Fall is in the Air

September 20, 2010

A change of seasons is upon us.  The leaves are beginning to drop from some trees and the day lengths are getting noticeably shorter.  September has brought with it cooler day and nighttime temperatures and average 4-inch soil temperatures even dipped into the high 50’s yesterday.  These favorable environmental conditions have allowed existing turf the chance to recover and newly sown seed the opportunity to germinate and begin to cover.

The fall is also a great time to clean up unwanted creeping bentgrass.  Because of all the rainfall and submerged conditions we experienced during the summer months, creeping bentgrass had an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage and may have spread into areas where it wasn’t present before.  Luckily, creeping bentgrass can be controlled with Tenacity herbicide.

Tenacity is a systemic herbicide with pre- and post-emergence activity on many grass and broadleaf weeds.  Tenacity is also capable of selectively removing creeping bentgrass from Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall and fine fescue.  Multiple applications of Tenacity are required for complete control of creeping bentgrass.  

Tenacity works by inhibiting HPPD enzymes which aid in the synthesis of carotenoids.  Carotenoids help to protect the plant from excess light energy received from the sun.  Without these protective carotenoids, the excess energy causes new growth to turn "bleach" or turn white and eventually kills susceptible plants.

I have done quite a bit of work with Tenacity.  Below are some pictures from my research and from golf courses who have used the product. 

Plot of turf adjacent to a creeping bentgrass putting green after recieveing one application of Tenacity herbicide.  The bentgrass (susceptible) turns white, while the Kentucky bluegrass remains unaffected.
Here, Tenacity was applied to an intermediate cut of Kentucky bluegrass to clean up creeping bentgrass that had invaded from the fairway.  Bleaching of the bentgrass appears after just 1 application.
Applying tenacity next to monostands of creeping bentgrass needs to be done with caution.  Here, spray drift from the adjacent treated turf caused bleaching symptoms on a creeping bentgrass green.  Bentgrass will not be completely controlled after one application but the "bleaching" symptoms can be unsightly in the wrong spot.
Multiple applications of Tenacity are needed for complete control of bentgrass.  Here, three applications have killed the majority of creeping bentgrass in a stand of Kentucky bluegrass. 


For more information about Tenacity herbicide and its various uses visit the Syngenta Tenacity page.