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How To Control Weeds In Lawn

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How To Control Winter Weeds

How to Control Weeds in Your Lawn

A healthy, dense, lush lawn is by far the best way to control winter weeds. To accomplish this, start in the fall with the following steps. These work for lawn and garden applications.

  • Apply pre-emergent herbicide before winter weeds begin sprouting, to target the seeds and root systems of perennials.
  • Spot treat or remove any weeds already visible.
  • Fertilize.
  • Apply mulch to starve seeds of nutrients from the sun and provide a growth barrier.
  • Avoid non-targeted watering which benefits weeds too. Implement drip irrigation in garden beds so water is directly routed to plants.
  • Limit digging and tilling which tend to spread seeds.

After implementing these preventative measures, inspect your garden regularly to discover weeds as early as possible. Remove or treat weeds the instant you notice them. Killing them before they drop seeds prevents infestations in years to come.

When treating sprouted weeds, you have two options.

How Weeds In Lawns Work

To understand how to treat a lawn, its important to understand the weeds themselves. Weeds are plants, just like the grass in your lawn. Because they are plants, weeds flourish in the same conditions that a lush, green lawn would. Weeds also grow when the grass is cut low and the soil is compacted. These ideal conditions can lead to a lawn full of weeds, but there are a few different types of weeds to be aware of:

  • Broadleaf weed. These weeds include dandelions, clover, ground ivy, oxalis, chickweed, thistle, dollarweed, and plantain. The leaves on these weeds are broad and flat.
  • Grassy weed. These weeds include crabgrass, foxtail, annual bluegrass, and quackgrass. These weeds grow in blades and look like grass.
  • Grass-like weed. These weeds include nut sedge, wild onion, and wild garlic. These weeds may look somewhat like grass, but they grow in a more tubular and hollow shape.

Its important to identify which type of weeds are growing in your yard before choosing a treatment. Some products are specifically designed for certain types of weeds and can only be used for that kind.

Can I Get Rid Of Weeds In A Lawn Naturally

Yes! But it may take more time and effort. Spraying vinegar directly on weeds is a natural way to get rid of them. It dries out the plant leaves and kills whats above the ground.

Also, pick vinegar that contains more than the standard 5 percent acetic acid. Head to a home improvement store instead of the supermarket to find vinegar with 10 to 20 percent acetic acid.

If you spray that, you can kill 80 to 100 percent of weeds top growth, found USDA research.

This method works best for a few weeds spread throughout the lawn. For larger spreads, its best to go with a safe, effective herbicide.

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  • Mow your grass when it needs it one-third above the ideal cutting height.
  • Pro Tip: If you dont know your grass type, take a plug of turf to a garden center and ask the staff to help with the identification.

Cool Climate Grasses

  • Bent grass: 1/4- to 3/4-in.
  • Chewing hard or red fescue: 1-1/2 to 2-1/2-in.
  • Tall fescue: 1-1/2 to 3-in.
  • Kentucky bluegrass: 1-1/2 to 3-in.
  • Perennial ryegrass: 1-1/2 to 3-in.

Warm Climate Grasses

  • Bahia grass: 2- to 3-in.
  • Bermuda grass: 1/2- to 1-in.
  • Blue grama grass: 2- to 3-in.
  • Buffalo grass: 2- to 3-in.
  • Carpetgrass: 1- to 2-in.
  • St. Augustinegrass: 1- to 3-in.
  • Zoysia grass: 1/2- to 1-in.

How To Kill Weeds In Lawns: A Healthy Lawn Is The Best Defense

IFA Professional Applicators: Weed Control

Weeds are opportunistic. They spot a lawn that lacks nutrients, isnt draining properly, is thin and stressed and they attack without hesitation.

A healthy lawn is one that is mowed to a 3- to 4-inch height, watered appropriately and has the proper balance of nutrients through regular fertilization. Annual aeration can also help the lawn breath. Follow that up with overseeding and bare spots will disappear.

Your mission is to create an optimum environment for grass to grow over weeds. A thick, thriving lawn has the power to repel weeds.

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Not Everything Goes Dormant In The Wintertime Winter Weeds Are Thriving And Will Wreak Havoc In Your Garden Be Sure You’re Prepared

What do 485 million acres of U.S. cropland and almost one billion acres of range and pasture have in common? Weeds. And not just a smattering here and there. Were talking an army hundreds of thousands strong with new enlistments every day. A single weed can produce 100,000 to 200,000 seeds that can survive in soil for 40 years, germinating every spring and fall without fail.

With prolific seeding like that, its no wonder weeds are spreading at a rate of 4,600 acres per day on federal lands in the western U.S. They cost farmers billions of dollars annually in lost crops, with billions more spent on chemicals to treat them. And now some species have developed resistance to the herbicides used to control them.

The numbers and dollars may be different for individual lawns and gardens, but the weeds are the same. Summer and winter weeds are a bona fide nationwide problem. But you can keep your winter lawn and garden nearly or even entirely weed-free with these practices.

On This Page

  • Reduced-Risk Herbicides
  • Mowing Properly And Regularly

    Your grass should be cut every week during the Spring, and at least every ten days during the summer. Mulching the grass back into the lawn helps spread grass seed and increase turf thickness. Your blades need to be sharpened yearly and never cut the grass more than 1/3 of its total length. Every time your mow your lawn, you also mow the weeds which takes them out of the picture of a couple days, but dont forget that the roots are still alive and well and they will try to grow back.

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    Different Weed Types Different Strategies

    Some Central and Southern Maryland weeds are annual, while others are perennial. And there are different groups of weeds in those two categories that germinate at different times of the year. Some weed control strategies can even be applied to multiple types of weeds from different categories.

    Grassy summer annual weeds like crabgrass germinate in early to mid-spring when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees, typically mid-March. These weeds continue to germinate all summer and then die out with the first frost. Grassy winter annual weeds like annual bluegrass germinate in late summer to early September. Killing grassy annual weeds means promoting a healthy lawn and using pre-emergent herbicides at the right times of year, depending on the weed.

    As opposed to annual weeds, perennial weeds come back each year. Getting rid of some of these weed types can be more difficult. such as grassy perennial weeds like killinga and nutsedge.

    Broadleaf perennial weeds like dandelion and clover germinate in spring and summer and are not controlled by pre-emergent herbicides. They favor lawns that dont receive regular or adequate fertilization.

    Off With Their Heads With A Scuffle Hoe

    How to Control Lawn and Garden Weeds

    The scuffle hoe gets its names from the double-edged hinged blade that rocks back and forth with a push-pull motion. As it rocks, it slices weeds off at the crown. Repeated beheading depletes the weed roots of stored food and the plant dies. Shallow cultivation also avoids bringing more weed seeds to the surface where they can sprout.

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    Choosing A Lawn Weed Service In Memphis Tn Or Northern Mississippi

    When it comes to choosing someone to help you address not only spring lawn weed control but year-round weed control, you want to choose wisely. Even amongst professionals, there are going to be some that take more effective approaches than others. Sadly, there are a number of companies that take a one-size-fits-all approach to weed control that just isnt going to get you the optimal results you are looking for.Fortunately, by making a wise choice in lawn care companies, you can start to win the battle against stubborn weeds . By selecting a lawn care company that will take a customized approach to your lawn, while also focusing on improving its overall health, youll be able to get better control over your lawn and start seeing the results that you desire.Do you want weed control that really works? Talk to a lawn care expert, choose from 3 program options, and become the master of your lawn.

    Get Rid Of Weeds: Know What Kind Of Weed Youre Dealing With

    Weeds are advantageous. They like to pop up whenever they get the chance. You dont want those weeds emerging throughout the growing season, taking away from the overall beauty and enjoyment of your lawn.

    Understanding how to kill weeds in lawns means knowing which weeds are able to be controlled before they emerge and which weeds need a different approach.

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    Choose Your Weed Control Methods

    There are many different ways to control weeds. The method you choose must be right for you, your family, and your lawn.

    For example, if you have a small weed infestation, it may be best to use manual methods. If you have children and pets who play on the lawn, you may want to opt for organic weed control.

    Mechanical or Manual weed control involves either hand pulling or using tools to remove weeds from the ground. The two most common types of mechanical control are mowing and tilling.

    Chemicalweed control involves the use of manmade herbicides to get rid of weeds. This includes all chemical-based pre-emergent, post-emergent, broadleaf, and grassy weed controls.

    Some of the major active ingredients in chemical weed controls are dicamba, 2 4-d, MCPP, triclopyr, and dithiopyr.

    Weeds are often killed by multiple chemicals. Halosulfuron however, is the only herbicide that kills nutsedge and kyllinga.

    Weed controls with these ingredients are selective treatments. Be sure not to get these herbicides anywhere except for the area you are targeting because they can damage surrounding plants, flowers, and shrubs.

    Organicweed controls use ingredients that are naturally occurring as opposed to man-made. The definition of an organic product is one that is derived from a source that was previously living whether it be from a plant or an animal.

    A few examples of organic weed control methods include corn gluten, vinegar, citrus oil, and iron-based products.

    How To Kill Grassy Weeds In Lawns

    Common Lawn Weeds and How to Get Rid of Them

    Crabgrass, goosegrass and yellow foxtail are grassy weeds that are on the most wanted list for being troublesome in Central and Southern Maryland. You definitely want to get rid of these weeds.

    Crabgrass is the monster of all lawn weeds. It takes extreme advantage of thin or stressed lawns where it can wiggle its way in and then flourish. Lawns without enough water, adequate nutrition or drainage are prime targets.

    And once crabgrass gets in, it becomes aggressive. When thick crabgrass patches form, they choke out desirable grass. Then when crabgrass dies out, it leaves thin, bare areas that just fill in with more weeds later on. Each plant can actually produce over 75,000 seeds, so the problem can continue to escalate year after year.

    Goosegrass is a summer annual weed that grows well in compacted and poorly draining soil and looks a lot like crabgrass. In fact, these two weeds are often mistaken for one another. Goosegrass usually pops up in areas of the lawn that have been mowed too short. This weed also prefers compacted soil, so aeration could help get rid of this weed.

    Foxtail is smaller than crabgrass and goosegrass and can be found in both moist and dry soils. Its wide, flat leaves also look a bit like crabgrass until its seed heads form in the summer.

    All three of these grassy summer annual weeds germinate in spring and summer and are killed by autumns frost. As they grow, they produce seed heads, which result in next years weeds.

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    A Healthy Lawn Is Key

    The best weed control is a healthy lawn!

    Weeds thrive in acidic and undernourished soil environments. Therefore, to prevent weeds from coming back year after year it is important to feed your lawn and your soil all through the growing season.

    A healthy lawn that is overseeded and fertilized regularly will have fewer weeds!

    Jonathan Green has the best advice on the timing of application and the best products for lawn weed control and fertilizer.

    Its important to understand that weeds are the end result of a weak lawn, not the root cause of it. There are many reasons why your lawn may be struggling.

    Why Your Grass Is Struggling:

    • Poor grass seed varieties

    Poor grass seed varieties often cannot outcompete weeds.

    Soil compaction leads to hard soil that air, water, and grass roots cant penetrate.

    Soil pH that is either too low and acidic or too high and alkaline is not suitable for grass growth.

    All of these conditions weaken your lawn and leave room for weeds to thrive.

    Applying the correct amount of fertilizer at optimal times, improving the health of your soil, and planting superior grass seed varieties will put your lawn in the right direction for a great looking weed-free lawn!


    Spring lawn care can seem like a lot of work at times, especially when it comes to controlling weeds. But it doesnt have to be!

    When controlling weeds remember:

    • Identify your weeds as either broadleaf or grassy weed

    Getting Rid Of Weeds After They Emerge

    Fortunately, there are a number of reliable methods you can use to control weeds after theyve begun to emerge:

  • Remove weeds by hand. Locate the weeds and pull them out by the root so they will not grow back. This method is most effective when used for small, manageable lawns, or in conjunction with other control tactics on this list.
  • The cosmetic use of pesticides is now banned in most municipalities, and as a result organic weed sprays have emerged as a way to directly target weeds. Another natural alternative to pesticides is to create your own at home using white vinegar, salt, and soap.
  • Suffocate weeds by using newspaper and garden mulch. Cover the weedy area of your lawn with newspaper, and cover the newspaper with mulch. This will suffocate the weeds by blocking out sunlight, while simultaneously retaining moisture in your soil.
  • Use boiling water to scald lawn weeds. Boiling water will destroy the roots of weeds very effectively, allowing you kill them quickly and with great ease.
  • If you have an area of your lawn covered with weeds but little grass, consider using salt as an option. By coating your weeds with salt, you will poison the soil they use to grow, killing them by the root. Unfortunately, this method will also poison the soil for any other plants youd like to grow in the area, so use this method sparingly.
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    How Do I Control Weeds In My Strawberry Patch

    Weed control is essential to ensure optimal plant growth and fruit production. Weeds compete with the strawberry plants for water, nutrients and sunlight. Weeds also reduce air circulation, which results in fruit and foliage staying wet for longer periods. Disease problems are more serious when plant tissue remains wet for long periods of time.

    Cultivation, hand pulling and mulching are the most practical weed control measures for home gardeners. Cultivate often, but shallow, to control weeds. Destroy the weeds before they have a chance to flower and produce seeds. Clean, weed-free straw and other organic materials can be applied as a mulch between plant rows in a new or established planting. Herbicides are not a viable option as few, if any, herbicides can be used on home strawberry plantings. If an older strawberry planting becomes too overgrown with perennial weeds, and cultivation or hand pulling does not provide sufficient control, a new weed-free location should be selected for establishing a new planting. Replanting of strawberries is common every five to seven years in home gardens.

    Wheat And Corn Are Friends To Your Garden

    How to Control Weeds on Your Lawn

    If youre planning on growing tomatoes or squash in your garden during the summer growing season, you should consider this before winter.

    In fact, if you plant wheat or corn as a cover crop during the winter, this can help control weeds around your tomatoes and squash.

    We did this one year by accident. I grew fodder to feed our animals, and at times, wed throw leftover fodder out on our garden. I should mention we grew fodder from wheat.

    Wherever the wheat sprouted, we didnt have weeds. My thought process is because the wheat grows close together, it smothers out the weeds.

    However, if you grow wheat over the winter, it dies off before you plant your tomatoes or squash but has killed the weed seeds in the process.

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    What’s The Best Way To Get Rid Of Weeds Permanently

    Even though we consider weeds a nuisance, theyre plantsjust like grass, flowers or shrubs! That means theyll grow just as thick and rampant as our favorite herbs if we let them.

    So, the best way to get rid of weeds is to make your lawn an environment where its difficult for them to thrive.

    Low-mowed grass, compacted soil and water-deprived turf all encourage weeds. Reversing these problems and maintaining a healthy lawn is the best way to permanently say goodbye to weeds.

    Lawn Care: What Are The Types Of Weed Killers

    Pre-emergent the preemergent class, which include pendimethalin and dithiopyr stops all seeds from germinating and these includes grass seed. You must be aware that the grass deed cannot be added for six to 12 weeks following the application, based on the particular product. Another chemical, which is the siduron, can stop weeds only from starting, letting grass seeds to continue to germinate. But it is also more expensive and should be used sparingly.

    Post-emergent these herbicides are entirely on a different level. They are added as weeds start to appear on your lawn, as they should get in touch with the actively growing leaves so they can do their job. These herbicides are applied at different intervals during late spring through late spring until summer, as weeds enter their intense growth period.

    Many post-emergent chemicals are referred to as selective herbicides, in that theyre created to kill only specific classes of plants in the lawn while leaving desirable turf grasses not touched during your lawn care Conway routine. There is a different class called non-selective, which would kill any plant thats growing. Almost all of them will contain a chemical thats called glyphosate, which is an effective plant killer.

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