Turfgrass Weeds and PGR Use
Weeds are pests easily seen and recognized by many golfers, rendering their occurrence as points of criticism to the superintendent and crew. Weeds are often erroneously blamed for undesirable turf when, in truth, they are often a result of improper construction or subsequent mismanagement. In addition to being unsightly, weeds compete with turfgrasses for light, soil nutrients, soil moisture, and physical space. They also can be hosts for pests such as plant pathogens, nematodes, and insects. Certain weeds are irritants to humans when allergic reactions to pollen or chemicals occur. Unless the parameters contributing to the decline of a turf area are corrected, continued problems with weed infestations should be expected. Developing a comprehensive weed management program is covered, including weed exclusion, implementing proper turfgrass cultural practices to discourage weeds, and the use of herbicides in maintaining acceptable weed control. Related to weed management is turfgrass plant growth regulator (PGR) use. How these products work, how they are classified, and successful strategies of implementing them in a holistic plant growth and weed management program are covered with the goal of providing desirable and competitive turf stands at a reduced price. In addition, plant growth promoter products are covered along with strategies for their successful use.