While April (and May) showers bring May flowers, late spring warm weather also brings accelerated weed growth in your lawn. What should you do? The best defense against weeds is a thick, healthy growing lawn. However, if you have visible weeds in your lawn this month they are most likely broadleaf weeds. Crabgrass is not really appearing yet in most lawn at this time of year.
If you have a lot of weeds have you considered the health of the soil you are trying to grow your lawn in? Poor quality soil and a low soil pH value will deter healthy lawn growth and spur the growth of weeds. Apply Mag-I-Cal to increase your soil pH level to 6.0 – 6.8 range for optimum lawn growth. What about the rest of your soil, is it dark-rich in color, loose, able to hold water and nutrients? Do you have an abundance of earthworms? These are indicators of healthy soil. Perhaps you need to test your soil? What, you have never tested your soil, shame on you! Instead of just killing weeds, applying Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil at this time will promote grass growth so weeds cannot take hold.
You can control weeds organically by applying Organic Weed Control with corn gluten, a by-product of the corn syrup industry. Apply Organic Weed Control before target weeds germinate and be sure to not apply grass seed for 2-3 months after application. Another natural way to deter weed growth is to sow high quality grass seed like Black Beauty Ultra to crowd out the possibility of weeds establishing. Raise your mowing height to 3+ inches to shade weed seeds and keep them from growing.
If you have not applied any crabgrass preventer yet you still have time if you use Crabgrass Preventer plus Green-Up. Crabgrass Preventer plus Green-Up should only be applied in sunny areas, crabgrass does not grow in shady areas. Also, if you have a thick, healthy lawn and have not had problems with crabgrass in general, consider skipping any crabgrass preventers this year. Get back to growing a healthy lawn, not trying to kill everything.
The king of broadleaf weeds is Dandelion; however there are many others out there. This familiar yellow flower does a good job of ruining a great looking lawn. Most broadleaf weed controls consist of a combination of 3 different selective herbicides that kill weeds without injuring the lawn. It is best to control broadleaf weeds when they are actively growing. If you use a Weed and Feed or Lawn Weed Control, be sure to apply them early in the morning when dew is present or to a lightly sprinkled lawn so the granules stick to the weed leaves. Do not mow for 2 days prior or 2 days after applying broadleaf weed controls. Do not water-irrigate or expect rainfall for 2 days after application! If you choose to spot spray with liquid weed controls, be sure to avoid drift of the spray onto desirable plants. Liquid weed controls sometime work better on hard-to-control “vine-type” weeds and clovers.
Be sure to control any weeds using a product that is labeled for the particular weed and follow all label directions for best results. Avoid applying lawn weed controls into desirable flower beds and remember to calibrate your spreader and measure your lawn square footage prior to spreading so you apply the correct amount of weed killer. Taking these steps will assure you better control of weeds and also helps you avoid applying too much resulting in your lawn burning. Do not apply weed controls in hot-dry weather. Remember to wash out your spreader after every use and spray lubricant where the axle & wheels come together. If you choose to hire a professional lawn care company, be sure they have their pesticide and fertilizer applicator licenses.
Come on America, don’t let the weeds get to you, get to them first, outsmart them with a sound lawn care plan!