Treat chickweed now and reseed any bare patches to ensure as much grass grows as possible this spring. That’s the advice from Corteva Agriscience’s Nicola Perry.
“Chickweed germinates in late winter. reaching an early peak in March,” she says. “Its sprawling habit, with long trailing stems and many soft green leaves, means that it forms a dense mat and this can easily smother the growth of newly sown grasses or swamp established leys.
“With some producers running out of silage at the end of the winter, this is the last thing they need,” adds Dr Perry.
Chickweed can grow rapidly in denser shade and is often the first weed challenge of the year. It can be prevalent in more fertile soils, but will not grow in acidic conditions.
“The best and quickest way to eradicate chickweed is by spraying with Envy,” explains Dr Perry. “The combination of fluroxypyr and florasulam allows it to work well at low temperatures and in areas where there are dramatic fluctuations between day and night temperatures in the early part of the year.
“It is safe to apply on young grass and has a stock exclusion period of just seven days. It will kill clover, so where there is a heavy population of chickweed, spray and re-introduce the clover three months later,” she adds.