5 FAQs to Maximize the Impact of Landscape Growth Regulators

Using a landscape growth regulator such as Cutless Granular can save you time and money, reduce the amount of labor required per property, and allow you to take on more customers. Here are some of the questions we're asked most frequently:

Q:  We manage a large property that could benefit from Cutless Granular growth regulation.  What’s the most efficient way to apply Cutless Granular?

  Click here  to see a video of the Cutless Granular application system in action.

Click here to see a video of the Cutless Granular application system in action.

A:  Cutless Granular can be applied with a rotary-type spreader, gravity fed spreader, or air-driven blower. Of these, an air-driven blower such as the Cutless Granular Application System is the most efficient option.

Regardless of application equipment, the main objective of each application should be even coverage of the treatment area. Calibration trays are useful tools to monitor application quality throughout a property and are available free of charge through your local SePRO Technical Specialist.

Q:  What should I do before and after application to maximize growth regulation following a Cutless Granular application?

A:  Irrigation and pruning are two of the most important considerations when starting a landscape growth regulation program. Cutless Granular should be activated with at least 0.25” of irrigation or rainfall immediately after application. This acts to incorporate the active ingredient into the rootzone so that it can be absorbed by the plant.

boxwood-pruning.jpg

Plants can be pruned prior to application; however, growth regulation effects will not be observed until 2-3 weeks following activation of Cutless Granular by irrigation or rainfall. Because of this, plants should be pruned 2-3 weeks after application to their desired size. After this pruning, plants will be regulated and not grow as quickly.

Subsequent pruning should occur on an as-needed basis and can often be accomplished with hand-shears. Labor typically utilized during this period for pruning should be reallocated to other revenue creating jobs to maximize the return on investment in Cutless Granular. All other agronomic practices such as fertilization, irrigation, and insect management should not change.

Q:  When should a Cutless Granular landscape growth regulation program begin?

A:  A Cutless Granular landscape growth regulation program can be started at any time; however, it’s recommended that a program be started prior to spring growth flush to maximize the growth regulation benefit throughout the entire growing season. Cutless Granular should not be applied to plants that were recently hard cut.

Q:  How long will growth regulation effects last?

established-woody-ornamental.jpg

A:  Growth regulation effects from Cutless Granular last 4-6 months. Major variables that influence length of growth regulation include plant species, size, application rate, and prior treatment history.

Two applications may be required to maintain growth regulation effects throughout the season in areas with long growing seasons. A single application may be sufficient in areas with a short growing season.

Q:  Where can Cutless Granular be used and can all plant material be treated?

safety-hazard-to-maintain.jpg

A:  Cutless Granular is recommended for application to established, woody landscape ornamentals. Herbaceous plants, recently hard cut shrubs, and newly planted landscapes should be avoided. Landscapes that require frequent pruning, are a safety hazard to maintain, or occupy high visibility areas are excellent candidates for a Cutless Granular growth regulation program.

 

Cutless Granular Landscape Growth Regulator is an easy to implement solution for today’s labor strapped market.  Learn more about how Cutless Granular can help your company or connect with your local SePRO Technical Specialist.

Cool weather effects herbicide efficacy

With Easter this weekend and the Masters less than a week away, growing season is certainly right around the corner.  However, for much of the US, Mother Nature is pumping the brakes on the start of growing season with cool temperatures dominating the weather pattern. 

Alongside cool temperatures and wet weather comes the persistence of winter annual weeds and slow or ineffective herbicide applications.  To get the most out of any herbicide application a few things must be considered:

1.      Proper weed identification

2.      Understanding plant lifecycles

3.      Correct herbicide selection

Inevitably weeds will escape a fall preemerge herbicide application.  Proper identification and understanding if they are annual, biennial, or perennial is important to deciding if a herbicide application is warranted.  In many cases, annual weeds will die soon in response to increasing temperatures.  However, it’s a great time to treat perennial winter weeds as many of these rely on underground storage organs to survive the summer months.  Herbicide applications today can significantly reduce the formation of storage reserves for these species, decreasing the chance they will reestablish next winter. 

Finally, not all herbicides are equally effective when temperatures dip below 60°F.  Systemic herbicides can be absorbed or translocated slowly when cool temperatures persist.  During these times it is important to add a contact herbicide such as Octane Herbicide to improve speed of activity of systemic herbicides when applied in cool weather.  Octane does not rely on translocation for efficacy, rather is effective directly on the foliage it’s applied to.  Octane makes an outstanding tank combination partner this time of year for systemic herbicides such as, but not limited to, 2,4-D broadleaf mixes or glyphosate to achieve rapid, complete weed control.  To learn more or download an Octane label visit http://www.thestewardsofturf.com/octane.  You can connect with your local SePRO Technical Specialist here:  http://www.thestewardsofturf.com/connect/.

 

Photo: Left to right - Nontreated; Trimec; Octane + Trimec.  Photo taken 20 days after application.  Notice the dandelion plant treated with Trimec alone is not completely controlled while the dandelion plant treated with Octane + Trimec has reached complete necrosis. 

Octane_Herbicide.JPG

Green Waste and Cutless Granular

Cutless Granular reduces growth of landscape ornamentals.  Good, but what does that mean for business? 

Let’s look at one example from a trial in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a difficult to regulate viburnum hedge.  In this case we’re looking specifically at green waste production in two hedgerows treated with Cutless G vs. two hedgerows left untreated. 

Immediately prior to the trial a landscape crew trimmed the hedgerows to their desired size. An application of Cutless G was then made.  Application timing was February 1, just before spring flush in the Fort Lauderdale area.  After four months of growth the property manager asked that we trim the shrubs because he was receiving excessive growth complaints for hedges not treated with Cutless Granular.  At this point the hedgerow was trimmed back to its original size by the same landscape crew.  Clippings from the treated and nontreated hedgerow were kept separated, collected, then weighed for comparison. 

In area one Cutless Granular reduced green waste production 56%.  In area two, Cutless Granular reduced green waste production 63%, both compared to the nontreated areas.  This is one example of how Cutless Granular will have a direct influence on your bottom line.  Imagine a 60% reduction of all green waste across your properties.  Now that’s a return on investment.

Have questions?  Want to get started with Cutless Granular?  Find and contact your local SePRO Technical Specialist here: thestewardsofturf.com/connect

Photos of the trial area.  Treated (top) vs. nontreated (bottom)

Irrigating with Algae

Patrick Williams is a Golf Course Industry magazine contributing editor.

Sometimes conditions are just right for algae on turf—humid, wet and shady with an abundance of nutrients. For golf courses with irrigation ponds, some of that algae could be coming directly from sprinklers and irrigation heads.

Many superintendents are hesitant to treat their ponds for algae, but they should if they want to prevent algae issues on their turf, says Steve Larose, technical services representative for BioSafe Systems. “If they’re drawing from a pond, then they’re definitely having issues and they’re just basically spreading algae all over their greens whenever they water,” he says.

BioSafe carries the products GreenClean Pro, a granular algaecide; and ZeroTol, a fungicide for turf. The company also has touring technical representatives and an in-house pathologist to address specific issues at courses, Larose says.

Even if there isn’t a noticeable algal bloom in a course pond, or a clog in an intake structure or irrigation head, algae could still be coming through, says West Bishop, algae scientist and water quality research manager at SePRO. “There’s certainly algae that are present in the atmosphere that can just be deposited from spores in the atmosphere, but irrigation is probably a primary route where algae is put right on the turf, and certainly the irrigation, or keeping it moist, can help propagate algae on the turfgrass,” he says.

The SePRO products SeClear Algaecide & Water Quality Enhancer and Captain XTR fight against algae in ponds, Bishop says. Superintendents who want to take a proactive, preventative approach should use SeClear, while those who are experiencing a large growth or bloom should use Captain XTR, he says.

Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, Conn., has had some issues with algae in its ponds over the years, says superintendent Jim Pavonetti. A pond company treats the ponds when necessary, and workers have had luck with a product called Super’s Choice. “That’s a type of bacteria that eats the nutrients that are necessary for the algae to bloom,” he says. “And then we dye the ponds black right before every weekend, and that blocks the ultraviolet rays, which is also necessary for the algae to bloom.”

Algae that spread onto the turf at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga., could have arrived there at least in part through irrigation, says superintendent Ralph Kepple. “I’m sure that it has, and we have some algae in our irrigation pond,” he says. “I’m sure that we get some from that. It’s hard to tell, though. Algae is kind of everywhere, and if it gets the right conditions, it’s going to find its way in there.”