Got weeds? Those bushy, creeping, sprawling (and usually ugly) plants that invade your beautiful lawn and make it look scruffy and unsightly? Officially, a weed is any plant that is growing where it's not wanted. For lawn care, we usually figure any plant that isn’t the same grass type as the lawn is a weed. Weeds fall into two main categories: broadleaf weeds (dicots) and grassy weeds (monocots). Another important division in weeds is between annual weeds (live and die in one season) and perennial weeds (live for several years).
Every lawn contains seeds of a virtual weed army. Seeds are blown in by the wind, are carried on the soles of shoes, and are dropped by birds. For effective weed management, it’s important to have both a defense and offense planned. This means combining good cultural practices and properly timed treatments.
The best weed prevention is always a properly mowed, healthy stand of grass. Mowed high, your turf shades the soil, keeping sun and heat from reaching the weed seeds. Thick turf competes with weeds by denying them water and sunshine.
Most broadleaf weed controls are systemic. This means the control substance has to be absorbed into the weed and moved through the leaves into the roots. This is called translocation. Depending on the type of weed and how actively it’s growing, this can happen in a few hours or may take several days. Once fully absorbed, weed controls actually cause the cells of the weed to grow so fast they burst. That’s why weeds curl into strange shapes after a treatment. Broadleaf weed controls only work on weeds that are present and actively growing at the time of a treatment. Because new weeds blow in and sprout, regular treatments are required.
Because there is a delay in weed control while the material is absorbed, watering should be avoided immediately after a treatment. Mowing should also be delayed until the weed control moves into the roots. Wait 24 hours after weed control applications, and then water well. This watering practice will actually improve and speed up the level of control you get.
The goal is to manage weeds. It’s impossible to eradicate them forever. There is no herbicide that eliminates weeds from a lawn immediately — or forever. But working together with NutriGreen to build your lawn and control the weeds will give you the kind of turf you’ll enjoy for years.