KISS is an acronym for Keep It Simple Stupid and that's the message the 2017 IPM Symposium delivered this year. Instead of promises of new weed/ insect controls coming soon to a big box store near you, this year's event was scaled down and back to basics. In fact, the message related was the same one we've been preaching to our customer base for years now - there is no silver bullet in this post-pesticide era.
Maintaining your lawn, be it golf green, sports turf, or home lawn involves the combination of five key factors working in unison. They are:
Solid cultural practices like proper mowing and watering techniques with annual core aeration.
Over-seeding annually with favourable grass types like endophytic ryes and fescues.
Regular feeding of fertilizer with micro nutrients to create a healthy soil base,
Use of nematodes and beneficials to control unwanted insects annually.
and finally Weed management with the use of legal pesticides, which in this case is Fiesta.
The reason weed control is the last thing on the list is simple, no matter what, the weeds will come and without a systemic killer on the market you are powerless to effectively control the problem long term. Therefore the shift is to maintaining your lawn in all the above areas, and in doing so, everything will become more manageable and the aesthetics more pleasing.
The more you practice the above the less weeds and overall problems you will have with your turf. It has been almost eight years since the bylaw has come in to effect and if you haven't adjusted your expectations of what today's lawn should look like it is time to finally re-evaluate. All lawns will have one type of weed or another - it's inevitable.
Future posts will cover some of the key elements involved such as Soil health, over seeding and a new strain of nematode coming on the market. However, keep in mind, as far as new products go, I've been told that cheque is in the mail before.
For now, we must remember the no silver bullet philosophy and diligence, vigilance and patience is key.