Three steps to follow

With the weed season fast approaching amenity contractors are being encouraged to prepare a plan of attack for controlling weeds this spring.

Lewis Blois, national account manager at Bayer Environmental Science, says for successful weed control, amenity contractors should follow three key steps.

1.    Monitor the site

“Monitoring should be the first step of any integrated weed control programme, as the earlier weeds and areas of potential weed growth are identified, the sooner they can be managed.

“For example, electricity power sites can have zero tolerance policies for weeds, so it’s important to prevent weeds emerging as soon as the optimum weather conditions are present,” explains Lewis.

2.    Plan ahead

“The next step is planning,” he says. “There are many different approaches that can be taken, so amenity contractors need to decide their plan of attack and whether to implement pre- or post-emergence weed control.”

3.    Execute the job

The final step, he explains, is to put the plan into practice.

“Cultural options for pre-emergence weed control are fairly limited and therefore residual herbicides are the most efficient solution to prevent weeds developing,” says Lewis.

“Applying a residual pre-emergence herbicide such as Valdor Flex can provide efficient control against a broad spectrum of weeds for up to four months and is also a cost-effective solution.

“This residual herbicide can be applied to permeable surfaces and railway ballasts to provide successful control in environments from industrial sites to public spaces.

“Best results have been achieved when residual herbicides are applied early in the season before weeds are present. However, they may not cover the entire growing period, so a post-emergence strategy may be required if weeds re-emerge, this can include cultural controls such as strimming or a total herbicide,” he adds.

“If weeds are already present when you apply Valdor Flex it will need to be applied in a tank mix with a glyphosate-based product such as RoundUp ProVantage or ProActive, as this will provide initial knockdown of established weeds, while the residual product will provide long-lasting control.

“The important thing to remember is weeds will pose a challenge this spring, so it pays to be prepared and have a plan in place,” concludes Lewis

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