Lawn weeds can be one of the more troubling aspects of lawn care. Most weeds are opportunistic and will take advantage of any weakness in the turf. Thinner areas of grass, grass that is mowed too short and even infertile soil make perfect opportunities for weeds to grow. Weeds compete with turfgrass for space, nutrients and water. Many weeds grow much faster than turfgrass and can quickly get out of control if measures are not taken to stop them. At the very least, they detract from the quality and appearance of your lawn.
The conditions that allowed for weeds to flourish must be corrected or they will continually be a problem. Lawns must be maintained in a way that promotes a healthy lawn, while discouraging lawn weeds. There are many ways to accomplish this. Some types of grasses can be overseeded to thicken the turf. You should develop a sound fertilization program based on the needs and use of the grass. It is also important to mow the lawn at the highest recommended level. This is especially important for cool season grasses. These tactics will hinder weed germination and growth since most weeds cannot compete easily with a thick lawn.
If the lawn is in serious decline, it may take a couple of years to begin seeing a quality turf and a major reduction in weed growth. There are not too many shortcuts to producing a nice lawn. For the most part, the methods are the same for homeowners and professionals alike.The last resort for weed control is to use chemical herbicides. However, as lawn quality improves, lawn weeds and herbicide use will be greatly reduced.
While there are herbicides labeled for the majority of broadleaf lawn weeds, this is not the case with some grassy weeds. Since many desirable grasses and grassy weeds are genetically similar, there are fewer herbicides that can effectively control one type of grass without harming other types. Fortunately, some of the more common grassy weeds, including crabgrass, foxtails and sedges can be controlled using selective herbicides. Remember, before using any herbicide, the label must first be read carefully and completely. The label will contain instructions on how to use the product safely and correctly.
- Improve turf quality
- Improve lawn appearance
- Need for further treatment diminishes with time
- extra charge for oversize or corner lots
Weed Control should be applied concurrently with fertilizing. Early fall is a good time to control winter annual and perennial broadleaf weeds, while spring is the best time for summer annual weeds. Apply when soil is moist and weeds are young and actively growing. For grassy weeds, apply a pre-emergence herbicide two to three weeks prior to expected germination of weed seeds.