June is normally a great month to treat for common broadleaf weeds in a lawn for several reasons. First, June weather is generally ideal for attacking the weeds because soil temperatures should be above 50⁰F and your target weed must be actively growing in order to metabolize the product used to treat the weeds. There are weed control products for the common weeds we all know, such as clover, dandelions, violets, hawkweed, and lots of other equally pesky but lesser known varieties. A lawn does have a more refined and clean look without weeds, however, there is a growing population that is much more tolerant of our weedy friends then in past history. Reducing most weeds in your lawn must be a conscious, proactive effort in terms of timing and materials used. Broadleaf weeds can be categorized into a range from easy to difficult to reduce. Easy to control weeds include dandelions while those hard to control include ground ivy. Ground ivy has a thick, waxy covering on the leaves and its viney nature puts it on the top 10 most difficult to reduce list.
Have no fear, with the right products and a good plan of attack, even a lawn infested with ground ivy can see a 75% reduction in a single growing season with an aggressive spray routine. Targeting dandelions in the spring and fall tends to yield acceptable results because this plant is generally easy to control, especially during prime growing weather in the spring and fall. Control measures can range from dry or granular coated products to area treatment in liquid formulation, all the way to a complete liquid spray blended with other products or alone. Generally speaking, granular products are slower to control weeds and cause a slow disappearance of clover. These types of treatments have a contact and root uptake mode-of-action in order to reduce dandelions in your lawn. Granular broadleaf weed control products are more gentle on your lawn providing a lighter touch. If you watch your patches of clover for days, you will be disappointed and will not see the kind of “knock down” achieved by liquid sprays of a similar or same material. When liquid weed sprays are combined with a sticker agent, this causes the product to adhere to the weed leaf surface and to be taken up by the root system once rainfall or irrigation arrives. Because a liquid spray is soluble, you see faster evidence of the treatment often visible within days as leaves twisting, tanning edges, browning and other signs of imminent demise.
Organic weed control is also available and does a wonderful job controlling easy to knock down weeds and the bad boys such as violets and ground ivy. Organic weed control will also reduce moss in your lawn; preparing it for future seeding.
The picture in this post illustrates a clear line where chippers sprayed a liquid blend on dandelions and what the lawn looked like 10 days after the treatment. The left side of the lawn was sprayed and the right side was not treated; pretty amazing. Regardless of your priorities, weeds will always be present in our landscapes and the decision must be made to chemically remove them (remember, there are organic options), physically remove them, or just let them be weeds. Have a great Memorial Day weekend and if you see a weed you don’t like, remember, you have options.