Effective weed control before seeding is essential for proper turfgrass establishment because competition from weeds can cause sward establishment to fail (Dunn and Diesburg 2004; Patton et al. 2009). Herbicides are a vital component to weed management in turfgrass; however, limited research exists on weed control at the time of seeding despite the common practice of reseeding immediately after herbicide application (McElroy and Martins 2013; Wagner and Nelson 2014).
Commonly used products for postemergence broadleaf weed control, such as 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), dicamba, triclopyr, or methylchlorophenoxypropionic acid (MCPP), are only recommended for application after turfgrass seedlings have emerged and tillered (Askew and Hipkins 2005; Willis et al. 2006). Most herbicide labels recommend waiting for a defined period of time before seeding; applying herbicides before seeding can affect germination and growth of seedlings (Johnston et al. 2016; Kaminski et al. 2004; McElroy and Breeden 2007).
In Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas, application of the postemergence broadleaf herbicides aminocyclopyrachlor or 2,4-D + dicamba + MCPP, at different rates at 0, 2, 4, or 6 weeks before seeding perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) resulted in similar establishment compared with nontreated turfgrass and suggested no seeding delay was required after application (Workman et al. 2012). Another study, by Li et al. (2015), found that combination products used for broadleaf weed control, such as sulfentrazone + quinclorac, carfentrazone-ethyl + quinclorac, and sulfentrazone + prodiamine, were safe to apply at the time of buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) seeding and effectively minimized weed pressure.
The introduction of new combination products raises concerns regarding the delay in seeding required after application. Herbicides with multiple active ingredients from different chemical families could increase efficacy, but hinder the establishment of newly seeded turfgrass. Information is needed on postemergence broadleaf combination herbicide products and their effect on tall fescue establishment. Therefore, the objective of this research was to determine the influence of combination herbicide products used for postemergence control of broadleaf weeds on the establishment of tall fescue seeded between 0 and 14 d after application.
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