Winter Lawn Weeds | Fall Weed Seed Germination

Among all the other Fall and Winter gardening tasks we’ve been discussing here in the blog, we can include treating and eliminating Winter weeds from our lawns and gardens. While it may require you to drag the lawn mower out one more time, you can also add pre-emergents, and post-emergents to your weeding plan. In the following article, Woods Houghton goes more into detail regarding post and pre-emergent herbicides to treat and eliminate Winter weed problems.

Woods Houghton

The fall season brings winter weeds. They germinate in the fall, grow through the winter and spring, and then die in the late spring. Most people think that when the grass slows it’s growth that there is no more to do to the lawn, however, fall is the second best time to control weeds using the pre-emergent method described later. The only drawback is that you cannot seed and apply a pre-emergent weed control at the same time.

These weeds can be controlled with proper methods. The two methods used are pre-emergent, and post-emergent. The pre-emergent method is the most effective because the weeds are controlled before they emerge this way the lawn looks cleaner because you never see the weeds.

A pre-emergent herbicide is used to prevent weeds such as; Crabgrass, Goosegrass, Quackgrass, Henbit, Chickweed, Plantain, and some 30 to 40 other weeds. The timing is critical on applying pre-emergent herbicides. If you put it down to early, you miss the late summer weeds, if you wait to long to apply, you’ll miss the crabgrass. Usually the weather in your area will dictate the proper timing. When Forsythia starts to bloom in your area is a good clue as to when to apply.

Using chemicals to control weeds is a tricky matter. Used correctly, they pose no problem.(Contrary to many beliefs)More harm is done to the environment each year by homeowners trying to do something that they don’t understand than by all of the professional applicators put together. Just be careful, read the label, AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS.

The second method of weed control is Post-Emergent control. This involves spraying the weeds after they are already up and showing. Commonly this is called broadleaf weed control because usually the weeds controlled are broadleaved. Dandelion, plantain, chickweed, oxalis, wood sorrel, wild onion and garlic, purslane, and clover are all examples of broadleaves. These have to be controlled by applying the herbicide to the leaves or to the soil as to reach the root zone of the plant.

There are many sprays available and granulated products also. The granules may be easier to apply if you’re not good with a sprayer. Sprays work much faster because you don’t have to wait for a rain or irrigate to activate the chemical. Check at your garden center or discount store for available broadleaf herbicides. Just be careful around your shrubs and flowers, they are also broadleaves and it is not hard to kill them inadvertently. I see this every year.

Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating.

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