How do you prevent winter weeds from taking over your lawn? First, to keep weeds out, you must maintain healthy grass. Lawn Fertilizing is the 1st step in treating weeds in the fall, and one of the best things you can do for your lawn. Fall is the best time to tackle this common lawn problem.
Applying pre-emergent treatments will knock out both annual and perennial weeds, in addition to killing established perennial weeds like dandelion and clover. The next step is to keep and eye out for any straggling weeds. Pull them by hand or spot-spray them.
Best Time For Treatment
Fall is the ideal time to control perennial weeds, because that’s when plants begin the process of winter food storage. If you treat perennial weeds with herbicide in fall, the chemical moves from leaves to roots. This means the weed problem is literally stopped at the source.
If your fall weed treatments are targeting both annual and perennial weeds, you’ll want a weed killer that combines a pre- and post-emergent herbicide, because some weeds are already growing. Application timing will vary depending on where you live.
Get on a Fertilizing Schedule:
JC’s Landscaping can take care of your weed problems throughout the year, with scheduled lawn fertilization for North Dallas and surrounding areas.
Types of Weeds
Winter annuals are a type of annual weed that germinates during late summer to early fall. They grow in fall, through winter warm spells, and into early spring. These weeds set seed in mid to late spring, just before daytime air temperatures jump.
Examples of winter annual weeds include:
- Henbit – If you can pull the weeds before they flower, you can prevent the seeds from germinating after flowering. A pre-emergent herbicide is correctly applied in fall, thus creating a barrier above the ground. When henbit seeds make their debut, they’ll get only as far as germinating. Then the herbicide takes over and does its job to kill the weed.
- Annual bluegrass – Bluegrass and crabgrass are tricky to treat right away. Seeding your lawn with a strong deep-rooted grass will eventually choke out the bluegrass. If you have a serious problems, a pre-emergent herbicide is your best bet.
- Chickweed – Germinates in fall and is best treated by hand-pulling the weeds in gardens and lawns. Chickweed has shallow root systems, and can also be choked out by healthy grass. Pre-emergant herbicides are also effective in dealing with large areas of chickweed. Use a shovel or hoe to remove chickweed before applying the herbicide.
- Corn Speedwell – Often grows in low moisture and heavily shaded areas. A dense, vigorous turf is the best way to reduce the encroachment of this weed. Proper fertilization, mowing, and watering practices will encourage dense growth to drown out Corn Speedwell.
- Lawn Burrweed – Lawn burrweed, also known as spurweed, is a very low-growing winter annual weed that closely resembles parsley-piert and knawel. It is considered a broadleaf weed, so a selective post-emergent herbicide is effective.
- Dandelions – For battling perennial weeds such as dandelion and clover, apply a post-emergent herbicide in the fall, to penetrate directly to roots.
Other Problem Weeds
The key to maintaining a weed-free lawn is establishing strong and healthy grass roots. However, you may occasionally come across new weeds you haven’t dealt with before.
For help identifying various weeds, and how best to eradicate them, check out this Lawn Weed Identification Guide from the University of Maryland.