While the northern parts of the US are in the process of hunkering down for the winter, the milder temperatures of the southern states are providing the ideal temperatures to control many troublesome weeds in what soon will be dormant lawns.
Even though these lawns may be dormant, many weeds are just starting to become active in the fall. These weeds are known as winter weeds. They can be annual, biennial or perennial in regards to life cycles, and these winter weeds can be very difficult to control.
The Different Types of Winter Weeds
The ones that are most troublesome are the winter broadleaf annual weeds, which include common chickweed, henbit, lawn burweed, large hop clover knawel and parsley-piert.
Winter annuals germinate in the fall, grow during the winter, and then develop flowers and set seeds in the spring and finally die when the weather turns hot during the summer. The seeds they leave behind will germinate in the following fall.
What Are Some Common Winter Weed Control Methods?
Most of these weeds can be treated with broadleaf weed control products, which are available at hardware stores, garden centers and home improvement centers. Lawn care companies like Spring-Green also offer programs that are designed to keep these weeds from becoming a major nuisance in your lawn. In many cases, these weeds distract from the uniform appearance of the lawn and will often overtake the desired grasses.
Winter weeds are probably the most annoying;, they are an annual bluegrass also known as poa annua . This annual weed has two periods of germination. The first period is in the late summer, usually in early September. The second is in late winter/early spring, usually late February to mid-March.
Since annual bluegrass is in the grass family, broadleaf weed control products will not be effective. The product that is usually applied to control annual bluegrass is a pre-emergent weed control product.
Pre-emergent weed control inhibits the formation of a new plant from the seed the plant leaves behind. Annual bluegrass is a prolific seed producer. The same pre-emergent weed control product that is applied to control crabgrass will also control annual bluegrass.
Taking care of weeds during the winter on warm season turfgrasses will help to assure that the lawn will be more attractive in the spring. The best weed control method of all is a thick, well-fertilized lawn that is mowed high and receives adequate moisture during the growing season. However, you may find it easier to contact your local lawn care provider , such as Spring-Green, to help you care for your lawn.