Unsolved Mystery: Nutsedge Strikes Unexpectedly

Mark Schlossberg is used to solving turf mysteries on his customers' lawns. It's part of what has made his Baltimore, Md.-based lawn care company, ProLawnPlus, Inc., so successful. But last year one of the company's long-time customers developed a nutsedge problem out of the blue. The dreaded perennial weed took up residence on the lawn, covering about 40 percent of the 54,000-square-foot property. “This was not the classic nutsedge lawn scenario,” says Schlossberg, president of the company since 1991. “It’s a big wide open property with no irrigation and no swales or water problems. It’s highly unusual to see that much nutsedge on a lawn that size!”Schlossberg and his Sales Manager, Kevin Nickle, had experimented a bit with Echelon® herbicide from FMC Professional Solutions but hadn’t tried it on a customer lawn yet. They called Allan Dufoe, area Market Specialist with FMC, who set up a trial with the nutsedge-infested property. Formulated for both root and shoot absorption, Echelon controls weeds from the foliage down and the root up. Its patented dual action formula goes beyond conventional crabgrass control to provide excellent preemergence nutsedge control, as well as goosegrass.With guidance from Dufoe, one of Schlossberg’s technicians applied Echelon herbicide on fertilizer to their customer’s lawn on May 28. They timed it to coincide with a steady rain, which wasn’t a problem in the Baltimore area last spring. “I was amazed at how well it worked,” notes Schlossberg. “Echelon gave us 99 percent control of nutsedge and 95 percent control of crabgrass with one treatment. We went through most of the summer with no breakthroughs.” By early August, a few...

Blazing a Trail in the Turf Industry

As a woman working in a man’s world, Kimberly Bohn has navigated her own path through the turf industry. She earned a turf management degree from Penn State University, worked in the golf industry, and spent time as an industry distributor sales rep. In 2009, she became lawn care manager of Blades of Green, a full-service lawn care and pest management firm in Harwood, Md., just south of Annapolis. “In the last four years, I’ve done a little bit of everything,” notes Bohn. “When I started, I was out in the field a lot more. But we’ve hired five new technicians and five new office staff. Now I’m focused more on management and training.” Blades of Green’s lawn care division handles mostly residential customers, offering a five-step lawn care program, as well as tree and shrub care, flea and tick control, deer reduction service and mosquito control. Training is the Backbone of Business Bohn holds an intensive training session at the beginning of each of five rounds, in addition to weekly sessions on Tuesday mornings as a refresher for the current round and to cover any new issues. This year, those issues included major chickweed problems in Round One and Round Two, when Blades of Green applies preemergence herbicides and liquid fertilizer. Round Three issues usually include nutsedge, ground ivy and crabgrass breakthroughs. But Bohn began using Solitare® herbicide from FMC Professional Solutions about three years ago and now obtains excellent postemergence weed control. “Solitare controls nutsedge, violets, clover, dandelion and just about any weed problem we get at that time of year,” explains Bohn. “Having the ability to...

A Postemergence Application of Solitare® Herbicide Keeps Lawns Green

When Sonny Haywood and Alternative Environments Landscape Management came together in 2000, it was a match made in heaven. Operating as a single-proprietor landscape company in western Georgia for many years, Haywood frequently subcontracted his fertilization and weed control services to Alternative Environments, based in Villa Rica, Ga. The company provided complete landscape maintenance services to commercial accounts, whereas Haywood served a mostly residential clientele. “Once we got together, we began covering all the bases,” said Haywood, now director of Turf Management for the company. “I kept all my customers, so it allowed me to continue what I started.” In addition to fertilization and weed control, Haywood manages the tree and shrub division, handles flea and tick control and runs a new tree preservation division. Haywood’s approach to weed control involves crafting a “recipe” that often includes a postemergence herbicide. The company also offers pest control, erosion control and building services. “My philosophy is to never promise anything you can’t deliver,” Haywood said. “An educated customer is the best kind of customer. We are out on the properties seven times a year, whereas they are in their front yard every day. We teach them what to look for so they can provide valuable feedback.” Call-backs Can Kill You That customer feedback helps Alternative Environments keep call-backs to a minimum. “I don’t believe in call-backs,” Haywood explains. “In this industry, call-backs can kill you. If you take time to do the job right the first time, you won’t have to worry about call-backs. I use the best product available for the particular situation and the time of year.” Haywood visits...

Big Solitare® News: The All-In-One Postemergence Herbicide is Now Available in a Larger Package Size

We are excited to announce that the heavyweight weed control of Solitare® herbicide, one of our premier postemergence herbicides, is now available in a new 4-lb package which will treat up to four acres! Solitare will still be available in the original 1-lb jar as well, allowing greater application flexibility for turf professionals. An all-in-one postemergence weed control solution, Solitare herbicide knocks out sedges, crabgrass and tough broadleaf weeds in a single application without the need for tank mixing. Labeled for the control or suppression of more than 60 weeds, Solitare provides fast, visible results against postemergence weeds with symptoms appearing just a few days after treatment. What’s more, Solitare features sulfentrazone to impact underground weed reproductive structures, reducing weed populations the following season. As part of our ongoing commitment to Customer-Driven Innovation, we are always looking for ways to make our current product offerings even better. After having many turf professionals request a bigger package size so that they can use Solitare herbicide to treat larger areas, we are pleased to be able to offer this superior postemergence herbicide in a new value-priced 4-lb package. Contact your Market Specialist for more information about the new Solitare package size and other products from FMC Professional...

Research Update: Best Postemergence Treatment for Tillering Goosegrass

A good postemergence weed control strategy is something all lawncare professionals want to have in place when it comes to tillering goosegrass; a common problem in athletic fields, golf greens, tees, fairways and other areas where turfgrass is mowed short. It germinates when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit in warm-season turf and is often difficult to see in a dense turfgrass canopy. By the time it is noticed, it has often progressed to the one-to-four-tiller stage. But fear not: Research shows a tank mix of two products, Dismiss® herbicide from FMC Professional Solutions and Revolver® herbicide from Bayer Environmental Science, offers both quick and long-term post emergent control of goosegrass in warm-season turf. According to a study conducted by Dr. Fred Yelverton of North Carolina State University, best results were achieved with a postemergence combination of Dismiss at the 8 oz. per acre rate and Revolver at the 17 oz. per acre rate. Dismiss provided fast visual knockdown in as little as three days, while Revolver provided excellent postemergence and season-long control of the goosegrass.(in this case, 104 days). To learn more, visit the Dismiss® Herbicide product page or contact your FMC Market Specialist for more...

Overcoming a Large-Scale Weed Attack

In 2008, Andy McCormick became superintendent of Hanover Country Club in Ashland, Virginia. He was armed with the insights he had learned from growing up on a golf course, as well as two college degrees and eight years of experience as an assistant superintendent. But nothing could have prepared him for his first big challenge – a large-scale “attack” on his course. The fairways, roughs and tees of the 50-year-old Virginia course were full of goosegrass, crabgrasss, green kyllinga and prostrate knotweed. “In some cases there was no bermudagrass, just 100 percent weeds,” Andy said. So how did Andy wipe out the weeds? By making a spring application with Echelon® herbicide, a preemergence formulation from FMC Professional Solutions that delivers quick root and shoot absorption and a long-lasting residual with just one application. Best of all, Echelon is backed by the FMC Performance Assurance Program, which guarantees at least 100 days of control on bermudagrass. Within days of using Echelon, Andy saw results. In fact, after a few weeks, the weeds were nearly gone. Best of all, Hanover Country Club was still 95 percent clear in October. “All of this from one herbicide application that cost me $250 less than the products I had applied only on fairways the year before,” Andy explained. Andy continues to use Echelon, and the results are evident. So much so that on June 25, 2012, he fulfilled a personal goal by hosting the Middle Atlantic Section PGA Qualifier (MAPGA) for the State of Virginia at Hanover. Congratulations Andrew! Has your turf come under attack from weeds recently? If so, how did you prevent...