Weeds have been described as “a plant out of place” or “a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” These definitions are rather poetic but not much use to the homeowner who wants a weed-free landscape.
The best place to start with weed control is to know the enemy. Here are some basic terms that will help you:
Weeds in flower beds and shrub borders can turn even the most attractive landscape into an eyesore. Although pulling weeds is immediately satisfying, it is only a short-term solution, as most weeds will quickly come back. When weeds appear, apply Hi-Yield Super Killzall, a nonselective herbicide that kills anything that’s green and growing, roots and all. It may take 7-14 days for the weed to die, but it is a permanent solution. If the weeds are close to flowers or shrubs, shield the desirable plants with a piece of cardboard for protection. Killzall works on any type of vegetation and is excellent for bermudagrass that is creeping into landscape beds.
To prevent weeds from getting started, use a combination of a pre-emergent weed control and mulch. Hi-Yield Weed and Grass Stopper forms a barrier to keep the weed seeds from germinating. Or for added protection against weeds, use Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed & Grass Stopper with Dimension. Dimension is both a pre-emergent and post-emergent weed control. It prevents germination and also kills small grassy weeds that have already germinated. In addition to the pre-emergent, put down a 2-3” layer of mulch such as cedar, cypress or cottonseed hulls to help deter weed seeds from getting started in your landscape beds. An added advantage is that mulch helps retain soil moisture and it looks great, too.
In lawns, the goal is to get rid of the weeds without harming the lawn. You will need to use a broadleaf weed killer or a grassy weed killer, depending on what type of weeds you have in your lawn. Examples of broadleaf weeds are dandelion, henbit and chickweed. The most common grassy weed is crabgrass. If you have trouble identifying a weed, bring in a sample for our staff to identify.
If your problem is broadleaf weeds, the first question you should ask yourself is “Do I have just a few weeds or lots?” If you have just a few, the best plan of attack is to spot-spray the individual weeds with ferti•lome Weed Free Zone. Do not water your lawn for 4-6 hours after spraying with Weed Free Zone.
If your lawn has more weeds than you want to spend time spraying, apply ferti•lome Weed Free Zone Plus Lawn Fertilizer or ferti•lome Weed-Out (contains no fertilizer) to your lawn. These products are applied with a fertilizer spreader so they are a good option if you have lots of weeds. Both need to stick to the weed leaf surface, so it’s best to water lightly before the application, or apply it on a lawn that is covered with morning dew. Do not water your lawn for 24-48 hours after the application.
The best way to prevent broadleaf weeds is to treat the lawn with Weed Free Zone (spray or granular) in mid October. At this time, the next year’s crop of broadleaf weeds has just germinated and may even be too small for you to see. This fall application will kill these tiny weeds and keep them from ruining your lawn the following spring.
Grassy weeds such as crabgrass, can be killed with an application of ferti•lome Crabgrass, Nutgrass & Dallis Grass Killer, but these weeds get harder to kill as the season progresses. Because crabgrass is an annual weed that germinates from seed produced by the previous year’s crop, the very best way to keep it out of your lawn is with a pre-emergent control applied in the spring. Apply ferti•lome For All Seasons Lawn Food Plus Crabgrass and Weed Preventer with Prodiamine any time from January through April to prevent crabgrass and other grassy weeds from germinating. Barricade lies “dormant” until the weather warms up so you have a wide window of time to apply the product.
Crabgrass starts to germinate when soil temperatures reach about 50° (when the redbuds bloom) and continues to germinate throughout the spring and summer. For that reason, crabgrass prevention starting in mid April switches to Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed & Grass Stopper with Dimension. As stated earlier, Dimension prevents germination and also kills small grassy weeds that have already germinated.
Remember the saying that a weed is merely “a plant out of place?” That’s the perfect description of bermudagrass in a fescue lawn. Some people like bermuda lawns, but it is a nuisance to fescue lawn lovers. To eliminate bermudagrass in a fescue lawn, treat at regular intervals with Hi-Yield Turflon Ester (which also controls hard-to-kill broadleaf weeds like clover) or Bayer Bermudagrass Control for Lawns (which also kills grassy weeds like crabgrass).
The light green, grass-like weed that grows faster than your lawn is called nutgrass or nutsedge. It loves moist areas or low wet spots. Hand pulling is ineffective because little tubers and nutlets are left behind and the weeds come right back. SedgeHammer does an excellent job of stopping nutgrass in turf areas.
When spraying weeds with a liquid product, mix in Hi-Yield Spreader Sticker for an extra measure of success. Spreader Sticker helps the spray to coat the leaf surface meaning you get much better and quicker results. Also add Mark-It-Blue, a horticultural dye that allows you to see where you have already sprayed.