Weeds can be considered major pests of your home lawns. Because of their differences in terms of leaf size, growth habit, shape and color, weeds distract from desirable turfgrasses’ natural beauty. They tend to compete with turfgrasses for soil moisture, space, nutrients, and sunlight. Many of them can rapidly become dominant lawn species. It can be a mission impossible, but you can still manage to grow a weed-free lawn. How? Just take note of the following approaches.
Knowledge of Weed Types
You need to know the growth habit of your weeds for the development of an effective weed management program to control them. Among these weed types include broadleaves, grasses, sedges/rushes, annuals, biennials, and perennials.
Types of Herbicides
Herbicides are used in controlling the development and growth of weeds. Among their types are selective, nonselective, preemergence, and postemergence. These chemicals must be properly investigated by land-grant universities, chemical firms, and other regulatory agencies before labeled for home lawn usage. They have to be safe to the environment, turfgrasses, and humans at the required weed control rates. They are even considered as the best weed killers for your lawn.
Weed Control Management
Learn the proper weed control management practices encouraging a dense and thriving turf. A thick, healthy turf shades soil to prevent sunlight from reaching the germination-ready weed seeds and minimizes the available weed space. Weeds can be managed through proper turfgrass selection, cultural practices, traffic control, pest control and sanitation.
It is imperative to properly maintain the turf by reducing the weed invasion. There are several methods you can take to control the weeds such as mowing, hand pulling or rogueing, smothering, and herbicides. The herbicides are available in different types as well like nonselective, contact, systemic, and selective. Application of any of these herbicides should be in proper timing with the consideration of preemergence herbicides and postemergence herbicides. There are also instances wherein fertilizers and herbicides are mixed for a weed-n-feed treatment in the same turfgrass application. Weed control can also be done through spray additive adjuvants to enhance herbicide’s handling characteristics and performance.
Weed Control Before Turf Establishment
Nonselective herbicides are developed to kill the existing weeds and control the emerged plants. Never apply the preemergence herbicides before or immediately after grass seeding. You may apply half the recommended rate of preemergence herbicides after planting to establish grasses after signs of new growth. Meanwhile, postemergence herbicides may not be applied until the grass is growing and spreading. Most broadleaf weed mowing can be helpful until the lawn’s well established.
Herbicide Application Procedures
There are proper procedures to follow when applying the herbicides for effective weed control. Apply the proper herbicide rate to prevent to your turfgrasses and ornaments. Choose pressure-type sprayers over hose-end-type sprayers to increase the accuracy of their application. Refrain from applying herbicides with equipment used for 2, 4-D esters as its removal from most sprayers is difficult to do.
Herbicide and other technological approaches aside, weeds can also be controlled by hand weeding. This is usually done by pulling the weeds using your bare hands on occasional basis. This procedure is imperative to prevent infestations of the creeping wood sorrel, spurge, Bermuda grass, dallisgrass, and nutsedge.
It is highly recommended to remove the weeds while they are still young and before they can actually set seed or produce tubers or rhizomes. Remember to remove the small patches before they can penetrate and become large. See to it that you have removed the whole weed including the root. You may also use a fishtail weeder or dandelion fork to remove weeds using a thick taproot. Note that you can dig out larger patches and the soil-filled holes. Try to do this regularly to lessen the number of weeds grown in your lawn.
Honestly, it seems an unrealistic goal to grow home lawn free from weed. However, you can still be successful in creating a thick, healthy lawn that fails to provide weeds to take a root. Manage the weeds with the above-provided tips whenever a weed appears to your lawn. Thoroughly understand each of the measures noted here to get the most of the results you have been aiming for.