Tips on weed control

Every week presents new opportunities of things we can do in the garden as we make the annual march towards spring. Now is the time to apply pre-emergent weed killers to your lawn to control crabgrass, sandburs, foxtail, goosegrass and many other summer grassy annual weeds. The easiest way to control the unwanted weeds and annual grasses is to keep them from coming up or germinating.

The best time to apply the pre-emergent herbicide is when the yellow forsythia are coming into flower in your area. That would usually be from about now until March 15 to April 1st depending on the weather and your location. You can apply a liquid spray or weed killers in a granular form that can be applied with a lawn spreader. There are many good weed and feed products that allow you to fertilize at the same time you are applying the herbicide if you are also needing to feed your lawn. It is best to figure out the quantity of product needed for your yard and cut the rate in half to apply one half going north – south and the other half going east – west to get good even overlapping coverage. If you do not get a good rain within 48 hours of application apply water equal to at least ½” of rain to activate the product and to get it spread or washed across the full soil surface so it will be effective in killing the weed seeds as they try to germinate.

Crabgrass and weed control is always the subject that draws the most e-mails and follow-up questions. There are many good brands of weed and feed or pre-emergent weed killers so I will try to avoid recommending a specific brand but I will suggest you look for a herbicide containing one of the following products if you maintain a lawn of some type of Bermuda grass. Use a product containing Balan, Betasan, Dacthal, Simazine, Surflan, Treflan or one of my two favorites Dimension or Prodiamine (Barricade). If you have a lawn of St. Augustine, bluegrass, zoysia, centipede or other specialty lawn grass visit with your local nurseryman to select the right product for your lawn. A good rule of thumb is to apply the pre-emergent between the time the forsythia shrubs start blooming and the redbud trees stop blooming. Don’t forget to be adding peat moss or compost and getting your flowerbeds and decorative containers ready to plant when spring arrives.

Now is the prime time to plant your seed potatoes, onion sets and onion plants, strawberries, grapes, blackberries and raspberries. Plant all your cool season vegetables like carrots, radishes, beets, turnips, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, peas and swiss chard. Anytime we have a nice day you now have lots you can do with your lawn or in your garden.

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