Hello again!

There are a few things to consider when controlling weeds during the summer months. What is the name of the weed? What is the life cycle of the weed? Is it an annual or perennial? Are the leaves broadleaf or grassy? Yes, there is a lot to consider when searching for the right tool for controlling weeds.

It’s important to identify the weed you’re wanting to control, and to read, understand and follow the label directions on any herbicide. Herbicides are either ‘selective’ in their control and will be effective on a particular plant type or ‘non-selective’ in their control and will be effective on all plant types.

Let’s look at fall germinating weeds; I refer to them as the big 3: dandelion, chickweed and henbit. They are most noticeable in spring while blooming, but they are easiest to control in the fall while small and actively growing. Dandelion, being a perennial, can be controlled about anytime, while chickweed and henbit, being annuals, are finishing their life cycle now. They are pretty much gone with our summer heat, so now isn’t the right time to apply controls for them. ferti-lome Weed Free Zone is our favorite broadleaf herbicide for turf areas, and we use it to control dandelions this time of year.

Grassy type weeds are typically annual plants, which only have a growing cycle of 1 season. Crabgrass is a great example of such. It germinates in the spring so a barrier applied before the seeds germinate is the most effective control. Control lasts most of the summer, depending on the product used and at what rate, but it’s not uncommon to see a few crabgrass plants in late summer. If the preventer was not applied earlier this spring, you’ll be seeing the tiny mouse-ear-shaped leaves now. Control is easy while the plants are small with ferti-lome Weed-Out with Crabgrass Control. Containing a combination of broadleaf and grassy herbicides, it is the best of both worlds!

Bermuda grass is a good heat tolerant, drought resistant perennial turf for our region. But because it has a spreading habit, it can often be found making its way into landscape and flower areas. Those wanting to control Bermuda grass in flower beds can use Hi-Yield Super KillzAll. Because it is non-selective, be sure to keep the spray off of desirable plants! Hi-Yield Triclopyr Ester is a unique herbicide in that it kills many broadleaf weeds and suppresses Bermudagrass in cool season lawns such as fescue. This is a great tool to stay ahead of Bermuda as it creeps into your fescue.

One of my favorite tools for controlling grassy weeds in not only landscape areas, but vegetable gardens as well is Over-The-Top Grass Killer because it kills most annual and hard-to-kill perennial grasses up to 1 foot high, in one or two applications. Younger, actively growing seedling weeds are more easily killed than older, mature, well-established grassy weeds which may require a repeat application for control.

Another weed we see in spring that does not fall into either broadleaf or grassy categories is Nutsedge or Nutgrass. Nutsedge has the appearance of grass with its very vertical, narrow and triangular leaves. It has an underground system of ‘nutlets’ which make it difficult to control by pulling. The herbicide formerly known as Sedgehammer, now referred to as Halo 5WDG Select, does a great job of eliminating Nutgrass in turf areas. Make sure to mix Halo as the label recommends to apply the herbicide where it’s needed, on the leaf surface!

Bring in a bagged sample of what’s bugging you in the lawn or garden, or visit the Weed Finder on our website. We’ll find you a solution!

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center