Sedge Control that Works, Even After the Storm

Hurricane Sandy came onshore 50 miles north of Ocean City Golf Club in Berlin, Md., in late 2012. With almost two days of 80 mph prevailing west winds, the storm hit the 36-hole facility pretty hard. “The way our golf course sits between the bay and the coast, it was like a Perfect Storm for us,” says Mike Salvio, CGCS, superintendent for the past three years. “I had three feet of water in my office and in the shop. More than a year later, I’m still finding equipment with salt water damage.” But the worst part was debris that washed onto the golf course from the marshes. Dead grass, garbage and extraneous foliage littered the entire area. Nonetheless, at least 27 holes were passable and two days after the storm, golfers were back on the greens. “Cleanup was really tough,” adds Salvio. “Probably the biggest challenge of my career was staying positive for my crew. I focused on the things that were going right and encouraged them to do the same. If you are the leader, people feed off you. They watch you and take on your attitude.” The first golf course in the Ocean City area, the Ocean City Golf Club encompasses the Seaside course, built in 1959, and the Newport Bay course, which began play in 1998. “Seaside is more traditional — tree-lined and park-like, while Newport Bay has all the bells and whistles – water carries, back bays and water chutes,” adds Salvio, who is incoming president of the Eastern Shore Golf Course Superintendents Association. Sedges have traditionally been a problem on the Seaside course, which...

Nutsedge Control in the Transition Zone

Clumps of nutsedge on manicured fescue golf course roughs are not a pretty sight at any time of year. But they are particularly unattractive in mid-August in the Transition Zone. "The fescue plant is just trying to make it through August without any interference," says Brent Rockwell, golf course superintendent at WingHaven Country Club in St. Louis, Mo. “When nutsedge gains a foothold and becomes well established at that time of year, it’s very difficult to control.” The last thing Rockwell wants to do is make a broadcast herbicide application in the searing heat of a Missouri August. But that’s what he had to do a few years ago, before he met Jay Young, FMC Market Specialist for the Midwest. Young suggested that Rockwell make a split application of Echelon® 4SC herbicide from FMC—one in the springtime and one in early summer. “We followed that protocol the last two years and Echelon gave us excellent control of nutsedge, as well as crabgrass and goosegrass,” he notes. “A split application of Echelon works great. Since it’s a combination product, you need to go out early for the preemergence control and then later for the postemergence action.” No one pays much attention to nutsedge until it gets out of control and then it’s too late, according to Rockwell. “You need to treat it proactively to get successful results,” he continues. “Once you get those big clumps out there, they are either too established to control with traditional rates or, if you do kill them, you’re left with big dead spots on your golf course! “Growing turf in the Transition Zone means...

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...

Tackling Green Kyllinga on a Texas Prairie Golf Course

Brian Johnson has seen a lot of golf course turf in his day. A Wisconsin native who holds a degree in landscape architecture from Iowa State University, he spent eight years designing golf courses throughout the country, before coming to Waller, Texas to reconstruct the Sand Hill Farm Golf Course. Brought in to take an existing nine-hole layout from a basic design to a high-end club, Johnson remained on site after completing construction in 2009. Hired as the superintendent and general manager, he also maintains the clubhouse grounds and 10 acres of landscaped areas and is the golf professional.“When I started construction on the old golf course, the fairways were covered in kyllinga,” notes Johnson. “We sprayed the course with Roundup® three times before tilling it up and beginning construction. But in a few years, it became an issue on a lot of the holes.” Where Johnson really noticed green kyllinga was on his bermudagrass fairways and tees. A perennial sedge with narrow, grass-like leaves, green kyllinga grows more rapidly than the fairway turf, presenting unattractive spots in Johnson’s otherwise pristine turfgrass. On the advice of his distributor rep, Johnson tried Blindside® herbicide on one hole last May. The dual-action herbicide from FMC Professional Solutions works through both foliar and root uptake, providing visible control of more than 70 broadleaf weeds and sedges within a week. “We had such great success with it that we came back two weeks later and sprayed the rest of the course,” adds Johnson. “Blindside eliminated our kyllinga. Before, I was making two or three applications of another herbicide to get the same control...

Getting a Grip on Green Kyllinga

It’s tough growing turf in South Texas. Aside from the high heat, the soil is a heavy clay/sandy loam mixture that defies digging. “Up North you can stick a shovel into the soil, but down here you have to jump on it – and even then it may not move,” says George Cincotta, golf course superintendent at Riverbend Country Club in Sugar Land, Tex., just south of Houston. “In Texas we call it dirt, not soil.” Built in 1957 with Press Maxwell as architect, Riverbend underwent intensive renovation in recent years. Cincotta and his crew reshaped greens, converted fairway grasses, improved irrigation and replaced drainage. Currently, Riverbend features Mini Verde greens and 419 bermudagrass fairways, tees and roughs, with bits of fescue and seashore paspalum in the shady spots. Generally, Cincotta applies two preemergent weed applications – in spring and fall for warm-season and cool-season weeds. Last year, Cincotta had a problem with green kyllinga – a perennial sedge with narrow, grass-like leaves. “I hadn’t seen it for years and all of a sudden it popped up everywhere – even on tees,” adds Cincotta. “I knew it was time to change my spring preemergent treatment.” On the advice of his distributor representative, Cincotta applied Echelon® herbicide to all fairways and roughs – approximately 135 acres. “We sprayed Echelon in early March and I haven’t seen green kyllinga since,” says Cincotta. “It definitely controlled my kyllinga. I liked Echelon and will use it again next year.” Now that he has his tough weed problems under control, Cincotta has additional plans for enhancing his golf course, such as lengthening some holes...

Dismiss® Herbicide Now Labeled for Ornamental Sedge Control Applications

Dismiss® herbicide is now labeled for use as an ornamental sedge control option. Dismiss may be used in established container plants, around field-grown ornamentals or in landscape beds, as well as around newly transplanted containers or field-grown ornamentals after the plants have formed roots and are well established. When applied as a directed spray around the base of the plant, do not spray over the top, Dismiss herbicide provides control of yellow nutsedge, purple nutsedge and green kyllinga in just 24 – 48 hours. Dismiss attacks weeds on the surface through foliar contact, but also works through root uptake to control sedge tubers underground. As a result, nursery and landscape professionals will see a noticeable reduction in new ornamental sedge populations the following season. Studies have shown that Dismiss reduces the number of yellow nutsedge tubers the following year by 60 percent. This reduces the chance that perennial weeds – or ZOMBIE WEEDS – will take hold in nursery or landscape beds. Dismiss is available in easy-to-use 6-ounce and 64-ounce (1/2 gallon) bottles. Tolerant species include: arborvitae, rhodeodendron, azalea, holly, Norway spruce, and crape myrtle, among many others. See the Dismiss label for more information. For more information on ornamental sedge control, contact your FMC Market...