When To Apply Lawn Weed Killer
You will only kill weeds when they are actively growing. This means commencing sometime in May and finishing sometime in late September or early October.
I would not rush to apply lawn weed killer to the whole lawn in the early spring as there will be a lot of weeds that wont surface until later on. In early spring just spot or hand weed. For a good weed kill over a broad range of weeds in your lawn try starting in May. If you need to repeat the treatment you still have plenty of time before cold weather makes it impractical. Read the label of your weed killer to make sure repeat treatments are allowed.
A well fertilised lawn will help you get the most from your weed killer. In spring apply fertiliser in April and weed kill end of May or early June. In autumn feed 7-10 days before weed spraying.
One of my favourite times for complete lawn weed control is in late August or September whilst there is still some warmth around. I would recommend this if you just need the one application in the year. The reason for this is:
- Most weed types are still around
- The spring seeds in your lawn will have germinated so you get those as well
- Killing weeds in autumn is easier than killing winter hardened weeds in spring
- Youll have a weed free lawn until the next round of weed seeds germinate the following spring
Pulling Weeds By Hand
Hand plucking is the easiest, cost-free and efficient method to prevent an infestation. Although not as convenient, this is without a doubt also the safest way to enjoy a weed-free lawn. While you may not be very excited about it at first, in time you may find out that this is actually beneficial for both you and your lawn. In fact, hand weeding is considered a stress-relieving activity by many gardeners.
It is important to take those weeds out the moment you see them grow. While it may be hard and it may take you more time, you have to be careful and take the whole weed out, roots and all. This will guarantee the efficiency of this method.
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How To Treat Nutsedge:
To treat Nutsedge, you will need a particular herbicide, as Nutsedge is a sedge, so traditional broadleaf or grass chemicals will not work. We would recommend that you use a product containing halosulfuron or sulfentrazone for treating Nutsedge. Your lawn may need multiple treatments to eliminate this lawn weed. Nutsedge can be challenging to control, so it is best to treat your lawn from Nutsedge before it spreads. Fun Fact: Nutsedge can be easily spotted as it grows faster than typical lawn grass.
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Identify And Treat Other Weed Types
After waiting for the second 2 week period after the second herbicide application, you then look to identify the remaining weed types.
If the remaining weeds are small in numbers, then the best option may be to spend a little time in pulling or digging them out.
However, if there are still a large number of unaffected and healthy weeds in the lawn, then it could be prudent to purchase a specific herbicide to kill them.
If youre well versed with weed types or are up for a bit of online research, this can be a very simple task. Otherwise, it would be wise to pull out some of the remaining weeds and take them to your local Nursery for identification, and a suitable weed killer purchased.
It is important to always identify weeds properly, buy the correct herbicide and always apply at the manufacturers specifications.
More On Annuals Vs Perennials
While fall is the best time to remove most weeds, not every weed should be treated in the same way.
Annuals. There are two different types of annuals, summer and winter. Winter annual weeds are just starting to sprout. Because they are still small, they are much easier to remove and treat right now, before they get big and grow deep roots. Summer annual weeds, on the other hand, should not be treated right now. Why? Summer annuals are already in decline, meaning any weed control treatment right now would be wasteful and ineffective. Instead, hand pull these and save your weed control for those tougher to remove perennial weeds.
Perennials. This category of weeds is kind of impressive in their ability to return year after year, regrow from root parts, and establish quickly. These characteristics also tend to mean they are tough to remove from your lawn if the entire root is not removed or if weed control is not timed correctly. However, fall is the best time to remove perennials. The plants are most vulnerable to spot treatment right now because as they send energy stores to roots, any spot treatment applications will kill above-ground tissue, reducing the amount of energy that can be stored in the roots over winter effectively killing the plant.
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Why Lawn Weed Identification Is Important
Luckily, not all weeds cause harm to your plants, or your turfgrass.
Clover is a good example of this its a legume that actually turns air into Nitrogen and feeds the soil in your yard. But most people still want it gone from their lawns.
Yellow clover is an annual legume that acts in a similar way.
With so many different types of weeds knowing how to identify lawn weeds and combat each species in your yard is crucial if youre looking for a long-term fix.
Use the wrong product and you could end up killing your grass, not your weeds.
Killing Weeds With Vinegar
Vinegar can serve many purposes around the house. It is considered a toxic-free cleaning alternative and it can help you kill off the weeds in the lawn the same way it helps you remove germs.
Remember, though, that its best to stick to white vinegar, which is broadly distributed in stores. The most suitable product to help you get rid of weeds naturally should contain 3% to 5% acetic acid. Due to its acidic properties, though, it needs to be applied carefully and in the right manner, so it does not harm the soil.
Stronger vinegar with up to 20 % acetic acid, also known as horticultural vinegar, is available, too. While you may be tempted to use it because it looks stronger and, therefore, should provide more effective weed control, better reconsider. It can be dangerous for both your health and the environment because of its corrosive power.
It is better to test with the less aggressive vinegar. And once you get it, here is what you have to do next:
Step 1: Get an empty and clean spray bottle.
Step 2: Pour the vinegar in. You can mix it with water or add soap, as vinegar and 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap could be an even more effective weed killer.
Step 3: Stir well until the ingredients blend.
Step 5: Check the results in a few hours and follow up with more spraying if needed.
Step 6: Remove the weed when its dead.
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Use Boiling Salt Water
Pour Boiling Salt Water Make sure you wear oven mitts! While many plants thrive in direct sunlight, they dont fare so well when boiling hot water is poured on them!
This option works best for edges of your lawn like the separation from driveway to lawn or dirt bed to lawn.
Simply pour the water onto the weed-filled area and allow the heat and salt to strip the outer membrane and leave them to dry out & die.
What Are Weeds And Why Are They A Problem
Before you can go to war with weeds, youve got to understand what they are, how they infiltrate your property, and what kind of damage they do.
Here are a few working definitions of a weed:
- Any plant that grows out of place, or was not intentionally planted.
- A plant that is competitive or that interferes negatively with human activity.
- A plant that interferes with the activity of desired plants, flowers, or vegetables.
No matter how you define a weed, theyre strong competitors in the natural environment. Weeds reproduce rapidly due to factors like abundant seed production, long-term dormancy and survival of buried seeds, and their ability to occupy sites that cultivated plants wouldnt grow in.
Currently, there are an estimated 250,000 species of plants around the world, with about 8,000 behaving as weeds.
The most common weeds that affect homeowners in the US include the following:
- Common lambsquarters
Here in California, the most common weeds are:
- Grassy weeds such as annual ryegrass, blanket crabgrass, witchgrass, and creeping bentgrass.
- Broadleaf weeds such as alligator weed, alsike clover, Asiatic hawksbeard, and annual sowthistle.
Left unchecked, these weeds can decimate lawns and gardens, choke out ornamental plants, act as hosts for pests and plant diseases, and negatively impact the appearance of your outdoor space.
Fortunately, the team here at Smiths knows how to tackle and eliminate all of these common weeds and more.
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How To Treat Lawn Clover:
It is best to treat clover weeds with a 3 Way Weed Spray. This 3 Way Spray is a combination of herbicides including 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid & Dicamba. Adding a Surface Surfactant to the spray will increase the application’s overall efficiency. Important Note: Clover Weeds can come back after being sprayed & treated and even after appearing dead. Your lawn may need multiple treatments to get rid of clover.
Blog: How To Kill Weeds Without Killing Your Lawn
Having a beautiful lawn comes at a price. Either you spend a moderate amount of money and spend a good amount of time doing it yourself, or you hire a company to handle it for about $350 per season. Its a question of how much time are you willing to invest in it, can you properly do it or do you need help, and is it something you enjoy doing? Regardless of if you do it yourself or hire some help, your goal is the same: Have a beautiful green lawn with no weeds. Ensuring a weed free lawn comes down to having a strategy for prevention, as well as removal for when they breach your lawn defenses. This article will talk about strategies on how to do both so that you can maximize your chances of success. A weed free lawn, is a stress free summer for many homeowners each season.
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Common Types Of Lawn Weeds
Youve encountered these different plants in many ways. Whether in your lawn, on the sidewalk, or at the park, weeds have made their way in or around your life and its time to break things down.
Some weeds are annual, dying off after one season, and others are perennials, which will grow back every spring.
Below are two types of weeds and some common species, broken down by their seasonal patterns, life cycle,in and control methods.
Make Sure You Don’t Do This
Often people turn to the internet asking how do you kill weeds and they come across several solutions like:
1. RoundUp4. Salt Water5. Gasoline
While its true that these methods will kills the weeds, do not spray these on your weeds if they are within your lawn. These methods will work, but they will kill EVERYTHING as a result.We have people call every year asking I sprayed weed killer on my lawn and I have white/yellow patches everywhere now. They used a product listed above and that’s why it killed everything!
Only use these products on driveways, back alleys, rock patios or gravel pads where there isn’t any grass!
The good news is that you can kill weeds within your grass if you follow the instructions below!
We will break this down into weed prevention to stop weeds from showing up in the first place and weed control to tackle the weeds if theyve already arrived at the party.
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Water Until Ground Freezes
Before the ground becomes frozen and hard, make sure the plants in your garden are deeply watered to help them get through the long cold months ahead.
You may have to switch to watering with a garden hose since freezing temperatures can cause sprinklers to rupture underground. Once a week, deeply water with an inch of irrigation in the early morning to allow garden plants to have enough time to absorb moisture.
Foliage during the winter is slow-moving so water applications in the evening can generate fungi and disease growth.
How To Treat Dandelion Weeds:
Dandelions can spread and grow rapidly. It is best to begin treating your lawn in the Spring with a weed pre-emergent to prevent any seeds from germinating. Weed Treatments should continue to be applied throughout the Summer & Fall using a post-emergent herbicide safe for grass. Did You Know: Each Dandelion plant can produce up to 15,000 seeds. These seeds are easily carried by the wind, which is why they can take over a lawn in no time.
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Weeds In Florida Have Unique Characteristics
Just like other plants, those we think of as weeds have distinctive characteristics and unique habits. In order to treat weeds effectively, its important to recognize some of those characteristics. Weeds are classified in a variety of ways, but essentially they are grouped into categories based on their growth habits, appearance, and life cycles.
Major categories of weeds include broadleaves that typically have net-like veins and showy flowers, grasses with rounded hollow stems, and sedges and rushes that thrive in moist habitats.
Weed life cycles can be annual, biennial, or perennial. Recognizing these characteristics will help to determine the proper control and treatment of the weeds in your landscape.
In all cases, healthy turf will minimize the presence of weeds, and treatment to prevent weed growth can be minimal.
Replenish Soil And Treat
With excessive winds and rainfalls, the soils of garden beds needs to be replenished. Whether the soil is your own creation or store bought you will need to remove existing soil from gardens. Remove a 2 to 3 inch band of soil from the base of established trees, shrubs, and perennial plants. A general rule of thumb is to remove 1/3 of your soil each year mixing with new soil in with the old. Careful mix these soils together without harming existing plant roots.
Once the soil is replaced you can mix in a granular pre-emergent herbicide. We recommend using a granular pre-emergent since it slowly releases nutrients over time to fight against weeds that not yet emerged. Products such as Barricade Granular Pre-Emergent Herbicide contains a granule formulation to continue to eliminate various broadleaf and grassy weeds for up to 60 days.
Apply 2.5 to 5.94 lbs. of Barricade Granular Pre-Emergent Herbicide per 1,000 sq. ft. of ornamentals. Broadcast the products granules with a hand spreader or broadcast spreader depending on the size of the garden. Once applied, active Barricade Granular Pre-Emergent Herbicide with 0.5 inches of water.
Make sure to apply this product by mid-November or at least several weeks before ground is frozen to prevent additional stresses to your garden. Do not use this product on overseeded areas within 60 days after seeding.
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Clearing Out Pretty Weeds: Moss And Wild Violets
You may appreciate certain weeds, such as moss and wild violets. Some gardeners even cultivate moss plants as an alternative to grass lawns and consider wild violets as wildflowers.
But if you wish to kill the moss in your lawn, it helps to learn more about why it’s grown in your yard in the first place. It may be an indication of deeper soil problems, such as poor drainage and circulation, low soil fertility, and unbalanced levels of pH. Learn how to fix the problems and you’ll be able to kill these weeds permanently.
How To Treat Speedwell Weeds:
A pre-emergent spray should be used in the Spring before the weed has germinated to treat speedwell weeds. Post-Emergents should be applied when speedwell weeds are actively growing. Keeping your lawn thick & dense lawn will help prevent other plants from invading. Pro Tip: Pulling Speedwell from your lawn is a bad idea, as leaving even a small single piece of the root system can cause new plant growth.
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Off With Their Heads With A Scuffle Hoe
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.
How To Treat Plantain Weeds:
Use a commercial post-emergent herbicide to treat plantain weeds. It is best to look for a product containing 2,4-D however, several other chemicals are effective. We use a commercial 3 Way Weed Spray to attack the weed in multiple ways. Pro Tip: The best time to remove plantain weeds is before they flower. Otherwise, spreading can occur more quickly.
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