Abstract: Competition from large crabgrass is often responsible for the establishment failure of spring-seeded cool-season turfgrasses. The objective of this study was to determine how soon after seedling emergence dithiopyr could be applied without causing unacceptable damage to Kentucky bluegrass. Dithiopyr at 0.28 and 0.56 kg/ha was applied at various times prior to seeding and after emergence of Kentucky bluegrass in the field and greenhouse. Dithiopyr damaged Kentucky bluegrass seedlings in the greenhouse when applied earlier than 10 d after emergence (DAE) at 0.28 kg/ha and 14 DAE at 0.56 kg/ha. In the field study with heavy large crabgrass infestation, no significant phytotoxicity or long-term thinning occurred with any application of dithiopyr after emergence of Kentucky bluegrass. Dithiopyr applied as early as 3 DAE improved cover of Kentucky bluegrass by reducing competition from large crabgrass. When seeding is done early in spring before large crabgrass germination, dithiopyr could be applied at 0.28 kg/ha 10 DAE or at 0.56 kg/ha 14 DAE without risk of injury. Dithiopyr could be applied as early as 3 DAE on sites with heavy large crabgrass pressure or to late spring seedings when large crabgrass is germinating because the risk of turf thinning is warranted given the benefit of reduced large crabgrass competition for the desired turf.
Nomenclature: Dithiopyr; large crabgrass, Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop. #3 DIGSA; Kentucky bluegrass, Poa pratensis L. ‘America’, # POAPR.
Additional index words: Preemergence herbicides.
Abbreviations: DAE, days after emergence; POST, postemergence; PRE, preemergence; WAE, weeks after emergence.