CHEMICAL UPDATE: Turfgrass Herbicides

January begins the first segment of Grounds Maintenance's “Chemical Update” series. Each year, we revise the Updates to bring you the most up-to-date and complete guide to pesticides registered for turf and landscape ornamentals. The chemical industry is ever-changing and new products are introduced every year, so our Chemical Updates offer a tool you can really use.

This month's Update covers turfgrass herbicides. We'll publish subsequent Updates throughout 2004, covering insecticides, fungicides, fertilizer/pesticide combinations, PGRs and nonselective chemicals.


The updates are in table format because this is the most practical way to take you from problem (the pest you're trying to control) to the solution (the chemical that will control the pest). This format also allows us to provide other useful information, such as characteristics of the chemical, form of application and plant tolerances, in a compact and easy-to-use format.

  • Chemical names

    We list chemicals by active ingredient because many are available in numerous brands. To see the selection of brands that use a given active ingredient, see “Herbicide sources,” on page 47.

  • Chemical characteristics

    This section indicates whether a chemical is a pre- or post-emergent, and selective or non-selective.

    Next to this section, you'll find whether the chemical is also labeled for ornamental use.

    You'll then see whether a chemical is applied in granular or spray form (or both) so you can find products that fit your preferred method of application.

  • Plant tolerances

    This section indicates which turfgrasses are labeled as tolerant to chemicals. It includes all the major turfgrass species.

  • Weeds controlled

    This section comprises the bulk of the Herbicide Update. Divided into two parts — grassy weeds and broadleaf weeds — this portion of the Update provides a complete listing of chemical options for nearly all significant turfgrass weeds. Simply find the weed in the list that runs across the top of the page and then follow that column down to see which chemicals can be used against the weed.

  • Suppliers and contact information

    Finally, you'll see a listing of brands and suppliers for all the chemicals listed in the Update. In addition, we provide phone numbers and Web site addresses for all the chemical suppliers listed, to aid you in pursuing additional product information.

  • Blue Type

    You'll notice a few listings in blue type. This indicates active ingredients or combinations of active ingredients that are new to the turf and ornamental market.


Label instructions are the ultimate guide to proper use of pesticides. This Update lists products that are labeled — either specifically or more generally — in a manner that allows the uses indicated. However, many exceptions, special situations, and state and local restrictions may apply. In other words, just because we show here that a chemical can control a certain weed, that doesn't mean that you can use it on all sites, on all kinds of turfgrasses, or in all states or all conditions.

Therefore, use these tables for preliminary planning only. Always read and follow label instructions for each chemical you use. This Update is not a substitute for label information.

Labels can sometimes be confusing. If you are unsure about using a certain product in your location, contact the nearest cooperative extension office, or your county agricultural agent.

Also, company Web sites often provide sections where you can ask technical questions, in addition to obtaining labels and MSDS's online. Suppliers often maintain toll-free phone numbers for the same purpose.

Look for other Chemical Updates throughout 2004. February and March will cover turf insecticides and fungicides, respectively.

For a comprehensive list of the Chemical Update tables that accompany this article, go to our Industry Research resource at>.

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