Pearlwort in Putting Greens

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

During a recent golf course visit, I came across birdseye pearlwort (Sagina procumbens L.) on a putting green. As described in the book, Weeds of the Northeast, “pearlwort is a small stoloniferous perennial that forms dense turf-like mats with erect stems.” When mowed at putting green heights, the patches of pearlwort look very similar to Poa annua until you get down to ground level and notice the pearlwort flowers enclosed in a capsule. When mowing putting greens every day, it would seem these would be constantly cut off. However, the patches I observed did have these fruit capsules present that must have either flexed below the mower or had sprung up since mowing. In most cases, it would seem manual plug removal from the green would probably be the best option.

Although I know this is not a complete list, a quick search found herbicide control options include MCPP, Quicksilver (a.i. carfentrazone) and Rubigan. As always, please remember to read and follow all label directions when applying an herbicide.

pearlwort
Photo 1.
Pearlwort.

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