Alan Abel, a Complete Weed Control franchisee for over 30 years, talks about prevention being better than the cure ahead of a busy season.

With BTME and Harrogate a misty memory, it's the 'call to arms' for the turf managers.
After January, thoughts start turning to a drier outlook.

Probability says that a cold snap will occur during February and March, but as things stand, the ground throughout the country is well and truly saturated. Even 10mm of rainfall in a single day makes for uncomfortable feelings all around the industry.

Even the excess wetness hasn't washed away the leatherjackets or chafer grubs. These silent but deadly invisible foes of the turf manager are present just below the surface of many fairways, greens, pitches, and bowling green's etc.

In this case, prevention is a must, as when it comes to the cure it may be too late, and the grass will need months to recover.

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The prevention is using chlorpyrifos @ 1.5 litres/ha in 300 litres water with a wetter and pH buffer.

Worm control using carbendazim @ 4 litres/ha can also be carried out at the same time.

Each worm cast is a ready-made seed bed for a weed to invade, so again, prevention is better than the cure.

With the extreme wet conditions, moss is an unwelcome sight in our grass swards. It really is blooming now, and will continue to spread if left unchecked.

The temperatures up to BTME were mild, and with the combination of the wet conditions, fungus attacks were regular.

So with prevention rather than cure in mind, the healthier the plant going through any of our 'seasons', the less chance of it being attacked by outside forces.

CWC Alan Abel 1With this in mind, there are mixes available to implement a disease management strategy. Bearing in mind the SUD, integrated pest management makes us look at alternative methods of reducing pesticide use whilst still trying to achieve the best possible playing surface for players of all sports.

So, using practices to alleviate thatch, swishing to avoid damp greens and many other good turf husbandry methodologies will keep the grass stronger. While employing all these good methods and applying fertilizers, Harpin, phosphite and turf hardeners you will reduce the amounts of fungicide usage over a season.

Also, importance should be given to the soil as this is the medium that is expected to grow the grasses.

Soil sampling is recommended to ensure the right amount of NPK and trace elements are being applied.

With regards to broad leaf weeds in turf, there is a tendency to spray early for over-wintered daisy for instance. That is tempting, especially with the Masters around the corner with its pristine fairways etc, and the 400 greenkeepers, sorry members, in the bar watching the pictures from tropical Augusta.

But better results are achieved by waiting for the first real growth flush. There is no date for this occurrence - it's just waiting for the right soil temperature and perfect day to spray.

This is where your local Complete Weed Control franchisee can help and spray just in that 'window of opportunity', and take all the hassle associated with the accurate application of pesticides away from you.

For more information, please contact Complete Weed Control's National office on 01325 324 277 or visit www.completeweedcontrol.co.uk

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07973 394037

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