Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) germination pattern and its impact on control strategies.
Field trials were conducted by Virginia Master Naturalists to determine the germination period for Japanese stiltgrass and its impact on timing of postemergence herbicide applications. Germination rates declined from April to June, with no germination seen after mid-June. Glyphosate applications in early May significantly reduced Japanese stiltgrass cover that month, but post-treatment germination resulted in approximately 25% cover by October, with 78% cover seen in untreated plots. However, no Japanese stiltgrass was observed in October when glyphosate was applied in either the third week of June or the third week of July. A single application of glyphosate was effective for Japanese stiltgrass control if applications are made in June after new germination had ceased, verified by multi-year herbicide field trials. Field trials conducted by Virginia Tech showed preemergence applications of prodiamine reduced Japanese stiltgrass stand from 30 to 94%, depending on rate and timing, but even in the most effective treatment there was still at least 19% cover by August. Prodiamine treatments that utilized May applications were more effective for crabgrass (Digitaria spp.) control than for Japanese stiltgrass, supporting the earlier germination pattern for Japanese stiltgrass. Inclusion of this work in this paper provides a more complete picture of the treatment options for Japanese stiltgrass. A timed postemergence herbicide application may be a better control option for this weed than use of a preemergence herbicide application.