Monday, August 1, 2011

Florida Betony - Control it Now

Although it is still 100 degrees in the Lowcountry, it is already time to begin to think about your fall / winter plans around the yard. In just a couple of weeks, The Sertoma Classic kicks off high school football with college and pro to follow. Volleyball season starts. Deer season, oyster eating, shrimp baiting will begin indicating another fall in the Lowcountry and those cooler temperatures we have been hoping for. Also the daylight hours are getting shorter.

The rainfall this year has been really crazy. It seems like it was no rain at all or 4 inches at once. These heavy rains tend to flush out the fertilizer that you might have spread on the yard. While driving around, I’m seeing a lot of hungry trees, shrubs and turf.

If you have had a history of Florida Betony in your beds or turf, this would be a great year to try using Dimension in your yard. Although not labeled for Florida Betony (and you know I’m a big believer in reading and following product label), many landscapers, homeowners, and myself have witnessed a huge reduction in the Florida Betony population when using this product.

If you have Florida Betony, it is definitely worth a try. I have worked with the manufacturer of the product, Dow AgroSciences, to get Florida Betony added to the label; however, with the costs testing a product and of adding a weed to a label with the EPA, I do not see them adding it in the near future. Some of the formulations of Dimension have already gone generic, so I doubt they will be investing much money into labeling of new weed species when they could spend that money on developing new products.

Since the trees, shrubs, and turf are all hungry, this would be a great time to try 15-00-15, or 23-00-08 with Dimension on your yard whether you have Florida Betony or not. This product is labeled to control many weeds including the popular weeds (annual bluegrass, henbit, bittercress, chickweed, Carolina geranium, and many more). If Florida Betony is not an issue, 16-00-08 with Pendulum or 25-00-12 with TeamPro are some other good choices. Follow up with a 00-00-07 in 8 to 10 weeks.

If you are going to apply ryegrass to your turf, you can add a preemergent product now and wait until the label says you can apply the rye. Having a good level of preemerge in your beds should prevent the rye from taking over your shrubs.

Rates and timing are critical with these applications, so always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.