Nutsedge Control in the Transition Zone

Published online: Feb 20, 2017 Chemicals

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 nothing is ever happy all the time,” adds Rockwell. “If you don’t plan ahead for the problems that arise each year, you’ll be left with major weeds like nutsedge in the most stressful time of year,” he notes. “That’s why we appreciate products like Echelon that help us do our jobs well.”