Posted by Brent Wilson on 8/10/2016 to Lawn Care
There are two ways you can go to eliminate weeds in your lawn: prevention, which aims to prevent weed seeds from sprouting in the first place, and control, which aims at killing weeds that have already sprouted in your lawn.
What is a Weed?
The simple definition of a weed is a plant that's not wanted, or at least not wanted where it's growing. Weeds are plants that are well-suited to the local climate and growing conditions, which makes them prolific and resilient.
Lawn Weed PREVENTION
Regarding the lawn, there is no better way to prevent or at least reduce the population of unwanted weeds than by establishing a healthy, thick turf that eliminates the soil space and sunlight necessary for weed seeds to sprout. However, this is easier said than done. And even when we do everything right, having successfully established a thick turf, there are still some stubborn weeds that find a way to sprout and spoil the show. Even professionally managed and maintained golf courses can't eliminate all the weeds. This is when they turn to weed prevention products that serve to kill weed seeds or seedlings before they can sprout or establish themselves in the turf. There are weed prevention products designed just for this purpose. When used properly, a weed preventer can provide you with a weed-free lawn, eliminating the need to spray.
What is the best time to apply a weed preventer in the lawn? Because there are both warm season and cool season types of weeds, and weed seeds literally fly in with wind or are dropped by birds at all times of year, weed prevention products can be applied at any time of year. That being said, there are times during the year, such as in early spring and in early fall, that greater numbers of various types of weed seeds germinate (sprout). So, the best time to broadcast a lawn weed preventer product is late winter to early spring, and again in early fall.
What is the best weed preventer to use on my lawn?
Most garden centers, including Wilson Bros Gardens, offer two options for lawn weed prevention:
1 - Products containing weed preventer only. These are used during times of year when you do not want to apply a fertilizer to certain types of lawn grasses. For example, in the South, a good time to apply weed preventer on bermuda, centipede, St. Augustine or zoysia lawns is in the month of February. At this time of year these lawn grasses are dormant so you don't want to apply a fertilizer, only a weed preventer.
2 - Combination products containing both fertilizer and weed preventer. These combination products are great for weed prevention during the times of year when the lawn also needs to be fertilized.
Lawn Weed CONTROL
How you eliminate or control a weed in your lawn might depend on whether it's an annual, biennial, or perennial. Annual weeds complete their growth in a single season and have shallow roots. Annual weeds should be destroyed before they flower and make seeds. Perennial weeds are harder to remove since they may have large taproots, rhizomes, or runners that are hard to get rid of completely. The tiniest piece of root remaining after pulling a perennial weed can produce a new plant. Weed preventers may or may not be controlled through weed prevention. So, even though you take all the right steps to prevent weeds you still might have some tough perennial weeds you'll need to spray with a lawn weed killer.
Start By Identifying the Weed
The best way to have your weed(s) identified is to consult with your local lawn care professional or take fresh samples (sealed in a plastic bag) to your local nursery and garden center where a professional there can identify them for you. WeedAlert.com has a massive listing of weeds broken down into regions that might help you identify the weed(s) growing in your lawn.
What Type of Lawn Weed Killer?
There are many types of lawn weed killers so make sure you use one that is labeled for use on your type of lawn grass and that lists the type of weeds you are trying to kill.
Regarding the lawn weed killers we offer on Wilson Bros Gardens, it's fairly simply to know which ones can be used on which types of grasses. If you have a centipede or St Augustine lawn, you want to use a product that contains 'Atrazine', and only Atrazine. If you have a bermuda, fescue or zoysia lawn, you can use just about any other lawn weed killer we offer. Again, just make sure to check the product label to see if it is labeled for use on your type of lawn grass, and that it lists the type(s) of weeds you want to kill.
Apply lawn weed killers only when weeds are present, and make sure to read the label for specific mixing and spraying instructions. Regarding warm season grasses such as bermuda, which goes dormant during the cool season, do not spray your lawn during the transition period; when the grass is emerging from winter dormancy. Wait until three weeks after the lawn has greened up in spring to apply a lawn weed killer. To reduce the amount of chemical we put in the environment, I always recommend spot spraying when weeds are spotty in the lawn.
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