Category Archives: weeds

Lawn Weeds are popping

Just a quick post to mention that Lawn weeds in turf are now in full swing. I just sprayed mine yesterday and they are already curling today.

For a full article about treating and identifying lawn weeds, please visit :
https://doyourownlawncare.wordpress.com/2007/01/09/manage-your-weeds-the-professional-way/

A couple quick tips:

1. Use the right product for the right kinds of weeds

2. Read the label and use only as much as required. More is not better and in many cases can be worse to your turf and less effective.

3. Granular weed controls are more effective when the grass is wet so that the weed control can stick to the weed.

4. If spraying , try not to spray when It is Very hot or when rain is in the forecast. You want the weed control to stick to the weed for as long as possible.

5. Do not mow or chop down weeds first, then spray. Work the other way around. Spray when weeds are full, then wait a few days to mow or weed wack. You need some leaf tissue for the weed control to stick to.

6: For weed ID help, visit Weedalert.com
Good luck with your weeds!

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Keep Weeds out of your Shrub Beds

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Shrub Bed weed management

Weed Control in your shrub beds can be tedious and difficult. You can either pick them out regularly or try to find a product that can help keep them under control. With so many different products, it’s often very hard to find the right ones that work.

I am here to help sort it out.

There are 2 different types of weed controls.

Pre-emergent weed controls
Post emergent weed controls

Pre-emergent weed controls like Gallery & Treflan (known as Preen on the retail market) are applied before most of the weeds and grasses are present. They settle in the top layer of the soil & don’t allow the weed seeds you have to break through and become a problem.

With most pre-emergent products, it is a good idea to apply them at least a couple times. I like to apply them early, and again 45-60 days later again in the summer. This continues to send the message “Stay out of my Beds” throughout the summer.

Products like Treflan are available in granular form. Products like Gallery are dry or liquid concentrates that are mixed with water and sprayed to prevent weeds. Although these pre-emergent products generally present No harm to your existing plants, always read the label and water them in after application.

Post emergent weed control products are applied after weeds have emerged and you must now get rid of them. You need an actual weed to kill.

Within the post emergent group, you have 2 other types.

Selective & Non- Selective

Non selective herbicides like Round-up affect all vegetation. They do not selectively kill one type of undesirable weed while not affecting other vegetation around it. Non Selective weed controls can be very useful in certain types of situations.

Selective weed controls kill target weeds without affecting other products around it that come in contact with them.
The best example to give is using lawn weed control products to kill weeds in the lawn, but don’t kill your grass.

Products like Ornamec do exist that will kill annoying grasses & weeds in your landscape beds, that do not harm any of your plants. They are often referred to as “over the top” products because you can spray around and over the top of your plants without harming them.

This is often a better strategy than simply picking weeds by hand because many times, hand weeding leaves roots and pieces of the grass intact and the keep coming back. Low growing junipers are the worst.

Non selectives like Round up can also be used in certain areas.
Shrub beds with plants that are spread out well, offer the opportunity to use non selective weed controls like Round up.

You must make sure it is not windy and avoid spray drift at all costs. Narrow the nozzle spray pattern on your garden sprayer too. The narrower pattern will help keep the product right where you need it, on the weed and not on your plants.

Some other tips to keep weeds down in your shrub beds.

Use quality weed fabric whenever possible to keep weeds from breaking through.

Use bark mulches to keep soils cooler. Weeds tend to like soil warmth. Mulches help to keep soils cool. Check here for more mulching advice.

Don’t allow weeds and grasses to from seed heads. Try to take care of the weeds before more seeds are produced and deposited for next year’s crop of weeds.

Do any cleaning in your beds before you apply pre-emergents.
Pre-emergents form a barrier on the top of soil that prevents certain weeds from popping through. Raking, digging and foot traffic disturb this barrier and may provide areas for weeds to pop through.

Read this post for some additional Weed Control Strategies

Click here for information on where to purchase some of these weed control products.

For other resources check www.elawnhelp.com also.

Manage your weeds the professional way

A thick lawn is your best defense.

Weeds are opportunists. They will find bare spots or places where your grass is weak, and they will exploit them to their advantage.

Perennial weeds (weeds that grow from their roots every year) can spread and make a lawn unsightly. Annual weeds (weeds that die at the end of the season and reseed the next year) can leave bare spots that are vulnerable to runoff.

No matter what weeds you have, the first line of defense is preventive practices. Try these options to get at the root of the problem first, before resorting to herbicides.

Prevention practices

Mow high. Do not mow grass shorter than recommended for the species you grow. Mowing at 3 inches or higher helps grass shade out weeds and encourages a thicker, more competitive turf. See other sections of this site to make sure that you are using the right grass species, fertilizing and watering correctly, and generally doing all you can to encourage healthy grass.

Reduce compaction. Pay special attention to heavily used areas and sections next to pavement. Weeds can gain a foothold in these spots and spread to the rest of the lawn if it is weak.

Repair bare spots by raking in seed in early spring so that the new grass can compete with the weeds that are sure to come up. This can be tricky though. When you seed, you can’t use traditional pre-emergent crabgrass products because these will keep your grass seed from germinating just like the crabgrass seeds.

There are however a couple of products and strategies to avoid this situation and keep the spring crabgrass germination

If lawn is thin, fertilize it properly ,with quality fertilizers ,to improve density.

Let the weeds be your guide. If weeds dominate an area, it’s likely that there is something wrong with either the growing conditions or your lawn practices. Dense stands of prostrate knotweed are a good sign of soil compaction. Don’t just pull out the weeds. Relieve the compaction. Violets (Viola spp.) are a good sign of low light levels. One solution might be to seed shade-tolerant fine fescues or new shade and drought tolerant hybrid bluegrasses.

If you use herbicides…

• Use the right product at the right time. Follow label directions and try to spot treat areas with the weeds only using the right liquid concentrate weed control. The best and most economical way is in a pump sprayer. You usually mix a very small amount with water and spray. This saves lots over time.

• Use granular weed control products only on lawns with lots of weeds throughout. Some products are better than others for certain types of weeds. Applying at the right time, and allowing the weeds to take in the weed control is critical. Usually this is done while the grass is wet or damp to help the granules stick to the weed. 24-48 hours without rainfall is best.

• To avoid volatilization and drift, which release pesticides into the air, do not spray when temperatures are high or it is windy.

• To help prevent polluted runoff, do not apply pesticides when heavy rains are expected or the ground is already saturated or frozen. You will also get a better result.

• Sprayers should be triple rinsed with a spray tank cleaning solution to avoid residual left over when you use the sprayer for other products.

The types of weed control products include:

Pre-emergence herbicides:

• Most common for crabgrass.
• Applied to soil before weeds are expected.
• Have low solubility and bind to organic matter.

Postemergence herbicides:

• Most common for perennial broadleaf weeds.
• Applied after weeds have emerged and are actively growing.
• Avoid application before irrigation or rain.

Nonselective herbicides:
• Kill or injure all plants they come in contact with.
• Used to kill vegetation before reseeding.

Annual grass weeds.

Crabgrass is one of the most common grass weed problems. It is a warm-season annuals. They thrive when temperatures are hot and cool-season lawn grasses are least competitive. Still, they have a tough time invading a healthy lawn.

One place where they can more easily gain a foothold is along paved areas where high temperatures can damage cool-season grasses – along the edges of driveways, sidewalks and patios, for instance. Soil temperatures are usually warmer in these areas and crabgrass germinates earlier. These are also harder to get granular applications on as you are spreading your product in a spreader.

Where hostile conditions exist for lawn grasses, you can spot treat for crabgrass with pre-emergence herbicides. These herbicides work on the seeds as they germinate. Because they are ineffective on ungerminated seeds or established plants, timing is critical.

Using a strategy of spraying just the edges of the driveway or sidewalk about 1-2 ft wide, will keep crabgrass pressures down considerably. The benefit is great, it doesn’t cost much, and you are only treating a small area along the edges where crabgrass pressures are greatest.

Optimum timing for pre-emergent treatment of crabgrass is about the time that forsythia blooms wane, when the soil temperature is between 59 F and 65 F.

As mentioned earlier, Pre-emergent herbicides do not distinguish between weed seeds and grass seeds. So you won’t be able to replant grass where you’ve applied them for 2 to 6 months. Two products do exist to allow you to seed in spring and control crabgrass. Professionals use them and you can too.

The first product is called Siduron. It is usually easiest to apply this as a granular over the seeded area at the time of seeding. It won’t inhibit new grass seed from germinating while controlling crabgrass. Siduron is a little pricey, but their aren’t exactly many alternatives.

The second product is Drive DF. It is a dry flowable product that you mix in water and spray before you seed an area. It works great in small seeded areas because you can spray it where you want to seed. You use only about 1/3 of an ounce per gallon of water. The best part: It is also a post-emergent crabgrass spray too. You can use it to spray existing crabgrass plants if some emerge anywhere else in your lawn. It also controls a few broadleaf weeds like clover too. It can be bought in Drive 1# containers for a little more than 100 dollars (professional s use cases of this size) . It can also be purchased in Drive 1.5 oz bottles for about 20 dollars. This size will make 5 gallons of crabgrass pre-emergent for seeded areas or crabgrass killer for mature crabgrass plants .

As mentioned above, once crabgrass emerges, you can apply postemergent herbicides, usually from early June through mid-July. Several different herbicides are on the market that can kill plants that have not yet tillered. Drive DF is a good one . Acclaim Extra is another good product. Acclaim Extra is only a post-emergent crabgrass control . It is a liquid you mix in water and spray on crabgrass. It comes in large size concentrate, but is also sold in Acclaim pint size containers. An average rate is about ½ oz per 1000 sq ft or gallon of water. This will give you 16 gallons or 16,000 sq ft of crabgrass killer.

Spot treating with non-selective herbicides such as Round-up can kill the plants and reduce their contribution to next year’s seedbank. But you must use absolute caution and care not to accidentally spray and kill other plants nearby. Round Up will also kill any grass it touches and leave dead spots throughout the lawn. Drive DF and Acclaim Extra will not do this.

Perennial broadleaf weeds

Unlike annual grass weeds, herbicides for broadleaf perennial weeds are usually applied post-emergence. The advantage of post-emergent control is that you can see how many weeds you have before you decide whether or not to spray. If you just have a few, pulling them by hand might be your best option. If you don’t have to spray, then don’t.

Most broadleaf perennials – such as dandelions — have their greatest visual impact in spring. But late summer to mid-fall is a great time to control them with herbicides. As the weather cools, these weeds start storing food produced in their leave in their roots, just like cool-season lawn grasses. If you apply herbicides at this time, it will be transported along with the food and stands a better chance of killing to root.

When applied in spring, you can still get good results with quality weed control products. Because the weed is hungry and growing, it will take the weed control in and be effective at this time too. You can spray them with the quality weed control products, or use granular weed controls in a spreader. Spraying is more economical and you get the product right where you want it. Granular products are more suited for large areas filled with weeds to get a knockdown. Avoid rainfall for 24-48 hours. This gives the weed control time to work.

Make sure you choose a selective broadleaf herbicide – one that kills only broadleaves and not grass. Nonselective herbicides, such as Round-up, can kill all plants that they come in contact with.

I will detail some more specific weed control strategies as the season progresses, but this should get you on your way.

For more Information, visit www.elawnhelp.com