Proper Timing for Weed
Late summer and early fall are excellent times to control many lawn
weeds, especially tough perennial weeds such as clover. At that time
of year, perennial plants are translocating the products of
photosynthesis to their roots for storage over the winter and absorb
herbicides readily. Tough customers such as clover and ground ivy
will require repeated applications.
weed and feed products are useful, they have their limitations. They
must be applied to a lawn that is moist from dew or rain so that the
granules stick to the leaves of the weeds in order for them to
absorb the herbicide. And you cannot make a second application of
weed and feed to go after those tough weeds -- that would be too
much fertilizer in too short a time.
Ground Ivy is a difficult weed to control
broadleaf weed killers allow more flexibility. If you have weed and
feed on hand and have not fertilized your lawn in six to eight
weeks, you can make the first application with it, then make
subsequent applications with a liquid.
Broadleaf weed killers
typically include active ingredients such as 2,4-D, MCPP, MCPA,
dicamba, carfentrazone and triclopyr. Active ingredients are listed
in fine print, usually on the lower left corner of the pesticide
label. They are generally sold as combination products to take
advantage of the synergistic effect of these herbicides together.
(If you have a lot of trees in your yard, do not use products
containing dicamba within their root zone, or choose a product that
does not contain dicamba.)
available as ready-to-use hose end applicators or as concentrates
that you mix and apply with a pump sprayer. The pump sprayer offers
more control; hose end sprayers are convenient and you do not have
to measure and mix spray solutions. Whichever you choose, always
read and follow mixing and spraying directions carefully. The label
contains important information on using the product for maximum
safety and effectiveness.
Violets are difficult to control!
If you choose a
pump sprayer, reserve it strictly for spraying herbicides; never use
it to apply insecticides or fungicides to plants that you value.
Even if you clean it out, there may be enough herbicide residue to
Herbicide Apps needed?
You may need two or three applications to get sufficient control of
tough-to-kill weeds. Check the label of the herbicide you are using
for suggested application intervals. Even though some of these weeds
seem indestructible, re-spray at the shortest recommended intervals
until you are satisfied.
the right way
Mowing practices greatly determine the quality of lawns. Allowing a
lawn to grow long and then cutting it short is stressful to grass.
It uses a tremendous amount of its stored energy reserves to push
out new growth after such treatment. The general rule of thumb is
not to remove more than one-third of the leaf blade at one time.
Rather than mowing on a schedule -- say, every Saturday -- mow as
the grass's growth dictates. That may be twice a week during the
cooler weather in spring and fall or every few weeks during hot, dry
summer weather (especially if you do not water).
Most species of turfgrass
should be cut at a height of 21/2-3 inches. There is a direct
relationship between the height of cut and the depth and extent of
the root system. The longer the grass grows, the more extensive its
root system; the shorter you cut it, the less root system it will
have. Summer heat and drought are more stressful for our cool-season
grass species than winter cold. Keeping the grass a little taller
encourages an extensive root system that will make your lawn more
drought-tolerant. It also shades the soil, moderating soil
temperatures and helping to conserve soil moisture, as well as
shading out germinating weed seeds that try to become established.
Be sure to sharpen your mower blade regularly. A sharp blade makes a
clean cut that the grass recovers from easily. Dull blades make
jagged wounds that are harder to heal. They can serve as a point of
entry for insect and disease problems.
How often you sharpen your mower blade depends on the size of your
lawn and the number of obstacles it is likely to encounter. Monthly
sharpening for large (or obstacle-filled) lawns is not unreasonable.
Small lawns can get by with once a year.
weeds in groundcover
Thatch & thatching