Weed-free lawns are the stuff of dreams and champion golf courses. In reality, when you consider the tenacity of weeds, it's a marvel any of us win the battle royals we wage with these pesky invaders. Simply one dandelion plant makes up to 15,000 seeds, each of which can survive six years in the soil-- developing 15,000 more seeds when it grows and develops.
Artificial herbicides are the normal reaction to chronic weed problems. But used unwisely, these chemical herbicide can be dangerous to individuals, family pets and turf. And unless you get at the hidden issues that deteriorate lawns and favor weeds, you may need to apply herbicides frequently.
The best method to control dandelions and other weeds in your backyard is to grow a thick, vigorous yard. If only a few weeds dot your lawn, changing your maintenance techniques may be all it takes to get rid of them.
STRATEGY YOUR APPROACH
No single herbicide, weeding strategy or lawn care tactic works versus all weeds. How you assault the weeds in your lawn depends upon which you have. Yard weeds fall under 3 broad classifications: undesirable grasses; grasslike plants called sedges; and broadleaf plants. Here Many are annuals or perennials. Annuals finish their life cycle in one season and replicate from seeds. Perennials live several years and spread underground as well as by seed, making them more difficult to control.
The following guide shows examples of the different kinds of weeds that pester yards throughout the country. Call the extension service in your area for aid from specialists if you're still puzzled about whether yellow nutsedge or yellow woodsorrel has attacked your grass.
CROWDING OUT WEEDS
Most lawn weeds are opportunists that settle any place they can discover the area and catch a few rays of sunlight. These interlopers stand little opportunity of establishing themselves in healthy grass. That's why a reasonable lawn care strategy will help stop weed problems before they have a chance to start.
Fertilize enough, however not excessive. Insufficient fertilizer can cause sparse yard that loses the competitors with weeds. Too much helps support certain weeds, especially yearly bluegrass, Bermuda turf and crabgrass. Strike a balance by following the application rates on the bundle. And use a fertilizer with a high portion of controlled-release nitrogen, such as sulfur-coated urea, ureaform or IBDU. These supply a sluggish, constant nutrient supply.
The frequency and timing of your fertilizing efforts are also crucial to healthy yards. Both vary depending on your yard type and the length of your growing season. Most northern lawns need just one or 2 applications of fertilizer annually-- when in fall and sometimes a 2nd time in spring. Southern turfs might need 3 feedings-- early to midspring just after the yard greens up, early summer season and again in early fall.
Frequent, light watering causes shallow roots and helps yearly bluegrass, crabgrass, chickweed, sedges and other weed seeds sprout. If you water too bit, the yard suffers while spotted spurge, Bermuda lawn, quackgrass and other weeds adapted to drier soil flourish. Set an empty tuna can on the yard to figure out when you have used 1 inch of water.
Cut greater. Cutting too low compromises turf by lowering the capability of a lawn leaf to produce enough nutrients. It likewise lets light struck the soil surface area, which helps crabgrass and goosegrass seeds sprout and grow. Consult your regional extension service for the advised series of mowing heights for your yard type. Trim at the greatest level-- usually in between 2 and 4 inches.
Find out to read weeds. Often weeds are an idea to soil or site problems. Correct them so your landscape favors yard yards and dissuades weeds.
Growing a healthy lawn with correct mowing and watering can keep weeds from growing. Here's how to go after the weeds you have:
Hand-weeding is still the best defense on small yards where the number of weeds isn't overwhelming. It's most reliable against yearly broadleaf weeds. Pulling them while they're young-- prior to they flower and seed-- is the simplest way to prevent them from spreading.
Catching seasonal weeds early is essential. Dandelions, for example, develop deep taproots that are hard to pull as soon as they mature. Tug the entire plant, including the root-- any root pieces left underground will grow brand-new plants. If new sprouts grow, pull them consistently to ultimately kill the weed and starve.
When the soil is damp, weeding is most convenient. Tools like the dandelion digger help get at the root by probing deep into the soil. When the weed is out, quickly reseed the bare spot; otherwise, new weeds will fill it in.
PULLING WEEDS PERMANENTLY
When they are young, seasonal weeds such as dandelions should be pulled. When soil is wet, press a sharp spade or dandelion digger into the soil, angled downward towards the center of the plant, and loosen up the soil around it. Use the tool to pry the weed up while pulling it; try not to break off the roots. When the weed and roots are out, smooth the soil, operate in some compost, and spot the location with lawn seed. Keep the soil uniformly wet until the grass is 1 inch high.
Use herbicides as a last option-- when absolutely nothing else works on a specific weed or when your lawn is totally overrun. And follow directions thoroughly. Utilized incorrectly, herbicides can injure or kill turf and other desirable plants.
If you use an herbicide, select one that's labeled as safe for the type of grass you're growing and reliable against the weeds you've got. When and in which conditions to use the item, the label states. Some herbicides work just within a specific temperature range; others work only when used at a particular season.
Herbicides fall under 3 significant categories:
Preemergence herbicides kill germinating seeds before seedlings break through the soil. 3 quality products are Concern Weed Prevention Plus, WOW! A disadvantage to these and most other preemergence herbicides is that they eliminate sprouting yard seed.
Postemergence herbicides eliminate existing weeds that are actively growing. These come in 2 fundamental forms: contact and systemic. Contact herbicides kill just the part of the plant they touch. Many act quickly and work finest against yearly weeds. Systemic herbicides flow inside the plant, killing the entire thing. They're more effective than contact herbicides on perennial weeds, though repeat treatments may be required.
Selective herbicides kill only particular weeds, while nonselective herbicides kill any green, growing plant, whether it's a weed or not. Most broadleaf herbicides, consisting of items like Weed-Away and Weed Warrior, are systemic and selective to kill broadleaf weeds just. Glyphosate-- the active component in Roundup and other products-- is an example of a systemic, nonselective herbicide that eliminates broadleaf weeds and weedy grasses.
When using any postemergence herbicide, do not apply them over your entire lawn, if possible. Rather, spot-treat separated weeds or weedy patches.
Weed-and-feed items integrate fertilizer and herbicides to do two jobs at as soon as. Their promised labor cost savings can backfire if the suggested time for weed control doesn't coincide with the finest time and rates for fertilizing.
Whichever herbicide you use, follow the instructions. Address the reasons for weeds at the exact same time to keep brand-new ones from growing. And reseed the bare areas left by dead weeds. The bottom line in the war against weeds: Care for your lawn and use only exactly what it needs-- and just when needed.
8 COMMON WEEDS
Crabgrass is a yearly with branching, spreading out stems. Its coarse, blue-green to purplish leaf blades can be hairy or smooth, depending upon the types. Flower heads with numerous fingerlike spikes rise from narrow stems.
Crabgrass grows in yards trimmed much shorter than 2 inches, underfed lawns, and those watered often and lightly. Thick, deeply irrigated grass is the finest control. Dig crabgrass before it seeds. Preemergence crabgrass herbicides are offered; use in spring prior to soil temperature reaches a stable 60 degrees F.
Dandelion is a broadleaf seasonal recognized by bright-yellow flowers and a large, flat rosette of leaves increasing from a long, fleshy taproot. Dandelions favor thin grass.
Dig or pull out young plants prior to they go to seed. Cut any regrowth from leftover root pieces. You can likewise spot-treat weeds with a selective broadleaf weed killer.
White clover is a broadleaf perennial that used to be consisted of in lawn seed blends. Called white Dutch clover, it's differentiated by three-lobed leaves with a crescent-shaped white band. The plant spreads by sneaking prospers and stems in sparse, undernourished turf with extreme wetness.
Control it by watering well, using nitrogen fertilizer and preventing extreme applications of phosphorus. Spot-treat with a selective broadleaf herbicide; a 2nd treatment typically is needed.
Ground ivy is a broadleaf seasonal with square stems and bright-green rounded leaves with scalloped edges. It reproduces by seed and creeping stems that root as they touch the ground.
Likewise called sneaking Charlie, it chooses wet soil and shade. Improve drain and water less. Pull stems and roots of young plants. Spot-treat with a broadleaf postemergence herbicide.
Yellow woodsorrel is a broadleaf perennial, although it might function as an annual in some areas. Also referred to as oxalis, it has yellow flowers and cloverlike leaves, each with 5 petals. Plants spread by roots and seed.
Dig out little plants or spot-treat isolated ones with a postemergence weed killer. Prevent brand-new weeds with a preemergence herbicide with oxalis on the label.
Quackgrass is a perennial lawn with flat light-green to blue-green leaves. It spreads out by seeds and aggressive underground stems, called rhizomes.
Completely dig out roots and pointed rhizomes-- staying pieces regenerate new plants. Spot-treat with a nonselective herbicide.
Yellow nutsedge is a grasslike perennial sedge with triangular stems and 1/4-inch-wide leaves. Also called yellow nutgrass, it reproduces by seed and roots that grow at the root suggestions. Roots typically continue in the soil, making recognized plants hard to manage.
Cut high in early to summer and water occasionally though completely. Spot-treat with postemergence herbicides labeled for nutsedge. Similar to the majority of weeds, control is easiest when plants are small.
Found spurge is a broadleaf yearly that grows close to the ground in a fast-spreading mat. Its little leaves are green with a brown-red area on top. Cut stems exhibit a milky liquid.
Found spurge reseeds heavily. A high-mowed, well-fertilized and vigorous lawn offers tough competition. Pull separated plants before they seed. Spot-treat with a postemergence herbicide and use suitable preemergence herbicides to avoid new weeds.
WHERE TO FIND IT
AgrEvo Environmental Health (Product: Weed Warrior).
95 Chestnut Ridge Rd
. Montvale, NJ 07645.
Fertrell (Products: WeedzSTOP and natural controlled-release fertilizers).
Bainbridge, PA 17502.
(Products: WOW! Plus controlled-release fertilizers).
5100 Schenley Pl.
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025.
Monsanto Corp., The Solaris Group (Products: Herbicides, consisting of Roundup and weed-and-feed items).
San Ramone, CA 94583.
Essential Organics, Inc. (Products: Concern Weed Prevention Plus controlled-release fertilizer and other products).
New Castle, VA 24127.
Ringer (Safer brand name items) (Products: Weed-Away yard weed killer and controlled-release yard fertilizer).
9555 James Ave. S,.
Minneapolis, MN 55431.
Scotts Company (Lawn care items).
14111 Scottslawn Rd
. Marysville, OH 43041.
Pursell Industries, Inc. (Products: Stay-Green controlled-release fertilizers).
Sylacauga, AL 35150.
Pursell Industries, Inc