Be Sure You Are Buying the Right Weed Control Product

finding the right products for you lawn

I was at my favorite store the other day, the local hardware store, and they already had their gardening supplies on display. I always wander through those aisles to see what products are new on the market for the new year.

I had to stop when I saw a new Round-Up product that I know is going to cause confusion to homeowners this spring. The new product is called Round-Up for Lawns and it is a lot different from the traditional Round-Up products that have been around for years.

The difference between the two different types of RoundUp:

  • RoundUp contains glyphosate, a non-selective herbicide that will control almost every plant on which it is applied.damaged lawn from using wrong product
  • RoundUp for Lawns does not contain glyphosate, but it does contain traditional selective broadleaf weed control products that can be applied on the labelled turf species without causing damage to the grass as long as the directions are followed. In other words, it will not harm your desired grasses as long as the label directions are followed.

I am fairly sure that people will get these two products mixed up. Someone will want to kill the grassy weeds growing in the cracks of the sidewalk, use RoundUp for Lawns and be disappointed with the results. Although, the new product contains products that will control many broadleaf weeds as well as crabgrass and nutsedge, it will not control many perennial grassy weeds like dallisgrass or quackgrass.

When I visit my local hardware store in the spring and I see the multitude of weekend warriors looking at the available weed control products, I have to resist the urge to ask “Is that what you really want to buy?”

Too many times I have seen lawns damaged when the wrong product was used, such as what is seen on the picture below.

damaged lawn from use of incorrect products - weed control

There are a lot of jokes made about men not taking the time to read directions, but in the case of many pest control products, reading the label can be the difference between success and failure.

Check the label to learn:

  • If the product is labelled for the type of turfgrass in your lawn
  • How to mix the product and type of application equipment needed
  • If the weed you are trying to control is included on the label
  • The weather conditons that will provide the best results
  • What the mowing and watering requirements are before and after the application.

Of course, the easiest thing to do is to contact your local Spring-Green office and sign-up for the Preferred Plus Lawn Care Program. Then you can be sure that right products will be applied at the right time by a licensed and trained professional. Contact your local Spring-Green office for a estimate today!

Should You Overseed Your Lawn This Spring?

lawn

A common question we receive in the spring is in regards to overseeding your lawn.  If you live in an area with warm season grasses, like Centipede or Bermuda grass, reseeding is not a very common practice and it does not work all that well. For those who live in areas where cool-season grasses like bluegrass or turf-type tall fescue grow, seeding can be a successful and a necessary part of caring for your lawn.

The best time to overseed an existing lawn is late summer until early fall. If you did not have a chance to do so last year, it might be something you want to take care of this spring.

You can overseed in the spring, but here are 4 important aspects that you should consider:

  1. Be conscious of the season for crabgrass preventers – If you seed in spring, you cannot apply most standard crabgrass preventers. These materials keep crabgrass seeds from germinating, as well as the new seeds. In the past if crabgrass has been a problem in your lawn, it would be advisable to wait until the fall to start overseeding. For most crabgrass materials, there is a 16 week waiting period between seeding and applying a crabgrass preventer.
  2. Be conscious of the season for broadleaf weed controlBroadleaf weed control is the same as crabgrass preventers, except the waiting time is less. If a broadleaf weed control is applied to an area, the standard wait time before seeding is 3 to 4 weeks. Once the new grass has germinated and become established, it has to be mowed two or three times before any weeds can be sprayed.
  3. Aerate before broadcasting seed – One of the best methods to ensue good germination is to aerate the lawn first before broadcasting seed across the area. Broadcasting seed across an established lawn will result in little to no germination.
  4. Water, water, water – Finally water is critical to the success of seeding at any time of the year. Once the seed germinates, the roots are tiny and have an immediate need for water.  If the roots dry out, the seed will die. Be sure you have some way to provide adequate water once the seed has been broadcast across the area. The best method is to have an automatic sprinkler system. If the system has not been started for the year when you complete the seeding, you may have to manually water the areas until your system is turned on. Depending on the variety of seed, you may need to keep the area moist for 4 to 6 weeks after seeding.

As you can see, seeding in the spring is not the easiest thing to do, especially when dealing with weeds. It is often better to keep the weeds down throughout the summer and then complete the seeding in the fall.  If you are a Spring-Green customer, contact your local Spring-Green and they will advise you with the best information on helping your lawn looks its best.

Winter Weed Control in the South

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.

winter weeds

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.

Winter weeds 2

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.