Sponsored Content by Quali-ProFour pros from Quali-Pro weigh in on this year’s biggest problems and recommend ways to solve them

Spring has sprung in much of the United States and lawn care operators across the country face a myriad of problems. Four Quali-Pro professionals weighed in on problems across the country, and offered solutions so lawn care operators (LCOs) don’t have to stress.

Problem 1: Sedge Control and Preemergent Season

Ian Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Ian Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Technical Service Manager

Ian Rodriguez, Ph.D., technical service manager for Quali-Pro, is not new to the lawn care industry. On the contrary, he’s been diving headfirst into the turf and ornamental industry since college, dedicating much of his adult life to finding solutions for common problems LCOs may face. He says one of the biggest problems for LCOs early in the season is control of the Cyperaceae species — also known as sedges. With more than 2,000 species in the Cyperaceae family, controlling this plant comes down to location and timing.

“Sedges are often a big problem in landscapes,” Rodriguez explains. “When you have tropcial seasons in the Southeast with excessive moisture, this sort of weather promotes the growth of sedges. There is not a lot out there that acts as a preemergent for sedges, so you’re largely looking at post emergent control options. Quali-Pro has two products targeted at controlling and eliminating sedge: SedgeMaster and Expel.”

Photo: Yellow Nutsedge

Photo: Yellow Nutsedge
Source: undefined undefined/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

SedgeMaster is a sulfonylurea herbicide that inhibits amino acid production, which disrupts the plant’s metabolism over time. According to Rodriguez, SedgeMaster is ideal for multiple types of sedges and broadleaf weeds, and will work without impacting the surrounding turfgrass or ornamentals.

Expel is a fast-acting postemergent herbicide that can control even the trickiest of sedges in as little as 1-2 days. Expel’s active ingredient, sulfentrazone, results in cell membrane damage leading to rapid withering and death of the sedge. Rodriguez says the key to controlling many common problems LCOs face is to act quickly when the problem is still on a small scale early in the season. Rodriguez advises that LCOs plan ahead and talk to their customers as “a little bit of education and communication can go a long way.”

Because schedules for plant care in this industry are largely based on the calendar and the cycle of plant growth, having a plan in place is highly encouraged.

Solution: SedgeMaster and Expel


Problem 2: Broadleaf Weed Control

With Quali-Pro offering such a large portfolio of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and growth regulators, Paul Fox has seen the stress pros feel trying to decipher what is going to work best for their business as they navigate through the seasons.

Paul Fox

Paul Fox
Key Account Manager

“We have a very broad portfolio that covers a very broad array of pests and problems, if nothing else we have a portfolio that could solve most problems the lawn care operators face,” says Fox. “We’ve brought some new products out to the market over the last several years, one of which being Fahrenheit, which is targeted for warm-season grasses, focused around broadleaf weed control. It is a combination product, so it’s two different chemistries — two different modes of action — so you get a little resistance management.”

Because broadleaf weeds can cover many different species, Fox recommends pros use Fahrenheit for many reasons.

Photo: Broadleaf Weed

Photo: Broadleaf Weed
Source: anmbph/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

“We’re all facing challenging times this season with costs going up. Preemergent supply has been hard and there will be some more need for postemergent herbicides. Finding new and different products will be important this season,” Fox says. “Fahrenheit is a really good alternative option for some of the three-way herbicides. We can use it for broadleaf weed control in warm-season turf.”

As the warmer seasons rapidly approaches, Fox encourages LCOs to order soon, so that broadleaf weeds can be a thing of the past.

“Look at options to be more efficient with pesticide use, reduce callbacks and maximize your labor. You should only need to do a job once. This may mean spending a little more on the product for the longevity, but in the climate we are in today, this should help in the long run,” Fox says.

Solution: Fahrenheit

Problem 3: Red Imported Fire Ants

Chris Butcher

Chris Butcher
Southeast Sales Account Manager

For Chris Butcher, certain turf problems for LCOs hit closer to home. As the Southeast sales account manager for Quali-Pro, he is responsible for all accounts in Virginia and the Carolinas. Lately, one pest in particular has been plaguing many of his customers: red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta).

“One of the biggest problems that LCOs may face in the Southeast are the red imported fire ants. Not only can they give a painful sting, but the mounds in the environment are very unsightly as well,” Butcher explains. “They can have impacts not only to humans but also to wildlife. They’re becoming more and more of a problem, and it seems like they are getting worse and worse in our area. They can also cause an allergic reaction, which in some cases have been deadly.”

To combat these potentially deadly pests, Butcher recommends a hard-hitting product that is not only effective, but easy to use. Enter, Taurus Trio G.

Photo: Fire Ants

Photo: Red Fire Ants
Source: Cabezonication/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

“Taurus Trio G is a granular product that can be easily applied with a drop or hand crank spreader. It comes on a nice dustless carrier so it’s a very clean product,” Butcher says. “Taurus Trio G offers two main benefits for our southern LCOs (1) quick knockdown which is controlled with two active ingredients, and (2) season-long suppression which is achieved via our third active ingredient.”

Butcher recommends that every LCO in the Southeast plan at least 6 months in advance, allowing for a base plan to be established early on and additional products added on when needed.

Suggests Butcher,“Plan ahead to be sure you’re doing all the right things to either suppress or prevent pests from being a problem in the first place. Being proactive is going to be a big issue going forward in our world.”

Solution: Taurus Trio G


PROBLEM 4: Snow Mold, Anthracnose, Dead Spot, and Bermuda Decline

Justin Ruiz

Justin Ruiz
West Area Manager

Justin Ruiz, West area manager for Quali-Pro is familiar with many different problems that landscapers could face. In the Northwest, there are two main problems for LCOs: snow mold and anthracnose. Both snow mold and anthracnose are common in cold, wet climates as a result of melting snow paired with slightly warming weather. Luckily, Ruiz suggests one solution for both problems: Strobe Pro G.

“Strobe Pro G is one of the top solutions for all of these problems,” Ruiz says. “It rains a lot in the Northwest, creating soggy and wet conditions which can cause difficult situations to access with large spraying equipment. Granular application is an effective option for these areas. Granular applications are versatile. Smaller, difficult-to-access areas and targeted areas can easily be treated with a spreader.”

In the Southwest, LCOs are more likely to see problems like spring dead spot and Bermudagrass decline, as well as fungi like Pythium. Luckily, Ruiz recommends Strobe Pro G for these issues as well.

Snow Mold

Photo: Snow Mold.
Source: beekeepx/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

“Strobe Pro G is a broad-spectrum product, and having Strobe Pro G on hand is ideal throughout the spring and the fall. This is a great solution to protect your turf year around,” Ruiz says. “Down in Arizona during overseed, Strobe Pro G can help protect the new seedlings to become established. When it’s hot and you need to use a lot of water to get the newly planted seed established, you have a greater chance to create Pythium and other diseases. Strobe Pro G can combat those issues very well.”

While the area Ruiz manages is large, he recommends having a plan in place and be patient with the results.

“Having a plan in place is important for LCOs,” says Ruiz. “If you’re caught reacting to issues then it is easy to get behind and it will make your job more difficult. Understanding how disease and weeds work in your area will help you create a plan, and when you have a plan of attack for the most common problems, then protective applications can be applied effectively and in turn the plan will make your job a lot less stressful.”

Solution: Strobe Pro G


LCOs can bet on having problems throughout the seasons. Having a company to put your trust in is vital, and Ruiz feels confident that every LCO should take advantage of that partnership, no matter where in the country they may be.

“LCO’s have access to resources like your local Quali- Pro Representative and the local distributor representatives, which are definitely a valuable tool,” Ruiz says. “The representatives in your area see the big picture of what issues others are facing, are in tune with historical pressures, and can help you create an iron clad plan of protection. The local Quali- Pro Representative and the local Distributors are there to help you with any questions that may arise throughout the year.”

Visit QUALI-PRO.COM for more information.

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This page was produced by North Coast Media’s content marketing staff in collaboration with Quali-Pro. NCM Content Marketing connects marketers to audiences and delivers industry trends, business tips and product information. The Landscape Management editorial staff did not create this content.