Lawn Problem Solvers - Weeds
Weeds have plagued man since the very beginning of agriculture, stealing vital nutrients and sunlight from crops intended to feed hungry families. Luckily, most of us no longer have to compete with weeds for dinner, but they still annoy us when it comes to maintaining a nice lawn!
An ounce of prevention…
When it comes to weed control, it's a good idea to prevent them from sprouting in the first place! The easiest way to do this is to ensure that your existing lawn is thick and full, which will make it very difficult for weeds to emerge.
Many people complain that crabgrass will “take over” their lawn in Summer. The truth is that the lawn first dies back due to other issues, and then the weeds sprout out of the bare dirt that is no longer covered by your lawn.
Make sure that you feed your lawn when it needs nutrients. This depends on what area of the Country you live in and also on the type of lawn that you are growing. See our cool season maintenance guide for an idea of when to fertilize.
Dealing with Weeds
Even the best maintained lawn will occasionally have a weed issue. The first step in controlling weeds is to identify what type of weed it is, as different products are effective against different types of weeds.
Weeds generally are one of two types: broadleaf and grassy.
Grassy weeds include crabgrass, annual bluegrass, and creeping bentgrass. These grasses look similar to turfgrass and are harder to control since they are physiologically similar to the desirable grasses. Most will require multiple applications of herbicide spaced about a week apart. The chemicals used for grassy weed control can also damage your desirable lawn grasses if applied incorrectly.
Broadleaf weeds are easier to identify and include clover, dandelion, henbit, and really any weed that had broad leaves instead of grass-like blades. Most broadleaf weeds can be readily controlled with a single application of a broadleaf herbicide. We recommend a liquid as opposed to a granular herbicide as the liquid coats the plant much more uniformly.
Once you have identified the weed, it is time to think about how to control it. Herbicides work best when the plant is actively growing, as the chemical is absorbed and transported through the weed more rapidly. The most important aspect of applying a weed control chemical is reading the label! Most people do not read the labels or directions for products that we use in our day to day lives. Do not make this mistake with weed control chemicals. A small note on the label may make the difference between killing a few weeds or killing your whole lawn! Also, do not apply chemicals on a windy day. Broadleaf herbicide will injure any broad-leaf plant that it touches, including your flowers and shrubs!