Is your Lawn Ready for the Spring?
Just like humans and animals, there is a variety of weeds that are dormant during the winter, and they’re just beneath the surface just waiting for spring’s wonderful temperatures. Here in North Carolina, we have a wide variety of them, for example, Common Dandelion, Large Crabgrass, Ragweed, Carolina Geranium, Goosegrass; just to mention few. And, while they are on the ground waiting to show a proud face — when you first step out in the yard — you should be getting ready too!
Something you may not know is that the best time to get rid of weeds is now and we can help you! What can benefit your lawn is a pre-emergent treatment, because weed seed germination occurs when the soil reaches the correct temperature.
Two types of herbicides are commonly used including a pre-emergent and post-emergent. Pre-emergents kill weeds before sprouts emerge from the soil. Herbicides don’t stop weed germination, but rather interrupt the process before a sprout pushes through the soil. With pre-emergent herbicides, it’s vital to treat the entire lawn area. If you miss a spot, weeds can sprout there.
Most pre-emergents require watering in, even liquid forms applied using a hose-end sprayer. With liquid herbicides, the volume of water used to disperse the weed killer is not great enough to wash the material into the soil, where weed seeds lie waiting to germinate. That’s why you have to water after application.
Caution should be exercised when applying pre-emergent herbicides to newly seeded lawns – or to areas you plan to seed. For both pre- and post-emergent herbicides, timing is critical. While post-emergent herbicides kill weeds at any point in the growth cycle, you’ll have the best success spraying young, actively growing weeds. Mature weeds may require repeated applications for total kill.
Large and smooth crabgrass are both summer annual weeds that typically germinate during late winter/early spring, grow vegetatively during summer, and die at the first frost in fall.
One reason it is so prevalent in the summer are those pre-emergence herbicides applied in the spring begin to break down as summer progresses. Most pre-emergent crabgrass killers remain active in the soil for six to eight weeks.
In the case of Ragweed, a combination of mowing, fertilizer and pre-emergent treatment will keep them at bay. Ragweed is a big producer of pollen but doesn’t tolerate heavy mowing. Cutting your lawn at the right height for your grass, and enough irrigation will make it strong enough to keep this weed away.
And the last one of the most common and rejected weeds, Dandelions.
An interesting fact is this weed came to America thru European colonist because of her benefits.
All parts of True Dandelions are edible and healthful. Fresh greens and blossoms can be used in fresh salads, and greens can be served as a pot herb. Raw greens contain as much calcium and Vitamins A, C, thiamine, and riboflavin as most multi-vitamins. Roots can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. Flowers and whole plants are used to brew wine and beer.
But it doesn’t matter what kind of weed you have in your yard, the truth is they are strong competition for your grass.