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Spring/Summer weed watch

In News

Weeds to watch out for this Spring/Summer 

Just when you thought the winter weed pressures were over, we swiftly move into our spring and summer weed pressures. As temperatures rise a new crew of harder to control grass weeds move in and start to rear their heads. This can be very problematic for a LawnPrider who strives to have the best lawn in the street as the standard broadleaf herbicide they have will have little effect. In this blog we look at some of the trouble weeds you may encounter this growing season and advise how to get the upper hand.

 

Crowsfoot Eluesine Indica

Crowsfoot is an annual grassy weed and is reproduced by seed. Reaching up to 50cm in height, Crowsfoot has a very strong, fibrous root system and is a coloniser of bare or disturbed areas. The seed head consists of several short, finger-like branches radiating from the top of an erect stalk.
Leaves are shiny, green and hair free. They can be up to 9cm long.

Control

Tribute Herbicide 

Situation  

Couchgrass (common and hybrid couchgrass), Zoysia grass only.

DO NOT apply to Queensland Blue Couch, Buffalo or Kikuyu. In these varieties hand weeding, and/or painting the plant or spot spraying with Tuffweed is advised.

 

Paspalum Paspalum dilatatum 

Perennial. Summer growing. Dormant in winter. Flowers October - April.
Seeds germinate in moist warm months and seedling growth is slow, often taking 2-3 years to reach their first flowering.

A long-lived tufted grass growing up to 1.5 m tall. Its leaf blades are slightly folded at the base and are usually hairless. Its seed-heads are borne at the tips of the upright flowering stems these seed-heads have 2-11 branches (2.5-11 cm long) that are alternatively arranged along a main stalk each seed-head branch bears numerous small flower spikelets that are covered with hairs.

Control

Tribute Herbicide 

Situation

Couchgrass (common and hybrid couchgrass), Zoysia grass only. Apply Tribute once or twice at a 14-day interval following an application of an DSMA product at label rate. 

DO NOT apply to Queensland Blue Couch, Buffalo or Kikuyu. In these varieties hand weeding, and/or painting the plant or spot spraying with Tuffweed is advised. 

 

Summer Grass Digitaria sanguinalis 

Summer Grass is a common weed in Australia’s lawns and gardens, as well as invading bushland in many regions. It is a very fast growing weed which sends out its shoots in all directions from its centre. It spreads through its stolons, and its stems can be brown or red in colour, with thin grey-green leaves, and fine spiky seed heads that shoot upwards. A prolific seeder, Summer Grass should be removed from lawns when first noticed. 

Situation

Couchgrass (common and hybrid couchgrass), Zoysia grass only products containing the active DSMA can be used. 

DO NOT apply to Queensland Blue Couch, Buffalo or Kikuyu. In these varieties hand weeding, and or painting the plant or spot spraying with Tuffweed is advised.

Bahia Grass Paspalum notatum 

This mat-forming plant spreads across the ground surface like many other turf grasses. It produces thick, fibrous stems that are held flush with the soil surface. Leaves and deep fibrous roots are produced at very short intervals along these stems. The soft leaves can be up to 30cm long and 3-12 mm wide but are usually shorter when growing in regularly mown areas.

During late spring, summer, and early autumn it produces vast quantities of upright flowering stems 20-80 cm tall. The flowering stems are usually topped with a V-shaped seed-head that consists of two branches, each 3-15 cm long (although seed-heads with three branches are also rarely found). Numerous small flowers (2.5-4 mm long) are borne along the seed-head branches. 

Situation

Couchgrass (common and hybrid couchgrass), Zoysia grass only products containing the active DSMA can be used. 

DO NOT apply to Queensland Blue Couch, Buffalo or Kikuyu. In these varieties hand weeding, and or painting the plant or spot spraying with Tuffweed is advised.

Observations and comments. 

As you can see by the above information control of these particular grass weeds can be challenging in certain varieties as turf registered selective herbicides for use aren’t always safe across the board and can cause damage to your turf variety if not listed on the label. Basically, if you have a variety outside Green Couch and Zoysia, a little bit of elbow grease is best practice. This allows you to minimise damage to your lawn, and by hand weeding you are removing the plant and potential seed head, therefore the risk of further seed germination from these weeds is lower. 

Be Proactive. 

The grass weeds above can produce seed heads relatively quickly and are very fertile, meaning for every seed produced there is a high chance this will result in another plant being produced. One way to break this cycle is to be proactive and use pre-emergent herbicides. 

What is a pre-emergent?

Pre-emergent herbicides form the backbone of any weed control program for your lawn. Pre-emergent herbicides work extremely well when the timing of your application is right. They work by forming a barrier just under the soil surface that a weed will try and grow through after germinating. This barrier then interrupts the weed seedling and alters the growth process, and thus works to prevent the weed from establishing. For this to work effectively pre-emergent herbicides need to be applied at the right time before temperatures rise.

Note.

Pre-emergent herbicides will not control already established weeds, only prevent them!

LawnPride offers three forms of pre-emergent herbicides to suit warm season grass varieties and can be found here https://lawnpride.com.au/collections/pre-emergents  Please ensure you read the label and use correct PPE when applying.

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