Crabgrass species are problematic weeds in bermudagrass turf that can be controlled by PRE herbicide applications. Because of the difficulty in predicting crabgrass emergence and other prevailing management constraints, PRE herbicide applications are not always properly timed. Mesotrione controls crabgrass both PRE and POST; however, relatively short soil-residual activity limits its use as a PRE herbicide. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate smooth crabgrass control with PRE applications of mesotrione plus prodiamine. The first experiment evaluated the influence of application timing on the efficacy of mesotrione-plus-prodiamine combinations. Applications were made every 2 wk from March 15 to May 24. Mesotrione plus prodiamine controlled smooth crabgrass more consistently across all application dates than either mesotrione or prodiamine applied alone. The second experiment evaluated mesotrione along with current PRE and early POST herbicide treatments used for control of crabgrass. When applied at one to two tillers growth stage, mesotrione plus prodiamine controlled smooth crabgrass 99% when rated on August 31. Bermudagrass injury from mesotrione ranged from 9 to 44%, but did not result in any reduction in turf plant density. Mesotrione plus prodiamine is an effective tank mixture when prodiamine alone is not applied in a timely fashion; however, variable and excessive turf injury is a potential impediment to mesotrione use on bermudagrass turf.
Nomenclature: Mesotrione, prodiamine, smooth crabgrass, Digitaria ischaemum (Schreb) Schreb. ex Muhl Schreb. DIGIS, bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon L. CYNDA