Immediate Irrigation Improves Turfgrass Safety to Postemergence Herbicides

in HortScience

Summer annual grassy weeds such as goosegrass (Eleusine indica L. Gaertn.) continue to be problematic to control selectively with postemergence (POST) herbicides within turfgrass stands. In recent years, reduced performance by certain herbicides (e.g., foramsulfuron), cancellation of goosegrass-specific herbicides (e.g., diclofop-methyl), and cancellation and/or severe use reductions of other herbicides [e.g., monosodium methanearsonate (MSMA)] have limited the options for satisfactory control and maintenance of an acceptable (≤30% visual turfgrass injury) turfgrass quality. Currently available herbicides (e.g., topramezone and metribuzin) with goosegrass activity typically injure warm-season turfgrass species. The objectives of this research were to evaluate both ‘Tifway 419’ bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. ×Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy] injury after treatment with POST herbicides, and to determine whether irrigating immediately after application reduces turfgrass injury. Treatments were control (± irrigation); topramezone (Pylex 2.8C; ± irrigation); carfentrazone + 2,4-D + dicamba + 2-(2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy) propionic acid (MCPP) (Speedzone 2.2L; ± irrigation); carfentrazone + 2,4-D + dicamba + MCPP in combination with topramezone (± irrigation); metribuzin (Sencor 75DF; ± irrigation); mesotrione (Tenacity 4L; ± irrigation); simazine 4L (±irrigation); and mesotrione + simazine (± irrigation). Irrigated treatments were applied immediately with a hand hose precalibrated to apply 0.6 cm or 0.25 inch (≈6.3 L). Visual turfgrass injury for combined herbicide treatments for the irrigated plots was 6% 4 days after treatment (DAT), 12% 1 week after treatment (WAT), 17% 2 WAT, and 6% 4 WAT, whereas nonirrigated plots had turfgrass injury of 14% at 4 DAT, 31% 1 WAT, 35% 2 WAT, and 12% 4 WAT. Irrigated pots had normalized differences vegetative indices (NDVI) ratings of 0.769 at 4 DAT, 0.644 at 1 WAT, 0.612 at 2 WAT, and 0.621 at 4 WAT, whereas nonirrigated plots had the lowest (least green) turfgrass NDVI ratings of 0.734 at 4 DAT, 0.599 at 1 WAT, 0.528 at 2 WAT, and 0.596 at 4 WAT. These experiments suggest turfgrass injury could be alleviated by immediately incorporating herbicides through irrigation.

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author. E-mail: rakerr@g.clemson.edu.

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