It’s wintertime and your lawn is brown except for those pesky henbits and dallisgrass popping up throughout your yard.
How did they get there?
Winter weeds, including annual bluegrass, corn speedwell, dallisgrass, hairy bittercress, and henbit, thrive in poor turf environments. Most of them start to germinate in the fall, develop into full blown weeds during the winter, and continue to reproduce.
Additionally, winter weeds in your lawn indicates your lawn is unhealthy. It shows that your turf is weak because the weeds were able to successfully germinate.
At this point in the season, you can plan on three methods of attack:
- Hand pull the weeds out of your yard
- Use a post-emergent herbicide on your weeds
- In the spring, plan on renovating your lawn to make it healthier and denser so that it’s more weed-resistant.
Here are 10 Highland Village Lawn Care tips for taking care of winter weeds on your Highland Village property:
- You need to identify which weeds are plaguing your yard because each type of weed needs to be treated with a different herbicide. Some of these weeds are annuals while others are biennials and perennials. You could have three different types of weeds too:
- Grass weeds – They look like grass except they branch out rather than grow up through the soil. Depending on the weed, it could be an annual, biennial or a perennial.
- Broadleaf weeds – They have flowers, broad leaves, and a taproot with small stems. These weeds can be annual, biennial or perennial depending on which one is growing in your yard.
- Sedges – These weeds can come from tubers (called nutlets), seeds, and roots that branch out. They have 3-sided stems and seem to grow higher than normal grass. They also look more like miniature river reeds than a typical grass plant. These weeds are hard to eradicate because of their nutlets, rhizomes, and seedlings. You may think that you pulled out the weed, but you could’ve left some neighboring nutlets in the ground. This weed does well in poorly drained soils and marshy areas.
- To identify which weeds are in your lawn, go to Texas A&M University’s Turf page, http://goo.gl/w97gRb.
- Once you’ve identified the weeds in your yard, you now can buy the right herbicide to get rid of them. Make sure you thoroughly read all labels on herbicide containers before you buy them.
- For weeds that are established, you’ll use a postemergent herbicide. It’s best to use this type of herbicide when the weeds are still small.
- Use contact herbicides for annual weeds. You’ll need to apply the herbicide directly onto the leaves and stems. You should see results within 1–3 days.
- Use systematic herbicides for perennial weeds. This type of herbicide is dual action: It’ll kill a plant on contact as well as move through the entire plant to kill it from the stem to the root. Some systematic herbicides can be applied directly into the soil to kill all neighboring weeds.
- Selective herbicides are designed to kill a specific weed. But it won’t kill other types of weeds or your turfgrass.
- Nonselective herbicides will kill all plants within its vicinity. So you need to use care when applying it. A non-selective herbicide will kill the desired weeds as well as the rest of your lawn and landscape because it doesn’t discriminate between a weed and landscaped beds, turf, and shrubs.
- For complete Highland Village lawn care follow these nine rules when applying postemergent herbicides to your lawn this winter:
- Only use broadleaf weed herbicides when the air temperature is between 65–85 degrees Fahrenheit. If you use this type of herbicide in temperatures above 85 degrees F, you’ll damage your turf too.
- Make sure that your soil is moist before applying the herbicide so it can seep into the soil to kill the weed’s root system. Avoid using during droughts or dry spells.
- Don’t mow before or after herbicide treatment so that the treatment can fully work on the intended weeds.
- Make sure no rain is in the forecast up to 24 hours after applying the herbicide.
- To protect your landscaped plants and healthy grass from herbicide drift, don’t apply herbicides on windy days.
- It’s better to apply when weeds are still small.
- You may repeat herbicide application every 10–14 days.
- Don’t use a weed and feed, which contains both an herbicide and a fertilizer, during the winter because your healthy grass is dormant and doesn’t need fertilizer until the spring growing season. Otherwise, you might kill your lawn by overfeeding it.
- Don’t use herbicides on new lawns. If you notice some weeds in your newly seeded or sodded lawn, bag grass clippings after each mow so you don’t spread any weed seedlings. Most times, new lawns don’t have any weeds or very few during its first year.
- Plan on adopting Integrated Weed Management (IWM). IWM is similar to Integrated Pest Management (IPM). With IPM, you change your environmental behaviors first to control the insects in your lawn. Then, as a last resort, you use a pesticide in low doses. IWM works the same way. You change your environmental behaviors first by naturally developing a robust lawn where it’s difficult for weeds to get established. If you tried lawn renovations, better mowing and irrigation practices, yet you still have winter weeds popping up every year, it’s time to move to herbicides to help get your weed problem under control.
Winter weeds can be pesky and ugly. But with the right Highland Village lawn care treatments and employing IWM, you can have a healthy, dense lawn with minimal weed invasion in Highland Village.
Would you rather relax than mow your lawn on a regular basis? If so, contact Main Street Mowing by clicking on this link
Home & Garden Information Center. “Managing Weeds in Warm Season Lawns,” Clemson Cooperative Extension: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/pests/weeds/hgic2310.html.
McAfee, James and Paul A. Baumann. “Herbicides for Weed Control in Turfgrass,” AgriLIFE Extension, Texas A&M System: http://publications.tamu.edu/. Put title in site’s search engine.