More Evidence for Effectiveness of Fall Applications of Broadleaves – Turfgrass Science at Purdue University

More Evidence for Effectiveness of Fall Applications of Broadleaves

It’s been fairly well established that fall applications of herbicides are more effective than spring applications for broadleaf control. Recent work in Nebraska reported that applications of 2,4-D and/or dicamba were far more effective in controlling dandelions and Canada thistle when applied 1 to 10 days after the first fall frost than when applied 5 to 11 days before the frost. The herbicide increased enzymatic activity, which reduced concentrations of total sugars and of fairly simple sugars like fructans, glucose, etc. The reduced concentrations of these sugars increased the plants susceptibility to freezing temperatures and winterkill. Therefore, the plants were either killed directly by the broadleaf herbicides or weakened to the point that they succumbed to winterkill. Though the winters in Scottsbluff NE are a far cry from IN winters, this research adds further evidence that broadleaf applications should be made in October or November. (For details, refer to Wilson and Michaels. 2002. Weed Sci 51(3):299-304.)

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