Simizine and st aug

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Can I Mow Your Lawn?, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Can I Mow Your Lawn?

    Can I Mow Your Lawn? LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    The last two years, we have made 2 blanket applications of simizine in the winter, one in November/December and another in January/February.

    The following spring, we notice the bermuda lawns are in OUTSTANDING shape...usually not a weed anywhere to be found.

    But the st augustine is really struggling. It is slow to break dormancy, it is dieing in patches. Conclusion: Simizine is just too harsh for st augustine in north Texas, where it is really too cool for st aug to begin with.

    Being in the unique situation of having two tanks on the truck, each with their own hose reel and pump, next year, we intend to have two different formulations on the truck. One will be simizine, which we will use 95% of the time to treat the bermuda lawns. The other will be Aquacap/Pre-M, which we'll drag a hose and treat the st augustine with.

    2 Questions:

    1.) 99% of my competitors only have one hose reel on the truck. If you are forced to go with one tank mix for ALL lawns, do you run simizine all winter and deal with pathetic st augustine in the spring? Or do you run something else and deal with poa annua in the spring?

    2.) Is there a better pre-emergence than pre-m for dormant st augustine in north Texas? We are particularly concerned with preventing poa annua in the st aug. Should we be considering dimension or another chemical as opposed to Aquacap/Pre-M? Before purchasing the spray rig, we used Lesco 0-0-7 with Pre-M and the results were unacceptable.

    Thanks for any advice,
    Can I Mow Your Lawn?
     
  2. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 590

    What AI/1000 are you using? Why not keep the Simazine in Nov/Dec and spray prodiamine in Jan/feb on all your lawns.
     
  3. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,217

    H: What is your app. rate on the barricade? I assume that is what you're using.
     
  4. xpnd

    xpnd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 378

    St. Augustine is the most tolerate of turf grasses for the *zine type pre-emergents. Atrazine, a much stouter pre-emergent is still being recommended as the pre-emergent of choice in some Florida turf articles. I just ran a batch of simazine on a bunch of St Augustine and St Augustine mix yards without hesitation.

    What you are seeing is not damage from pre-emergent. St Augustine in N Texas suffered an inordinate amount of "Take-All" and "Spring Dead Spot" this winter and spring. Also this was made worse by extremely poor growing conditions for the last 18 months. I suggest that you consider at the very minimum and application of Spectator (4oz/1000sft) $150.00/Acre on these lawns. Top of the line would be Heritage at $450/Acre.

    Bottom line, the problem you are seeing is not related to your application.
     
  5. Can I Mow Your Lawn?

    Can I Mow Your Lawn? LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    XPND,

    You sound pretty certain. I am just focusing on the st aug lawns that we hit with Simizine over the winter and they look HORRIBLE right now.

    This is a HUGE decision because if we run both 50 gal tanks with the same mix, we can increase our labor efficiencies big time by having both workers drag hoses at once. If I reserve one tank as a st aug mixture, I am pretty much stuck all winter with a 2-man crew and only one hose to pull. 98% of the square footage we treat is bermuda.

    Perhaps we could run both tanks with simizine and carry a few bags of Lesco 0-0-7 with Pre-M and a backpack with Three-way. Drag the hoses on all the bermuda and push the spreader on the st aug.

    My opinion is that here in the DFW area, we are really too far north for st augustine and it is an absolute struggle to get it to do well in the first place. By using a pre-emergent as harsh as Simizine, it is pushing the st aug too hard. If I switch the st aug to a milder pre-emerge, such as pendy, it won't struggle as much. Just my opinion and I may not be correct in my assumptions.

    Appreciate all help and suggestions on this matter.

    Later,
    Can I Mow Your Lawn?
     
  6. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 590

    .75 to 1lb AI per Acre in the Spring
     
  7. xpnd

    xpnd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 378

    I think more damage is coming from the 3-way on the St. Aug. then from the simazine. I know it is labelled for it but I have always found the Dicamba and the MCPP-P to be hard on it. You need to be careful with the pendamethalin on St Aug. especially in the spring. Applied too late it will stunt the St Aug or severely set back the grass during green-up. Especially areas that are in protected areas that are ahead of the rest of the turf.

    All I can say is that I have the same problems in Mckinney that you are having in Carrollton. I made a run of Spectator this spring with the pre-emergent and I am encouraged with the results I am seeing. I had this problem about 8 or ten years ago and ran BannerMAX. God was that expensive. Check out the symptoms of Spring Dead Spot and Take All and see if they match your problems.

    I put down 3 fungicide applications a year. They're expensive. Any new prospective customer is given the estimate with the apps already in the program. When they question it I tell them verbatim, "You definitely do not need to include the fungicide applications in your program, however if you delete them, when you call and complain about the condition of your lawn, I will hang up the telephone." Some of them look at me and laugh and I simply respond, "I'm not kidding, I will hang up on you!"

    I am tired of trying to keep a turf alive and healthy in an area where at best it is marginally so. I am tired of trying to keep a turf alive that rots out in the winter because it gets watered as much in the winter as it does in July. Between Take All, Spring Dead Spot, and BP, if a customer does not want the fungicide apps, they can go somewhere else. Less than 1% of my cleint base is St Aug yet they probably are 90% of my turf problems. I am tired of cheap customers that complain about the "spray & go" franchises that screw it up, but complain when you show them what they really need and the cost and say, "It wasn't that expensive with the other guy." Well why in the blazes are you calling me then if you are happy? I took on one project St Aug lawn this year but for next year, I am thinking about dropping all of these lawns.
     
  8. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,217

    On St. Augustine--think of using the 0-0-7 with atrazine in granular form as late as you can because St. Augustine never really goes dormant. I really think the 2-4-D is the culprite. Simizine (Image) for Pre-Emergent COULD be suspisious on the transition period because of lack of dormancy. St. Augustine really likes its N almost--every other month with 1/2lb/1000. Of course every situation,state,local is different. Simizine (Image) is better in the fully growing period and weed control--at least in my area. Think about it
     
  9. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,217

    Must be brain drain--Simazine is a pre-emergent. Image (Imaquizine) for summer weeds is what I was thinking not simazine. Should read my post before submitting but don't know how to edit them.
     
  10. Can I Mow Your Lawn?

    Can I Mow Your Lawn? LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    xpnd,

    The real problem is all these idiot home owners who think their large shade tree on their 1/4 acre lot is adding value to their home. Try suggesting cutting down the tree and they cringe at that thought. Ok fine. Keep the dam trees and kill the bermuda. Now you have bare dirt, weeds, erosision issues and tree roots in your front lawn. But God no, we're not about to cut down that tree because it adds value to our home. Ok, fine. We'll need to prune that tree on a regular basis and even with that, there's still too much shade for bermuda. So we bring in st augustine...a grass that I wish they wouldn't even sell in this town. Unless the tree is like 30 years old and the first branch is 25 feet in the air, we've still got more shade than st augustine likes. But now, we're saving a tree on the property because "it adds value" and now we're having to prune it every year and the problems with st augustine this far north...where do I begin...better plan on bringing new sod about every 3 years or so because it's only going to go down hill after we sod it.

    And this doesn't even address the expense of repairing someone's foundation when that large shade tree, that adds so much value, soaks all the water out from under their foundation and then they're paying another $7K to get it fixed.

    For the new homes with 2" caliper trees, my bermuda lawns look outstanding. Nice lawns and large shade trees DO NOT MIX in north Texas. But you can't explain that to anyone who's not in the business of making lawns look nice.

    City ordinance REQUIRES that all new homes have minimum numbers of trees. Drive through any of these neighborhoods when they're new and the lawns generally look ok. Drive through them 10 years later and look at the lawns under those shade trees...this adds value to the home???? I don't get it.

    Screw it...I seem to be doing ok explaining to clients that it's not me, it's the st augustine being out of it's natural environment. As long as I educate them and let them know why their shady lawn looks like hell, they seem to be staying with me. If I don't run simizine on the st aug, I expect to get poa complaints. I know from experience running Lesco 0-0-7 (w/Pre-M) instead of simizine is a recipe for poa complaints. So I'm just gonna keep spraying everyone's st aug with simizine and three-way. Maybe we'll avoid those st agustine areas on the second app...maybe it'll do better with just one shot of simizine as opposed two.

    I think it'd be easier to appologize for crappy st aug being out of it's environment than it would be to appologize for weeds (poa) in the spring.

    Later,
    Can I Mow Your Lawn?
     

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