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Spring has sprung With a Vengeance

2014 is turning out to be so different from last year. In May 2013, the grass eventually woke up from a long winter, whereas this year, it is about six weeks ahead. Alan Abel from Complete Weed Control gives his monthly advice on what to look out for.

Operating by dates is clearly not the way forward. Turf managers have to deal with problems/weeds/situations/grass growth as and when they arrive. 

Contracting is a delicate balancing act of getting the right herbicide on the right area with the right equipment at the right time and especially at the right rate of application.

When you look at that paragraph closely, it is difficult to achieve all those parameters given the weather we now see as the over-riding factor. 

This is where dealing with a local contractor comes into its own. They know what the weather will be like better than someone travelling maybe 250 miles to do the same job. They then end up spending extra money on accommodation or being forced into doing the job in the wrong working conditions. 

As far as 'in the field' is concerned, Complete Weed Control has been flagging up the leatherjacket populations and there is definitely no reason to change this point of view. They are very active and many golf fairways are being eaten alive. We are finding grubs as long as one pound coins!

It’s probably on the edge of being financial sense to spray now and again in the autumn/winter. 

Where PGR's (Primo Maxx/Clipless) have been applied in a programmed approach, it is noticeable weed populations are less. These products are such an important inclusion in any turf manager's arsenal and in damp, even wet conditions they help with the overall look of the facility.

As far as weeds are concerned, there is no shortage! Due to the wet winter and reasonably mild conditions, they are strong and have been flourishing for around a month due. Slender speedwell is showing up in managed amenity turf, so the more high- end products such as Cabadex and Praxys are necessary to knock this innocuous looking weed out, as it creeps further and further without people realising. Old favourites like daisy, clover, dandelion, chickweed, cat’s ear and hawkbit are all present in great numbers. 

Also, due to the extensive winter flooding; Himalayan Balsam, Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed are even bigger problems this year. Icade, which needs a Stewardship Lecture before buying, is the new product incorporating aminopyralid and triclopyr that will control these weeds @ 4 litres. There is no 'silver bullet' for Japanese Knotweed and 'control' is all you can expect. 

Balsam and Hogweed need controlling early as they become more difficult to apply herbicides the taller they get. 

You can contact any of our Complete Weed Control Franchisees, all local to you, who will be happy to furnish you with advice on any problem, be it weed, insect, pest or fungicide related

For more information, please contact Complete Weed Control’s National office on 01325 324 277 or visit You can follow Complete Weed Control on Twitter @CWCLimited.

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Complete Weed Control Ltd registered in England and Wales. Company Nº 2832234. Registered Office: Unit 16, Hurworth Road, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham DL5 6UD