Spotlight on Southeastern Michigan: Early Season Application Best Practices
There is a ton of information out there, but sometimes you just want information tailored to you. If you work on a course in Southeastern Michigan, check out these early season application best practices to keep your course on track for the season.
#1. Do a Poa annua seedhead suppression application. One of the first spray applications undertaken in Michigan and several other locations each year is an application of a plant growth regulator (PGR) for Poa annua seedhead suppression. Depending on the weather, you can use a combination of Bayer Proxy at 5 oz /1000 sq ft, plus ArmorTech PGR 113 at .125 oz/1000 sq ft, March 15th-April 15th based on Growing Degree Days (GDD).
Michigan State University has a great GDD Tracker, which can be found at www.gddtracker.net. Enter your zip code and email and receive an alert when you have reached your target date to spray. Target GGD is 200-500 GDD, which gives you generally a 1-week window to spray. Follow that up with a second application 21 days later. Some Superintendents will do a third application 21 days after that. The MSU GDD Tracker can also be used for timing of pre-emergent, broadleaf and insecticide applications.
#2. Don’t forget your clean-up snow mold spray. Use fungicides to clean up any snow mold (gray and pink) from winter and apply them as a preventative for further pink snow mold. The prevention should last you through late spring, early summer. Snowfall is not needed for pink snow mold. Cool, damp, wet weather will trigger it. This application will also cover you for leaf spot, dollar spot, and many other diseases. Apply ArmorTech CLT 720 or 825, plus ArmorTech IP 238 at 4 oz/1000 early April thru late April, depending on the weather. You’ll receive a good 28-day control, plus clean up any lingering snow mold from the weather or late fall dollar spot.
#3. Do not forget to add Foliar-Pak products to your fungicides. Prepare your turf for the upcoming season. The following Foliar-Pak products will help jump-start your turf and prepare it for the coming spring and summer season.
#4. Knockdown dollar spot on fairways. Another early application best practice, which is becoming popular mainly on fairways in Southeastern Michigan, is an application of a fungicide after the second or third true mowing. This application will knock down the dollar spot pathogen population that has overwintered and will help reduce the severity of dollar spot later in the summer.
A few products for this application are:
While your turf maybe clean of dollar spot early in the spring, in reality, dollar spot pathogens are in the soil just waiting for the right conditions to explode. Knocking down dollar spot with an application is highly recommended.
#5. Use pre-emergent for crabgrass control. A good time to apply crabgrass pre-emergent in Southeastern Michigan, depending on the weather, is April 1st through mid-May. Use the GDD Tracker to zero in on a target date to apply.
A couple of great products for this application are:
These products can be applied either in a spray form or on fertilizer, both giving good results.
While on the subject of pre-emergent, don’t forget about shrub and flower beds, rock beds, and any non-turf beds. Do an early application of one of the following to give yourself a jump on weed control this summer and less hand weeding:
These are just a few examples of early application best practices to use in the springtime in Southeastern Michigan to help get your turf off to a good start.