweed

Denise Wartan is the General Manager of Trad’s Pest & Lawn Services in Jacksonville, Florida. An avid runner and compulsive reader, she is the mother of two teenage girls and a self-professed lover of chocolate. As General Manager of Trad’s Pest & Lawn Services, I handle a little bit of everything here in north Florida. I started as the bill collection lady for my parents’ garden center in 1989, then morphed into working in lawn care and pest control. Since then, I’ve done plenty of field –work — both indoors and out. I still go out once a week and ride with the guys, mostly for quality control. About 85 percent of our business is lawn and ornamental care. From there, we’ve branched out into general household pest management and termite work. Approximately 95 percent of our accounts are residential customers in the greater Jacksonville region. Doveweed has been a particular problem for lawns in our area. It germinates later in the growing season than most summer annuals and has fleshy, creeping stems that root at the nodes. Our six-treatment program includes a preemergence application in early spring, but doveweed often resurges later in the summer. Our FMC Market Specialist, Bruce Ryser, introduced us to new Blindside® herbicide last year. It’s a postemergence product with long-term residual, which is unusual. We found that it really smokes the doveweed! We’re getting long-range control of doveweed, dollarweed, buttonweed and other weeds that we used to keep hitting over and over again. As a result, we don’t have to go out every month like we used to. With dollarweed, we used to...

Bright Ideas: Nick Bright Tells How He Took Control of Mole Crickets

Nick Bright is the superintendent at Melrose Golf Club in Daufuskie Island, SC. When the Daufuskie Island resort that owned Nick Bright’s course went bankrupt, Nick and his crew kept the course open with no budget, no pro shop, some broken down equipment and often no electricity or running water. Mole cricket problems? Let me tell you about mole cricket problems. Out here on Daufuskie Island (three miles from Hilton Head), it was a mole cricket carnival. Mole crickets loved our mild, moist weather and fine sandy loam. Add to that years of financial hardship that left us unable to afford chemicals, and mole crickets had it made. Over the years, I tried everything to defeat mole crickets. Orthene worked but it required multiple applications. Fipronil didn’t even phase ’em. A midnight flooding of insecticide-laced molasses worked, but it’s not very practical (what a mess). So when FMC Market Specialist, AJ Hephner, read about my plight through an ESPN.com feature and offered me a sneak peek of the company’s new greens grade insecticide, I was game. AJ gave me three acres worth of Talstar® XTRA GC, which promised ultra-fast control of surface pests, including armyworms, cutworms, fire ants and mole cricket adults and nymphs. I tried both the 100- and 200-lb rates, watering it in to ensure the root zone was reached. After about three days, my greens were clean. I then used a little bit of topdressing to help cover the old damage. I must say, Talstar XTRA GC is the fastest mole cricket product I’ve ever witnessed, and I am excited to use it again. For my...