As the summer approaches, your grass is starting to prosper in warmer temperatures. But summer is also a popular season for other uninvited guests. Weeds are a common problem that many homeowners face, and they can quickly take over and ruin a beautiful lawn.
Whether you are dealing with dandelions, crabgrass, or other invasive plants, it is essential to have a few weed management techniques up your sleeve. The Golf Course Lawn Store is here to provide you with different strategies to nail weed management this summer, so you can enjoy a healthy and vibrant lawn. From weed identification to using the best lawn care products and equipment for managing weeds, keep on reading. So, let's dive in and learn how to keep those pesky weeds at bay!
If you want to maintain a healthy and thriving green lawn, one of the key things you need to know is how to identify and deal with weeds. To treat the problem, you need to know what it is in the first place. Weeds can quickly take over your lawn, compete with grass for nutrients, and leave your lawn looking patchy and inconsistent.
Types of Weeds in Lawns
First, if you've got a bare patch in your lawn, there's a good chance that weeds are going to take advantage of it. Weeds take advantage of where your grass is weak or damaged, so it’s useful to know a little about the weed life cycle so you know the most effective way to target them.
There are three categories that plants, including weeds, typically fall into: annuals, perennials, and biennials.
Annual weeds — are the easiest to deal with as they only grow for one year before dying. They produce seeds that germinate into new plants, but they won't return from the same root system. Examples of annual weeds include chickweed, crabgrass, and knotweed.
Perennial weeds — are a bit more challenging to control as they live for at least two years and sometimes many more. Their root systems are incredibly robust, so that they can repeatedly re-grow from the same root system. Examples of perennial weeds include bindweed, dandelion, ivy, and Japanese knotweed.
Biennial weeds — live for two years, with seeds growing without flowers in the first year. In the second year, they flower and produce seeds. Examples of biennial weeds include evening primrose, burdock, and common mullein.
Once you know which category a weed falls under, you can choose the best weed management method to remove it.
Visit our complete guide on lawn weed identification and learn how to spot the weeds damaging your lawn.
Pre-Emergent Weed Management
Herbicides can be classified as either pre-emergents or post-emergents. Pre-emergent weed killers are designed to target weed seedlings and prevent them from establishing. During the fall (apply in September) and spring (apply in February), the grass is particularly vulnerable to weed invasion; pre-emergent herbicides can be used to control weeds before they take hold. The month you apply pre-emergent will vary slightly based on where you are in the country. Like lawn fertilizers, post and pre-emergent herbicides are available in liquid and granular forms. While granular pre-emergents are easier to apply, they tend to act more slowly. In contrast, liquid pre-emergents are more potent and act quickly but require greater precision during application.
Prodiamine .38% Pre-Emergent Herbicide with Fertilizer 0-0-7
We recommend using Prodiamine .38% with Fertilizer 0-0-7 as a pre-emergent. This granular pre-emergent is a weed and feed product, making it simple to use without harming your grass lawn. Prodiamine also contains 7% potassium, a crucial macronutrient that helps enhance your grass’s growth and resilience.
TOP TIP: Use a broadcast spreader to distribute granular weed management products evenly.
Post-Emergent Weed Management
Post-emergent weed killers are applied to weeds already visible on the lawn. How effective post-emergent herbicides are depends on the timing of application and the type and maturity of the weeds. Some post-emergent herbicides are selective, targeting only certain types of weeds, while others are non-selective and will kill any plant (not just weeds) they come in contact with. It’s best to avoid using non-selective herbicides on your lawn.
Broadleaf Weed Control — Triad Select 3-Way Herbicide
Triad Select™ Herbicide combines three herbicides for effective weed management for a broad spectrum of broadleaf weeds. This herbicide is specifically formulated to eliminate dandelions (one of the most common weeds in summer), and is safe to use on grass. Compared to store-bought options, Triad Select is a superior weed killer safe to use on both warm and cool-season lawns.
TOP TIP: For liquid weed management products, use a backpack sprayer for an even spread.
Managing Weeds in Cool & Warm Season Lawns
If you have a warm or cool season lawn, you’ll need to tailor your weed management products to suit your grass type and area. We've got two kits: one for cool-season grasses and another for warm-season grasses. The cool-season kit employs a blend of Sedgehammer® and Tenacity, which can efficiently manage over 50 species of broadleaf and grassy weeds together.
These ready-to-use kits are designed to kill weeds while keeping your grass safe. We’ve also included a non-ionic surfactant to enhance weed-killer absorption and a turf mark indicator for easy and accurate application.
Manual & Organic Weed Management
Aside from using herbicides, manual weed management can also effectively manage weeds, especially for small areas or isolated weed populations. Killing weeds naturally has less impact on your surrounding ecosystems and can be a surefire way to keep your lawn free of chemicals — but bear in mind these methods can be less effective. Regular monitoring and prompt action are key to successful natural weed management. Here are a few ways to kill weeds organically:
Fire & Water — This one’s easy. Simply boil water and pour it over weeds (not grass!), and it will kill the plant quickly. A flame-weeder tool is similarly effective.
Salt Spray — Dissolve one part salt in eight parts hot water and add a dash of dish soap into a spray bottle. Spray only the leaves of the weeds you wish to target. You can also use this same recipe with white vinegar.
Borax — Mix 10 oz powdered borax with 2.5 gallons of water and apply it to weeds only, avoiding soil or plant saturation.
Hand Weeding — For the occasional weed or two appearing on your lawn, try a hand-weeder tool to get to the weed’s root and pull it up completely.
Related: How to Kill Weeds Naturally
Weed Management Techniques
By implementing proper fertilization techniques, irrigation management, and selecting the appropriate turfgrass species, you can create an optimal growing environment for your lawn to succeed. Remember, there are several fundamental requirements for plant growth, including air, water, light, nutrients, and temperature. Ensure you’re on top of these requirements specific to your turf species to effectively manage weeds in the summer.
Putting in the extra effort to establish a healthy lawn from the beginning will save you from having to catch up later on. Good luck!
Get a non-toxic weed killer that is safe for the environment and 100% effective. Try Mirimichi Green Weed Killer Spray today.