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When To Apply Herbicide To Lawn

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What Is Weed And Feed

When To Apply Pre Emergent Herbicide To The Lawn

Weed and feed fertilizer is a universal name given to chemical products used to feed your grass and remove or prevent any weeds. This treatment strengthens your lawn and gives it the best start to the new season. The feed element of the treatment will also help with grass seed germination when overseeding your lawn.

It also makes your lawn more absorbent, allowing it to take in more water and nutrients than prior to the treatment.

Added vital nutrients from the feed will help your grass grow thick, strong and healthy. Your lawn will be a lush, vibrant green that you will want to show off.

Weed killer and feed products are available in gardening supply stores and are produced by many lawn care manufacturers. They generally come in a dry granular form or as a liquid thats ready to use.

Best Value Weed Killer For Lawns

Ortho Weed B Gon concentrate is our top contender for its affordability and effectiveness at killing tough lawn weeds. It contains triclopyr, an active ingredient that works wonders on controlling Creeping Charlie, clover, plantain and more.

Use Weed B Gon with a tank sprayer or the Ortho Dial N Spray. When applied to actively growing weeds, it becomes rainproof after six hours. One 16-oz. container treats up to 3,200 square feet of lawn.

Controlling Lawn Weeds With A Pre

Pre-emergent weed killers control annual lawn weeds while they sprout, which means the herbicide must be on the lawn before the seeds begin to germinate. Annual plants grow during one season, and then set seed and die. Summer annual weeds like crabgrass and goosegrass germinate in the spring and winter. Annual weeds like common chickweed and henbit sprout in early fall. Consequently, to control summer annual weeds, apply a pre-emergent weed killer in early spring, and to control winter annual weeds, apply a pre-emergent herbicide in early fall. If you can already see annual weeds in your lawn, it’s too late to apply a pre-emergent herbicide.

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Safety Issues Around The Home

Not only should we protect ourselves when spraying weed killer by wearing long sleeves, gloves and goggles, as well as using a respirator and protective headgear, but we should protect others. We need to read the label to know how long we must stay out of the treated area, but before that, we need to keep pets indoors. Also, we need to keep children away from the sprayed area before and after, so they should be inside during the spraying and avoid the area for the duration specified on the label.

Tips & Tricks

Best Time To Apply Liquid Weed Killer: Solved

Ortho® WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer Ready

Weeds are the undesired plant in a specific situation sometimes, it is called a plant in the wrong place. So, weeds are the kind of plants you dont want to see in your lawn or dont desire for your yard. Weeds are not individual but the universal problem for every gardener and its invasion in your vegetable garden, flower bed, or lawn.

In this article, I will explain to you the best way of controlling weeds by applying a liquid weed killer. Also, I will clarify the best time to apply liquid weed killers without hampering the desirable plant.

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Espoma Organic Weed Preventer Plus Lawn Food

Espoma Organic Weed Killer is one of the best all-natural ways to prevent dandelions, crabgrass, and other common weeds from becoming a problem in your your lawn. Not only is this weed killer effective at stopping many common weeds from growing, but the slow-release nitrogen also helps to fertilize your lawn and ensures the growth of healthy, green grass.

This pre-emergent is made from 100% corn gluten meal and works by preventing dandelion root development. And because it contains no toxic chemicals and all-natural ingredients, its completely safe for pets and children to play in the yard, even directly after an application.

While its designed only to be used on established lawns, this weed preventer and lawn food is a practical, all-natural way to stop weeds from taking over your garden while creating long-lasting, healthy green grass throughout your yard.

How To Use: For effective dandelion prevention, granular pellets should be applied to your yard twice a year in early spring and fall. One 25-pound bag, will cover up to 1,250 square feet of lawn.


  • Versatile for use on all lawns
  • Safe for use around pets and people


Top Recommended Professional Lawn Care Company: Trugreen

The This Old House Reviews Teams top selection for lawn care, TruGreen, offers both pre- and post-emergent weed control to restore your lawn to its former health and make sure it can compete against future weeds. The lawn care company offers five annual plans with varying levels of coverage in every state except for Alaska. If youd like a free quote, call 866-817-2287 or fill out this simple form.

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Granular And Liquid Weed Killers For Lawns

Weed killers are most effective when applied evenly over the entire lawn, unless the weed killer isn’t selective. Read the label carefully and follow the directions when applying weed killers. Non-selective weed killers are harmful to most plants, including turfgrass. Apply a non-selective weed killer as a spot treatment, spraying it on individual weeds or patches of weeds. Selective weed killers include granules, wettable powders and liquids. To achieve an even spread of weed killer granules, apply a granular weed killer with a rotary or drop spreader. Mix a weed killer powder with water according to the dilution rate displayed on the label, and spray the lawn evenly with the solution. Agitate the spray tank regularly to prevent the suspended particles from sinking to the bottom of the tank. Apply a liquid weed killer with a compressed air sprayer or hose end sprayer to achieve an even coverage.


Liquid Vs Granular Herbicides

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Herbicides come in liquid and granular forms. Either can be effective, as long as the right amount reaches the right plant.

Liquid herbicides: These may require mixing with water and you need to have some type of sprayer. Simple pump or hose-end sprayers are inexpensive. You can also easily control spray, and concentrate it onto a troublesome area.

Granular herbicides: These will require a spreader also a relatively inexpensive piece of lawn equipment. With most granules will need a good watering in after application.

Dr. Rebecca Grubbs, a turf specialist at Texas A& M University, said its up to the user to decide which is best for them. Just make sure you follow the instructions on the label, Grubbs advised.

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How Often Should You Apply Weed Killer

It depends on the varieties of your chosen weed killer. It will help if you read the manufacturer instructions label first because each herbicide has different use instructions.

There are many weed killers available in the market that are enough for a single annual treatment. But most of the herbicides are suitable for using 2-time treatments in a year. When buying herbicide, make sure that it is suitable for the spot treatments and ideal for the whole lawn coverage.

Expert agriculturists recommend two treatments per year with two different types of weed killer. To get rid of the weeds problem completely, repeat the application of the substance in September of the same year. For certain weeds, you can use spot herbicides in summer and spring.

How To Apply Pre

Pre-emergent herbicides are tricky because they come in various forms and some only work on specific weeds. You must also choose between selective or nonselective herbicides. If you opt for the selective herbicide, you need to know what it will and will not kill. That means you need to know the types of weeds in your yard. For this reason, many Charlotte homeowners choose to have a landscaping professional handle pre-emergent weed control treatments.

Comparatively, nonselective herbicide products kill everything they come in contact with. Since this herbicide does not differentiate between weeds and grass, it should be used very carefully on lawns. Other application tips include:

  • Apply the herbicide evenly. If you miss spots, the seeds will sprout and weeds will grow.
  • Add water. Water activates the pre-emergent herbicide and washes the chemicals into the soil. For best results, apply the weed killer before an expected rainfall.
  • Do not disturb. One mistake that people make is to apply the herbicide and then aerate the lawn. Never use a pre-emergent and then work the soil. The dirt acts as an effective barrier for the herbicide.

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Does A Liquid Or Granular Preemergence Herbicide Work Better In The Fall

Effective preemergence weed control can be achieved with both liquid and granular herbicide formulations. If using liquid formulations, ensure adequate spray volume is used to deliver the active ingredient through the upper canopy. For granular formulations, it is important to use a particle size and spread rate to provide even coverage to deliver the desired use rate. Either formulation will need to be incorporated with rainfall or irrigation to activate the product.Created in partnership with the experts at FMC True Champions

The Right Weed Killer For The Job

Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer Ready

In order to treat your lawn and garden correctly, you need to know which kind of weed killer to use. Herbicides and weed killers can be broken down into four main categories: the pre emergent, post emergent, selective, and non selective. Let me briefly explain what each of these kinds of weed killers are.

  • Pre Emergent Herbicides: Weed killers you apply to prevent weeds from growing, i.e. before the weeds have emerged. You generally want to apply these in the spring and fall.
  • Post Emergent Herbicides: Weed killers you apply after the weed has grown out beyond the grass or surface.
  • Selective Herbicides: Weed killers that are made to target a specific kind of weed. This is useful for when you want to kill the weeds in your lawn, but not your lawn.
  • Non Selective Herbicides: Weed killers that are made to kill a broad spectrum of weeds all at once.

There are other commercial grade weed control products that you can use in conjunction with the above types of herbicides, called surfactants. A surfactant is a solution that you apply with the weed killer to help it spread out onto the weed better and to make the herbicide water resistant, so it stays on the weed if it rains or gets wet.

You can also use a product called a turf dye indicator or turf marker to mix with your commercial weed killer concentrate sprays. These indicator dyes will temporarily color the turf to allow you to see where you sprayed, ensuring even coverage.

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What Are The Best Conditions When Applying Weed Killer

Both the season and the changing weather conditions, day-by-day, impact weed killers effectiveness.

Weve already mentioned the importance of changing seasons and the amount of moisture in the soil when using weed killer. The other ideal conditions for applying weed killer are:

  • When its unlikely to rain for at least six hours

You dont want the weed killer to become diluted from the rain. This will cause the herbicide to be less effective when its taken up by the plant.

  • During calm weather

A gust of wind can blow the spray away from the intended area. A calmer day when you can target the specific area is preferable.

  • Mild weather – avoid strong sunshine, frost or freezing temperatures

Weed killers perform better in hot rather than cold weather, but both extremities are difficult.

Hot, dry weather encourages weed hardiness and growth, which reduces the movement of herbicide into and throughout the plant. If youre using herbicide-based weed killers, the hot weather will make it less effective, which is why you should target weeds in Spring or Fall.

And cold weather also isnt practical. Plants break down herbicides using their metabolism. But plant metabolism slows down in cold conditions. This then extends the amount of time it takes for the plant to react to the herbicide and be killed.

Applying Granulated Weed Killers

Herbicides that are granulated can be pre-emergent products that are applied to lawns twice a year to prevent weeds from growing. These types of weed killers can be for industrial use on farms and fields or residential lawns. Youll need an extra device called a spreader to apply a granulated weed killer evenly to your lawn.

A spreader is a device that resembles a wheelbarrow. The weed killer granulates are poured into the top of the device and as you move it around your yard it sprinkles the herbicide over your lawn. In order for this type of weed killer to work, you must mow your lawn first before applying the herbicide. After youve applied the weed killer to your lawn you must water your garden lightly so that the herbicide can mix with the liquid and seep into the soil.

The best time to apply these types of herbicides is in the late afternoon when the sun starts to go down. This ensures that the water doesnt evaporate. These types of herbicides are applied at the beginning of spring and fall. Check whether this weed killer is suitable for St Augustine or other sensitive lawns so that it doesnt destroy your grass.

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How To Prevent Weeds

When it comes to tackling weeds, the best defense is a good offense. You should always take these steps to keep your grass hardy and robust, reducing the chances of weeds taking over.

  • Water deeply and infrequentlyIf you want your grass to have strong, deep roots, you need to water deeply and infrequently instead of choosing shallow, daily watering. With deep, sturdy roots, your grass can grow nice and thick and compete with weeds that may try to grow.
  • Mow highWeeds need sunlight to grow. If you let your grass blades grow taller by setting your lawn mower to the first or second highest setting, the grass will grow tall enough to cast shade on any weed seeds, preventing them from sprouting.
  • Feed regularlyStressed lawns are more susceptible to being crowded by weeds. Feeding regularly will keep your lawn lush and make it less hospitable to enterprising weeds.

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When Is It Too Late To Seed Cool

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Depending on the geography it is best to seed when there is enough time left for the seed to germinate and establish before the winter months. As a good gauge, most LCOs will start their aeration and seeding in late summer and be done by no later than mid-November or earlier. It is definitely too late to seed once the soil temperatures dip below 40 degrees F, as the days get too short and there is a higher risk for overnight air temperature below freezing. These conditions can have an impact on the survival of young seedlings.

In cool-season turfgrass, fall is also the optimum time to apply postemergence herbicides for difficult-to-control perennial weeds such as wild violet and dandelion. During the fall, perennial weeds translocate carbohydrate reserves into the root structures for winter survival and energy source for spring emergence. Systemic broadleaf weed herbicides applied during this time provide more effective long-term control due to their impact on underground reproductive structures for these weeds. Typically, fall-applied herbicides in warm-season turfgrass are preemergence herbicides for winter annual weed control.

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Best Time Of Year To Apply 2

If I could only apply 2-4-D weed killer once per year it would be during the fall and there are a few reasons for this.

Firstly, annual winter weeds begin their lifecycle in late summer. The process of germination takes place in fall and during winter before the active growing season commences in spring. So, administering weed herbicide at the beginning of the germination period is a good way of controlling and preventing their lifecycle in its tracks before full growth commences the following spring.

Another reason for advocating that fall is the best time of year to apply 2-4-D is because this is the time when perennial broadleaf weeds are preparing for winter. During this time they shift energy from their leaves to their roots. The 2-4-D herbicide that is sprayed on the roots of these weeds is quickly absorbed and is then carried to the roots faster than at any other time of the year. Boom!

For a belt and braces approach to weed control in my lawn and pasture, I also apply 2-4-D in spring. It is no secret that weeds are notoriously opportunistic plants that seem to just appear in your lawn and pasture from nowhere, at any time and not just in the fall.

Therefore, I find that applying a second treatment of 2-4-D in spring while the weeds are relatively small also serves to eliminate a bumper crop of pesky annual and biennialbroadleaf weeds for the duration of the summer.

Developing A Weed Control Strategy

When you’re developing a weed control strategy for a property, an important detail to impress upon your customer is that it’s not possible to completely eliminate weeds with a single application or cultural practice. There is no silver bullet that kills all weeds and an effective program adjusts to the needs of the property on a seasonal or annual basis.

All weeds have a survival strategy and cannot be completely eliminated because they have different life cycles and methods of reproduction. Seeds can lay dormant for years before they germinate, surviving drought, fire, and herbicide applications. Even if you were to completely clear a property of seeds, seed and vegetative propagules can easily be transported to the property by wind, water, animals or human activity.As you’re developing or adjusting your weed control strategy, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What weeds do you want to control?

  • Is the goal to prevent these weeds, to eradicate them, or both?

  • Are there cultural practices that could help reduce the presence of the weeds?

  • What are the life cycles of the weeds, and when is the proper timing for a pre-emergent herbicide application?

  • What desired plants are on the property, and are the herbicides you’re considering safe/labeled for those plants?

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