Does Your Turf Have A Case Of The Goose Pox? June 24, 2014 By Todd Lowe

Your turf may look like it has chicken pox but it’s actually goosegrass plants (or other weeds) being spot sprayed.

Weeds seem to flourish in our region at this time of year. Despite our best attempts to control them, nature seems to “find a way” to survive.

Golf courses employ various techniques to manage weeds ranging from an assortment of herbicides to physical removal. In addition to these procedures, it is vital to maintain healthy turf that possesses a dense canopy to dissuade weed seed germination.

Each year grassy weeds like crabgrass, goosegrass, and tropical signalgrass lead the first assault, with sedges following shortly thereafter. Lingering goosegrass and tropical signalgrass issues have been observed during visits over the past month and sedges are beginning to emerge rapidly with the summer rains.

A common scene during many recent visits has been small, circular brown patches from herbicide spot treatments. Most of these patches have been observed in areas where difficult-to-control grassy weeds like mature goosegrass or tropical signalgrass have established within populations of desirable turf. There are few herbicides that effectively control mature goosegrass or tropical signal grass without damaging desirable turf species; thus, aggressive spot-treatment programs are often employed to control these weeds. The damage from herbicide spot treatment is generally temporary and the turf typically recovers within one or two weeks.

Source: Todd Lowe,(

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