Weeds are plants which grow in areas where they are not wanted. One mans "weed" is another man's "flower" so there is no definitive physical characteristic or quality that makes any one plant a "weed". Clearly there are many cases where a "weed" is something desirable and not a true weed; conversely there are many times when flowers, vines or grasses may grow where they are not wanted and thus referred to as a "weed". The purpose of this article is not to categorize or to pass judgment on any ones' plant life. The purpose of this article is to explain treatment strategies for weed control and then list options available to put those strategies into action. These actions will allow you to get growing "what you want where you want".
Any one that has attempted weed control knows this subject is both subjective and confusing. Just take a trip to your local nursery or home center and walk down any of the many aisles they commonly have for yard and garden weed control. There are literally thousands of active ingredients available. To further complicate matters, there are thousands of manufacturers sharing many of the same chemicals. This leads to many products as being somewhat similar yet inherently different. And since so many are targeting a wide range of weeds, it is virtually impossible to determine which active ingredient would be best suited for any one application. The end result for many people is to try several weed control products hoping they are able to find just one that works as advertised. Well, the author of this article intends on taking away this "guess work". He intends on enabling you to make sound decisions based on what it is you want to accomplish. In this article you will find the best materials available for any given job; all you need to do is decide what type of weed control you want to do and then choose what level of protection you want to employ. As you will soon see, there are many, many products available for weeds in and around the home. Some will prevent weeds, some will kill weeds, some will be able to target specific weeds and yet others will be able to kill certain weeds without impacting other plants which are directly sprayed. For most situations there will be a choice or two that needs to be made but these choices will be based largely on what you are targeting and how long you want to keep it targeted.
First, there is some basic language or verbiage commonly discussed when discussing weed control. Understanding these words will make comprehending product labels easier. The following is a short list of the more common words you may expect to find while reading product labels for common weed control products.
Square Footage: This refers to a measurement, generally calculated in "feet", and is critical when determining how much of a particular weed product will be needed for any given application. You must first know the "sq/ft" of the lawn, garden bed, island, etc. which is being treated if you intend on doing a good job. This number is acquired by multiplying the length times the width of ground involved. An area having a 10 foot length and a 10 foot width would have 100 sq/ft of area. Yards around the home are commonly in the 5,000 to 10,000 sq/ft range. An acre is approximately 44,000 sq/ft and though homes commonly sit on 1/4 or 1/2 acre, it is important to realize that the house, concrete and other structures take up some of this space. When measuring grass, flower beds or other turf, you need to do just that: measure it. Don't think that just because it says .5 acre on your property deed that you have 1/2 acre of grass. In fact, most areas are much smaller then people imagine which can lead to over applications. Over applying herbicides can be deadly for turf and other plants so don't make this mistake. Measure before you treat and once this data is recorded accurately, keep it logged somewhere for future reference. If you don't feel like dragging a tape measure all around, use a MEASURING WHEEL which basically adds up distances as you walk. Once you acquire the length and width of turf involved you can calculate the sq/footage. Having an accurate square footage when doing weed control is vital to the success of the products being used.
Broadleaf Weeds: This type of general categorization refers to the type of plant being targeted. Most plant life falls into one of two types; broad leaf or grassy type. Broad leaf is generally the type which looks like it is described; they tend to have a leaf which is flat and wide. Shrubs, trees, most flowering plants, vines in general all are susceptible to weed killers that target broadleaf plants. These type of herbicides are commonly referred to as "broadleaf killers". And remember, Poison Ivy, Sumac and Oak are all broadleaf weeds and can be easily killed. The key to dealing with these plants is knowing which weed control product is best to apply based on where they are growing.
Fungicide: A type of Herbicide used to control fungus on plant life.
Grassy Weeds: This type of weed tends to grow more like grass. The structure of the plant will be long and slender, like a blade of grass, and is somewhat harder to see when it grows in the lawn. Crabgrass is an easy grassy weed to see. This is true because it grows in a flat circular pattern. Other grassy weeds like "goose grass" or "wild fescue" is not so easy to see and sometimes gets well established before protective measures and weed control are finally put in place.
Growth Regulator: Regulators are products that control the growth of plants and can be used on weeds. Fertilizers can impact growth patterns and generally will cause plants to grow faster than normal but fertilizers are not considered to be growth regulators. Most true regulators are used to help slow growth patterns. This keeps targeted plants alive and healthy but not out of control.
Herbicide: General term used to categorized most anything that is applied to plant life. Herbicides can be used to describe a fungicide, post emergent, pre emerge, selective, etc.
Pre Emerge: A type of chemical (herbicide) that is applied to turf which prohibits the proper development of seeds. Essentially "birth control" for plants, the use of pre emerge can be the single most powerful tool for weed control. Applying this product during the "off season" can many times prevent weeds from ever growing and in the long run the use of pre emergents can save time, money and cost. However, pre emergent materials are rarely used by home owners.
Post Emerge: A type of chemical (herbicide) that works on target plants which are currently growing and above ground. Though selective active ingredients are available, it is important to make sure you don't apply a post emerge weed control herbicide over a plant which may be susceptible to the material being applied. In most cases the targeted weed will be killed but there could be other near by plants also vulnerable. Care must be used when post emerge weed sprays are applied. This is clearly the most common type herbicide that home owners will use. Most people use the "wait and spray" thought process hoping the weeds won't find their yard. Once seen, aggressive post emergent material is required to knock out the unwanted growth which many times can stress beneficial plants leading to other problems.
Over Spray: What can happen when spraying weeds. Generally a bad thing, if over spray gets on non-target plants, they could die or at the very least be adversely affected. One should do applications while attempting to minimize over spray. This can be done by spraying when wind is either light or non-existent. Special equipment can also be used that will help prevent such misapplication. For example, the use of a FOAMER will enable you to apply precise amounts of herbicide to a specific weed thus minimizing the chance of over spray and cross contamination. This is a very effective tool and will enable the applicator to treat weed problems without jeopardizing the health of his "good" plants. Just "foam" the weed and leave all other plants alone. Using a DRIFT GUARD is another way to minimize over spray.
Total Vegetation Kill: Something like Roundup would be a material that can produce a "total vegetation kill" but there are other materials that can accomplish this same results. In fact, there are better working less costly alternatives so if you are someone that finds themselves applying a lot of Roundup during the course of any growing season, pay attention to this article. Chances are the author will identify several choices for any one target site that will be both faster working and longer lasting compared to "roundup".
Soil Sterilents: Like pre emerge type products but different in that the soil is being affected instead of the seeds from which plants grow. Soil sterilents must be used carefully. Their impact is akin to the delete key on a computer; use both with caution.
Selective Weed Control: A product that targets a specific weed or type of weed control.
Spreader Sticker: Also known as adjuvants or surfactants, Spreader Sticker is almost always needed when treating plants or grass. It will enhance the performance of your effort so you can get the "most bang for your buck" when performing any type of weed control. By adding Spreader Sticker to your tank mix, you can get applications to coat targeted plants more effectively thus enhancing the material being applied.
Weed Control Sites
Once you have a basic understanding of the terminology that will be used when considering weed control options, you may then compare different treatment sites or locations where you want to perform weed control. In most situations, there will be a mixture of materials needed for any one treatment location. The exact combination will depend largely on the weeds you are targeting. However, the range of weed products available may be limited. For example, crab grass weed control in parking lots along cracks and seams in the cement can generally be accomplished with most any material. Such treatment sights are prime locations for soil sterilents and total weed and vegetation kill. However, if you wanted to kill this same type of weed (crab grass) in your Fescue or Bermuda lawn, you wouldn't want to use these same products. That's a recipe for disaster. So sensitive are some plants to certain materials that it is often best to have at least two types of sprayers available for turf applications. One sprayer can be used for total weed and vegetation killers and the other for selective weed control products. Such a strategy will often times minimize the risk of cross contamination which can occur even if sprayers are rinsed and maintained.
DIFFERENT TREATMENT SITES THAT COMMONLY NEED WEED CONTROL
There are many locations that commonly need weed control. Though most people think of their lawn grass first, common sites include the following:
- PARKING LOTS
- FENCE ROWS
- PINE ISLANDS
- FLOWER BEDS
- GROUND COVER LANDSCAPING
- GRASS (YARDS)
- PONDS and LAKES
Though parking lots and driveways are mostly made of either cement or asphalt, they do not provide a shield through which weeds cannot grow. In other words, weeds will commonly grow in both parking lots and driveways. Cement will crack, seams will appear and weeds will prosper. If you have a small area like a front stoop, patio or small walkway, you may be able to keep the weeds under control using a ready to spray product like KNOCKOUT AEROSOL WEED KILLER. It's fast acting, will kill anything sprayed and is very easy to use. However, it won't prove efficient or cost effective for most jobs around the home. Anytime there is a lot of ground to cover and a lot of weeds involved, you will get better results using some sort of concentrate that is most commonly mixed with water. The key is choosing the right one and with all the options available today, this can be a hard choice. One of the best is PRAMITOL. It will work on any weed living above ground but it's real strength lies in it' ability to work as a soil sterilent. This means that when applied at the right rate, Pramitol will stop all weeds from being able to grow. Actually, Pramitol will stop everything from growing. Depending on the region where you reside, this residual could last 6-12 months. If you have a really bad population of established weeds, use a couple of products in your spray tank at the same time. Add Pramitol for the long term weed control but then add some ERASER to the tank for an enhanced performance and quicker results compared to Pramitol by itself. This product is similar to Roundup but includes a Spreader Sticker so you get better performance. Remember, Spreader Sticker is what should be mixed with any turf product enabling the treatment to work that much better. If the current weed growth is minimal and you are only going to use Pramitol by itself, add SPREADER STICKER to the mix. This will insure the Pramitol does its job on both the above ground weeds and the soil below. Use one of our PUMP SPRAYERS for the job and if you will be spraying close to beneficial plants, use a DRIFT GUARD.
Since cutting the grass up against fence rows is hard to do and requires extra effort, such locations are ideal for weeds to grow if left unchecked. If your fence row is removed from turf which is growing grass, flowers, shrubs or anything important, you may choose to apply Eraser and Pramitol for quick weed control. Again, the Eraser will provide the immediate kill of everything growing and the Pramitol will keep the soil plant free for long periods of time. However, if you have sensitive plants close by, the chance of runoff, over spray or chemical leaching could make such applications not worth the risk. There are specialized chemicals which may be work better under these conditions.
If the area along the fence row is currently growing wild plants that serve to prevent ground erosion, you shouldn't kill them. However, since most wild plants will grow out of control if left unchecked, the use of a growth regulator may be warranted. EMBARK is such a product. Applied to the ground this product will slow the growth of most any plant including both broad leaf and grassy plants. It's an ideal weed control option for use on plants that tend to grow fast and uncontrollably but where you need to have some growth and not a soil sterilization.
If the fence row runs through Pine Isles, Flower Beds or Ground Cover which you want to keep healthy, proceed to one of the sections below that best describes your environment. The following sections will detail many other weed control options currently available. There are several weed products that will both kill or slow fence row plant growth and if needed, specialized weed chemicals that can be used which will eliminate the need to jeopardize the health of your other nearby plants.
The term Pine Isles is being used by the author to describe any type of island where nothing is generally growing or where maybe only a tree or two exists. For the most part, established trees will have root systems in place making them largely unaffected by the treatments discussed in this article. Though concern is warranted, it is generally not easy to adversely affect a tree unless you spray their leaves or inject material deep into the ground. Ordinary top soil weed applications discussed here will rarely go more than a few inches down into the soil and therefore won't threaten healthy large trees. Clearly saplings, diseased and small or newly installed trees will be more vulnerable and care should be taken if and when you need to perform weed control around them. Use common sense and if you are unsure, give us a call or e-mail to get any questions or concerned addressed prior to the weed product application.
Many people will have pine or mulch islands around their home. These are sometimes referred to as "wild areas" or "mulch" and almost all will grow weeds if left untreated. If this growth is not wanted and erosion is not an issue, Pramitol may be applied to keep it plant and weed free. Though the use of a "weed barrier" may seem like a good choice, rarely do they last more then a season and weeds will commonly grow their roots on top of the barrier. Most weed barriers will do an OK job of keeping the roots of plant growth from reaching the dirt below but even with this capability, weeds will prosper. Pine straw, wood chips and even stone will prove more than adequate for the growth of most any weed so don't be surprised if you have spent a lot of time and money laying a plastic weed barrier only to find plenty of weed growth over these areas in just a few short months of the installation. This is to be expected. The real question here is what product will best suited to keep the area free of weeds in the long run.
If these islands are barren and bare, the PRAMITOL may be the best long lasting material to apply. If you have a lot of weed growth, add the ERASER to help knock down the established growth. You may even want to give a "face lift" to the mulch by adding some MULCH MAGIC to the tank mix. This brown "paint" is perfectly safe and completely biodegradable so it won't hurt any living plant. However, it's brown color is natural and bright making even the oldest pine straw or wood chips look new again. If you don't feel like replacing all your mulch just yet because it's still in good shape other than it's faded color, use the Mulch Magic to brighten up the area. It will certainly extend the life of what you have in place and postpone the cost of new mulch. Now if you have a lot of ground cover or flowers in these islands, read the next section which will list several more products that can be used when such plants are present and you don't want to risk hurting them while treating the unwanted weed growth.
To keep weeds from growing in these same islands, the use of a Pre Emerge is quite effective. SURFLAN will work if you prefer to spray; PRAMITOL or WEED AND GRASS STOPPER Granules do the same thing but are applied with a GRANULE SPREADER. Remember, the Pramitol should only be used where you don't want any growth as it's a true soil sterilent; the Weed and Grass Stopper is a true Pre Emerge.
Since most islands or mulch have some type of plant growth besides just weeds, it is important to use products in such areas that will target the weeds and not the plants you want to keep. There are several options available for selective weed control. Some will target broad leaf weeds while others will only affect grassy weeds. The unique quality of these specialized herbicides is that they can be applied over established plants such as flowers, shrubs and other beneficial plants without harming them. Lastly, there are pre emerge products that can be applied throughout the year so weeds can never start to grow. These pre emerge products will last many months, stop all weed seeds from growing and yet established flowers and other plants will not be affected. It is strongly advisable to use such materials whenever possible. Such products are less acutely toxic to plants in general so the risk of over spray or danger to other beneficial plants when doing weed control is kept minimal. Treating established weeds will require stronger more costly products and in the long run, take more time to employ. Additionally, they are both more acutely toxic to all other plants and require much more care when being applied.
If you have established shrubs like Azalea or any other common low growing bush or plant, care must be taken when using a weed killing agent. Products like Pramitol or Eraser would be deadly on such plants and cannot be used. However, there are special chemicals called Selective Herbicides that have been created for this very specific need. For example, BASAGRAN can be sprayed directly on many shrubs like Holly and other commonly found ground cover. Amazingly, it won't impact the "good" ground cover but it will kill many types of broad leaf weeds. It can even be applied over many types of flowers so Basagran would be a specialized selective herbicide that can be used in flowerbeds and other sensitive areas without hurting the plants you want to keep.
If the unwanted weed is actually some type of grass like Bermuda or Crab Grass, POAST GRASS KILLER would be a good Selective Herbicide that can be employed. Poast will target the grass and like Basagran, won't impact most flowers or ground cover shrubs. With both Basagran and Poast, you can now spray weeds that are growing in established flower beds or pine isles without presenting any risk to the beneficial plants. To get the best results, be sure to add some Spreader Sticker to the tank mix as this will allow the active to better adhere to targeted weeds.
Another product you should consider applying when using either Poast or Basagran is some SURFLAN. This material is a true PreEmerge. Preemergent products are used to stop plant seeds from ever having a chance of germinating. In other words, Surflan won't do anything to growing weeds but by stopping their seeds, new ones won't be able to start. Whats even more important is that you can use it in flower beds where you either have flowers growing or where you intend on planting some seasonal color. Even new shrubs, old shrubs, new trees or old trees won't be affected. Surflan won't hurt anything already established including your grass. Since it will stop all seeds from growing, you don't want to use it where you will be planting seeds in the near future (commonly done in the fall of most Fescue lawns). Most Surflan applications will remain active for 3-4 months so take this into consideration when deciding where and when to use it. Since it can be added to the tank mix with most any other herbicide, adding it to Poast, Basagran or even Eraser will enable you to achieve longer lasting weed control where applied. For small areas, WEED IMPEDE uses the same active Surflan but is packaged in a "ready-to-spray" hose end sprayer. This allows you to just hook it up to your garden hose and start spraying. Ideally suited for small flower beds, pine islands and other ground cover, applying Surflan or Weed Impede to these areas will keep them weed free with little to no weed pulling needed.
Anyone that has attempted to grow grass around a home knows that weeds are a constant threat. They're unsightly, persistent and fast growing. Each spring they magically appear and seem to "take over". If given a chance, several species are capable of this feat. Weeds will systematically kill off beneficial grass. This will happen gradually and over time as they steal vital nutrients and water your native grass needs. Within one season weeds can become well established and some species will jump out to be the major plant in your landscape in as little as three years. There are many reasons why weeds, both grassy and broad leaf, are able to "muscle in" and take over but these reasons are beyond the scope of this article. What's important to realize is that if you want green, healthy grass that is mostly weed free, you will have to care for it accordingly. The factors that allow for a successful lawn include four maintenance programs and is commonly known as "integrated turf management". Keeping a healthy green lawn will be easy if you adhere to the guidelines set forth in our articles about turf care. If you haven't already read these articles, the author strongly advises you to spend the time reading through them as soon as possible to get a good grasp of what the key considerations are when it comes to turf management. Once you understand what it will take to get your turf looking good, it will be easier to know where to start, what to do for your grass and most importantly, if you are willing to do all the work that will be required. Remember, turf management first requires time and knowledge. Once you have a good understanding of the key steps that should be taken to achieve this goal, turf grass management is something that most anyone can handle.
The "Four Steps" to a healthy, happy, green and great looking lawn….
Step 1 – make sure you've got good soil with a balanced PH
To get your grass looking as good as possible, you must first have good soil in which the grass can grow. You can cover a slab of rock with 10,000 sq/ft of the finest Bermuda and though it may look good for a few days, rest assured it will all die within a a short time. The kind of grass we like in our yards starts with the soil that lies underneath the sod. The very first thing you need to do if you wish to grow a green and healthy lawn is to measure the soil's PH. This will need to be done at least twice a year. Maintaining proper SOIL PH is vital if you wish to grow happy and healthy ground cover including trees, shrubs and grass.
Step 2 – you must feed your grass and plants on a regular basis
Once you know the PH of your turf is correct, you need to understand that happy and healthy landscaping requires good food. It makes no sense to plant nice plants and lay sod if you don't know what it will take to keep these plants alive. FERTILIZING LAWNS and landscaping is vital if you want to someday have plants which are able to grow and live to their potential.
Step 3 – take a pro-active "preventive" stance on insect infestations
Now that you have good soil in place that's been fed with the proper fertilizer, you should be able to grow a good healthy lawn, right? Well, it's not quite that easy… Once your lawn and landscape starts to grow and prosper, expect an invasion from all kinds of pests and prey. Insects will readily take advantage of lush lawns feeding on the roots and above ground plant growth. as well animals hungry to feed on the prospering insects. Keep the insects under control by doing some GRUB CONTROL. By keeping the insects in check you should be able to keep away nuisance wildlife like moles, voles and armadillo. Many animals feed on insects and if you allow your landscaping to be over run by bugs, chances are high that some kind of nuisance wildlife will soon follow. These animals are only doing what they do naturally and once they find a good supply of insects in your yard they will assuredly take advantage of the population by digging and making a mess. Preventive applications really do help to minimize insect populations and in turn help keep away nuisance animals.
Step 4 – keep lawn fungus off your grass and turf – don't over water keep "all of the above" in balance
Fungus loves to attack healthy, well fed grass and if you are growing grass where it's typically moist or humid, fungus is surely to be an ever present problem waiting to strike when conditions present themselves. Fungus is one of the more common reasons why people struggle with keeping their grass looking great and once the fungus moves in, weeds commonly follow. Since fungus tends to make the native plant weak and vulnerable, other plants (weeds) are able to prosper – especially species which are fungus resistant. To learn how to keep lawn fungus under control, read our on line FUNGUS CONTROL article. By keeping fungus at bay you'll be safeguarding your turf from weeds.
What now? You've done all 4 Steps listed above and some weeds are growing…
Don't worry; this is to be expected. The good news is that once you have walked through the "four steps" outlined above, weed control in your grass will be easy to handle. In fact, if all yards had an ideal PH, a good food supply, were kept fungus free and in balance throughout the growing season, few if any weeds would be given the chance to grow. The author is so sure of this because over the years of keeping a yard, he has learned that healthy turf with healthy grass tends to keep weeds at bay. There simply isn't enough spaces for weeds to grow since the native grass is using all the soil. He was able to notice that any section of his yard that had a fungus almost immediately gave birth to several types of weeds. These weeds were clearly not susceptible to whatever fungus was growing and active. Sections of the lawn that didn't have enough water or food would dry out and all the grass would die off. These same areas would somehow become infested with yet some other type of weed. Clearly these were species that were drought resistant. And if the soil had a PH that was out of whack, grass won't stand a chance at growing right. Yet this same soil can be ideal for many weed species just waiting to take advantage of the offering. The bottom line is one of the most effective forms of weed control is following the four steps to keeping a healthy lawn!. The regular maintenance programs detailed in our Lawn PH Control, Fertilizing Lawns, Insect Control and Lawn Fungus Control articles are critical to this success. Simply maintaining these important components of your landscape will actually help keep weeds away. What isn't so obvious is that these same programs will create environments in which weeds don't stand a good chance of growing. By implementing these programs and sticking to them throughout the growing season, weeds will find it hard to move in and take over. Ultimately this leads to less weed control chemicals needing to be applied, less work to get rid of weeds and in the end, a lot healthier and happier grass. Clearly following a good maintenance program for your grass makes sense!
To get ahead of the weed problems in your grass, use some Pre Emerge…
Keep in mind that even the most cared for lawn will have weeds of some type from time to time. But this frequency of weed growth can be reduced or often times eliminated. If you are "one of these people" and would like to prevent weeds from ever growing, you'll be wanting some Pre Emerge. You probably already have your soil PH in check, some good fertilizer applied on a fixed schedule and little to no problem with any lawn fungus. If this is you, consider the use of a Pre Emerge like Surflan. Surflan can be sprayed over most any grass and won't hurt established turf. The only time you wouldn't want to use it would be in the fall just prior to seeding the yard. Most Fescue lawns are seeded annually and Surflan will prevent these seeds from growing if applied before the seed has germinated and established itself. However, after the newly planted seeds have hatched and started to grow, Surflan can be applied. Do this late fall to early winter, usually November or December, and your application will help to prevent spring outbreaks of many types of weeds. It's generally smart to apply some more in the spring and then again during the beginning of the summer. Two or three treatments a year will probably keep all weed growth in check and should stop virtually all species.
If you'd rather apply a granule, the TURF & ORNAMENTAL WEED AND GRASS STOPPER uses a relatively new active which will work on most any seed like the Surflan. Being that it's in a granule form, some people will consider this to be easier to apply. The 12 lb bag will treat up to 5000 sq/ft; the 35 lb bag up to 15,000 sq/ft. The exact rate needed will vary with more being needed in the "southern" regions. Review the Weed and Grass Stopper Label for more details.
Once the weeds have started to grow in your grass…
If the warm season is already upon you and the weeds are sprouting, the use of some post emergent weed killer will be required. Fortunately there are many products available. Some are selective; some more general. The key of choosing which you need to use will depend largely on what type of weed you are targeting. Here are some guidelines.
- CRABGRASS… If you have nothing but excessive crab grass, the use of WEEDOUT and some Spreader Sticker would be all that is needed to kill what you've got growing. This combination is excellent for crabgrass, goose grass and several species of grassy weeds. MSMA can be applied over most any type of grass. However, St. Augustine and Centipede are two types of grass which are sensitive to this material so don't use MSMA on either of them. Another option if the crabgrass is less than 4 weeks old would be to use some TURF & ORNAMENTAL WEED AND GRASS STOPPER. Generally used as a pre emerge, this granule can kill early stages of crabgrass after it has started growing. This won't be the best option of you have a large area to treat but for for small yards, 5000 sq/ft or less, these granules might be your best option.
- CRABGRASS on St. Augustine or Centipede Grass, go for ATRAZINE. Don't apply it in the middle of the day and be careful when mixing; making it too concentrated can hurt your good grass. Atrazine will work on some broad leaf species as well.
- NUTSEDGE popping up randomly in your grass will be best treating with some IMAGE. Be sure to add some TURF MARKER to the tank mix so you can see just which weeds you have sprayed and which ones you missed. This blue marker paint will fade in a day or two so it's blue hue won't linger long. However, it's really handy at letting you know exactly where you have sprayed. Knowing this can help prevent you from spraying a weed two or more times. Such over spraying or over application can be damaging to Centipede or St. Augustine grass so take extra care when doing weed control on this species of grass. Turf Marker will take away any doubt and make sure you only treat where you need to treat and at the same time make sure you don't carelessly over apply anything.
- SELECTIVE BROAD LEAF WEEDS will commonly find their way into Bermuda or Fescue lawns. The good news you have lots of options on what to use and here is our short list of the BEST. For small yards (or jobs), some BROADLEAF WEED KILLER RTS will do the job. It will target any leafy weed and not hurt the grass. If Poison Ivy or Brush is your main concern and it's a small area, BRUSH KILLER PINTS or BRUSH KILLER QUARTS will do the job. It uses a couple of actives and works fast. The pint treats just over 5,000 sq/ft; the qt over 10,000. If you have large areas to treat, basic 2-4 D CONCENTRATE is the old standby. Commonly used in fields by farmers, 2-4 D is excellent for use in wooded areas as well where you wish to kill off wild ground cover like Poison Ivy, Sumac or Oak. These nuisance weeds are easy to kill when you have the right material but as always, be careful when working around them. If you are sensitive to their sap, it's always best to apply some POISON IVY-SUMAC-OAK PREVENTIVE LOTION before you venture out where these weeds are growing. This product will defintely help keep any plant fungus from getting a hold on your exposed skin. And since 2-4 D won't work on all broad leaf plants, go with the TRIMEC when 2-4-D might be strong enough. This formulation has 2-4 D but it also includes Propionic Acid and some Dicamba. This trio of weed killers are strong enough to handle most any broad leaf weed.
- BROAD LEAF WEEDS AND CRABGRASS If you have both grassy and broad leaf weeds growing, go for the TRIMEC PLUS. It uses the basic Trimec formulation and then adds MSMA so it will also work on grassy weeds like crabgrass, goose grass, etc.
*** Use Spreader Sticker with any of the above listed concentrates to help promote better coverage and faster results. ***
Remember, selective weed control takes longer compared to the acutely working non-selective weed killers like Eraser and Roundup. It is not uncommon for treated weeds to look fine 1-2 weeks following an application so demonstrate some patience when assessing whether a chemical treatment worked or not. Wait at least three weeks before re applying any of the products listed above. This insures you don't hurt any of the "good grass".
Ponds and lakes are areas where weeds can take over if given the chance. Since weeds need water like most any plant, it's only natural for them to do well in such environments. Doing weed control at the waters edge can be tricky at best and requires special products which won't contaminate the water. As a general rule, it is suggested that you don't make applications within 10-20 feet of water when doing weed control with the products listed above. Liquid applications may drift into the water causing issues; granular products can leach during heavy rains and find their way to the pond or lake. This would be bad for fish and other aquatic life so remember to keep a healthy buffer zone when doing any kind of weed control in close proximity to any pond or lake.
This being understood, you may need to do some weed control along the shoreline and sometimes in the water itself. One of the best products available that is safe for the water yet highly effective for all kinds of weed control is ERASER AQ. Like the other form of Eraser, it works by getting absorbed into the plant via the plants surface on which it's sprayed. Use it along the waters edge for weed control as well as for any weed growing up out of the water. It won't hurt frogs, fish or other aquatic life and can be used as often as needed. For best results, add some of the Spreader Sticker we list above.
REMEMBER, WEEDS ARE EASY TO CONTROL WITH THE RIGHT PRODUCTS AND INFORMATION!!!
Weeds are everywhere. They are opportunistic, fast growing, generally unattractive and unwanted. Yet they seem to appear anywhere we attempt to grow our garden or grass. There are many weed control options available in this day and age so most any problem has a resolution. The key is identifying just which product to use for any given situation. Pre emerge products will prove to be the most efficient material since they address the problem before it starts. Once weeds are established, it will take stronger products to manage all the new growth which presents a risk to beneficial plants, takes more time to apply and in the long run, is definitely more costly. When applying any herbicide, avoid over spray and run off to insure no damage happens to your desired plants. You can always go back and retreat any weed that you missed the first time spraying. However, you can't go back and regenerate dead plants you have killed by over application so try not to let this happen. Be sure to have a good soil in place to help native or desirable plants grow healthy and strong. Good soil means dirt that is properly balanced, has a good food supply for the plants you are trying to grow and is free from fungus. Such soil will enable desirable plants to prosper which in turn will keep unwanted weeds away. Match the right product to your target sight and weed control is easy. The products listed above should allow you to do just that but if you find you need something not listed, please give us a call. Chances are we can get whatever you need to help make your weed control program both manageable and effective.