How to Apply Weed Control to Your Lawn

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how to apply weed control to your lawn

A beautiful, lush lawn is the pride of any homeowner, but pesky weeds quickly ruin its appearance and health. In North Texas, we have a difficult climate and challenging soil, which makes effective weed control even more crucial. With the right knowledge and practices, you can keep those unwanted invaders at bay and maintain a vibrant lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps on how to apply weed control to your lawn.

aerate your lawn twice a year
Compacted soil.

Understanding North Texas Climate and Soil

North Texas is known for its hot and dry climate, which creates favorable conditions for weeds to thrive. The region’s alkaline clay soil makes it challenging for turfgrass to outcompete unwanted plants.

Therefore, implementing a proactive strategy and understanding the climate and soil is essential for successful weed control.

Choosing the Right Herbicides

To effectively control weeds in North Texas, it is prudent to choose herbicides specifically formulated for warm-season turfgrasses like St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Zoysia. Look for herbicides labeled safe for use on these types of grasses, as using the wrong product will damage or even kill your lawn.

Furthermore, identify weeds first and treat lawn for those specific weeds. Texas A&M has a helpful weed identification guide.

Granular, Liquid, and Powder Herbicides: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to weed control, herbicides come in different forms —granular, liquid, and powder. Granular herbicides are easy to use and usually spread evenly with a spreader.

Liquid herbicides, on the other hand, are mixed with water and applied using a sprayer, which allows for more targeted application. Powder herbicides require mixing with water as well, but they provide flexibility in the concentration, making them suitable for specific weed control needs.

Each herbicide form has its advantages, so choosing the most suitable one depends on the specific requirements of the lawn and weed problem at hand.

Difference between Pre and Post Emergent Herbicides

early spring lawn care- apply pre emergent
Apply pre-emergent before crabgrass germinates.

Pre-emergent herbicides and post-emergent herbicides are two types of weed control products that target weeds at different stages of growth. Pre-emergent herbicides, as the name suggests, are applied before the targeted weeds have a chance to emerge or sprout. These herbicides create a barrier in the soil that prevents weed seeds from germinating, effectively stopping weed growth before it even starts.

In contrast, post-emergent herbicides are applied after the weeds have already emerged from the soil and are actively growing. These herbicides are designed to kill or suppress existing weeds by targeting their leaves, stems, or roots. Post-emergent herbicides are often used for spot treatment or to control weeds that have already become established.

Understanding the difference between pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides is essential to develop an effective weed control strategy that addresses both preventing weed growth and managing existing weed populations.

Timing Is Key

Timing plays a vital role in controlling weeds. In North Texas, the optimal time to apply pre-emergent herbicides is in the early spring before weed seeds germinate. This will create a barrier in the soil, preventing weed growth.

For post-emergent herbicides, apply them when weeds are actively growing, preferably on a warm day when the outside temperature is above 70°F. Be cautious about high temperatures, as some herbicides can damage your grass in extreme heat.

Smith (2023) make sure to apply any pre-emergent herbicides in the early spring. Wait for the soil temperatures at around 55 degrees at a depth of four inches.

Proper Application Techniques

For effective weed control, follow these guidelines when applying herbicides:

  • Read and follow the instructions on the herbicide label carefully.
  • Apply herbicides evenly and avoid overlapping. Use a sprayer or spreader to ensure uniform coverage.
  • Water your lawn lightly after application to help the herbicide penetrate the soil.
  • Avoid mowing your lawn for at least 48 hours before and after applying herbicides. This will allow the product to work more effectively.

Safely and Effectively Spraying Weed Control Products on Your Lawn

Before starting the application of any weed control product, it’s essential to follow a few crucial steps for a safe and effective process. Firstly, remove any toys, pet bowls, and other items from the lawn to prevent accidental exposure.

Also, keep children and pets away from the area during application and until the product has dried. Next, check the weather forecast to ensure calm and dry conditions for at least 24 hours after application.

Wind or rain could cause the product to drift or become less effective. Proper attire is also important—wear long sleeves, long pants, closed-toe shoes, gloves, and eye protection to minimize direct contact with the product.

During application, carefully read and follow the instructions on the product label. Use a sprayer specifically designed for herbicides to ensure even and accurate distribution. Start from one corner of the lawn and work your way backward in a sweeping motion, overlapping each pass slightly to avoid missing any spots. Maintain a consistent pace to ensure uniform coverage.

After application, allow the product ample time to dry before allowing children, pets, or foot traffic back onto the lawn. This can take several hours, so plan accordingly. Clean the sprayer thoroughly with water and, if required, a mild detergent to remove any residue and prevent cross-contamination with other chemicals in future applications.

how to apply weed control to your lawn
Broadcast spreader and drop spreader.

Using a Weed Control Spreader

Applying granular weed control products is made more efficient and precise with the use of a spreader. To properly use a spreader, start by calibrating it according to the product’s recommended application rate.

Fill the hopper with the granules and adjust the settings according to the label instructions. Begin walking at a steady pace across your lawn, making sure to overlap each pass slightly to achieve uniform coverage.

Use the spreader in a methodical pattern to avoid missed areas or over-application. Once finished, double-check any leftover granules in the hopper to ensure accurate measurements by weighing or measuring as needed. Clean the spreader thoroughly after use to prevent any cross-contamination in future applications.

Applying Powder Herbicides to Lawn

Applying powder herbicides on your lawn requires a few simple steps to ensure effective control of weeds. First, carefully read the instructions on the product label and measure the appropriate amount of powder herbicide needed for your lawn size.

Pour the measured herbicide into a clean sprayer or mixing container. Fill the sprayer or container with water according to the required dilution rate specified on the label. Stir or shake the mixture thoroughly to ensure the powder herbicide is fully dissolved.

Once the mixture is ready, use a sprayer to apply the solution evenly over the entire lawn, making sure to cover all targeted areas. Walk at a steady pace, applying the herbicide in a back-and-forth motion to achieve uniform coverage.

Be cautious of wind conditions to prevent drift. After application, allow the powder herbicide to dry completely before allowing children, pets, or foot traffic on the lawn. Properly clean the sprayer and any equipment used afterwards to prevent cross-contamination and ensure the herbicide remains effective in future applications.

Cultural Practices to Support Weed Control

In addition to herbicide application, certain cultural practices can further enhance your weed control efforts in North Texas:

  • Mow your lawn at the appropriate height for your turfgrass type. This ensures a dense and healthy lawn, suppressing weed growth.
  • Regularly fertilize and water your lawn according to the specific needs of your turfgrasses. Well-nourished and adequately watered lawns are less susceptible to weed infestation. Lawn fertilization is one of our most requested services.
  • Address any bare patches on your lawn by sodding. A dense lawn will prevent weed seeds from finding space to take root. We offer high-quality sod installation.

North Texas Weeds Controlled by Pre-Emergents

sandbur
Sandbur photo by Harry Rose.

Pre-emergent herbicides are highly effective for controlling weeds before they even have a chance to grow. In North Texas, several common weeds can be effectively controlled using pre-emergents.

These include crabgrass, goosegrass, dallisgrass, foxtail, spurge, and sandbur. By applying pre-emergent herbicides at the appropriate time in early spring, you can prevent these stubborn weeds from sprouting and overtaking your beautiful lawn.

Always refer to the label instructions for the specific weed control product to ensure proper application timing and effectiveness against these North Texas weeds.

Swartz says in reference to sandburs, (1985) herbicides can be used to keep the seeds from germinating, but the best ways to get rid of sandbur are (a) mow and water your Bermuda grass frequently, (b) plant St. Augustine grass, which shades and crowds out sandbur, or (c) pull the sandbur out.

weed control services
Call JC’s for all your weed control needs.

Consider Calling in a Professional

When it comes to weed control, sometimes calling in a professional is the best decision you can make. Professionals have the knowledge, expertise, and proper equipment to effectively combat stubborn and persistent weeds.

Hiring a professional for weed control offers several advantages. First, they can accurately diagnose and identify the types of weeds infesting your lawn, allowing for targeted treatment.

Additionally, they are also familiar with the specific challenges and requirements of your region, such as North Texas’ unique climate and soil conditions. Professionals are well-versed in the safe and proper application of herbicides, ensuring that your lawn is treated effectively without harming your turfgrass.

Moreover, they can provide ongoing maintenance and monitoring to ensure long-term weed control. By relying on professionals, you can save time, effort, and potential frustration, and enjoy a lush, weed-free lawn that enhances your home’s curb appeal.

Check out our weed control service page to learn more about how we can help you.

Conclusion

Maintaining a weed-free lawn in North Texas requires a comprehensive approach that includes proper herbicide selection, timing, and application techniques, along with supportive cultural practices. After reading this blog post, you now know how to apply weed control to your lawn.

By understanding the climate, soil, and warm-season turfgrasses prevalent in the region, you can tailor your weed control efforts to effectively combat the specific challenges faced by North Texas homeowners.

Remember, consistent care and attention to your lawn will yield a healthier, greener, and ultimately weed-free turf.

References

Smith, K. (2023, February 11). Beware of Crabgrass: It’s taking hold across north texas. NBC DFW. https://www.nbcdfw.com/weather/weather-connection/beware-of-crabgrass-its-taking-hold-across-north-texas/3191748/

Swartz, M. (1985, January). Texas primer: the sticker bur. Texas Monthly. https://www.texasmonthly.com/being-texan/texas-primer-the-sticker-bur/#:~:text=Sandburs%20prefer%20the%20sandy%20soil,and%20they%20all%20thrive%20here.

 

 

 

 

 

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M Valdivia

M Valdivia

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