Managing Doveweed

Doveweed is an aggressive warm season annual that can quickly take hold and spread in turfgrass. Doveweed can be found in all warm season grasses such as common Bermuda, hybrid Bermuda and zoysiagrass. One of the difficulties of controlling doveweed is first identifying it. It quickly blends in, especially with grasses such as centipede and St. Augustinesgrass. Doveweed has thick shiny stems that are rubbery in nature. The stems, or stolons, can produce roots from the nodes. This is how the weed can spread, It spreads through vegetative propagation. This makes control even more difficult due to frequent mowing in sites such as golf courses. Doveweed begins germinating in late spring when soil temperatures reach 65-70 degrees F. This late spring emergence makes it difficult to control with pre-emergence that has been applied early spring to control crabgrass and goosegrass. Doveweed is also a weed that does well in turf that is overwatered or in areas with poor drainage. When managing doveweed, use a integrated pest management (IPM) approach. Cultural methods such as fertilizing appropriately can help. Apply a light or moderate fertilizer application after a herbicide treatment. This will aid in the turf quickly growing and outcompeting the doveweed. Mowing is also critical in doveweed management. Depending on the cultivar, bermudagrass can be mowed at height from 0.75 to 1.5 inches. For more information on bermudagrass, visit http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh007.

Chemical control is also a good management tool in a IPM program. For selecting the right herbicide, please visit http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag395

Always read the label and follow it completely.