Posts Tagged ‘annual weeds’

Weed Control: Pre-emergent vs. Post-emergent

Published by JKeefe on May 14th, 2012 - in Broadleaf Weeds, Lawn Care Companies


I have lots of folks asking the difference between treatments that claim control over annual broadleaf weeds, or pre-emergent weeds like spurge, vs. post-emergent weeds such as dandelions.  While this is often a very confusing distinction, a brief explanation will clear things up and differentiate between the two types of weed control.

Annual broadleaf weeds germinate beginning in late April and continue throughout the summer.  The early season crabgrass suppression treatment not only inhibits crabgrass, but these annual broadleaf weeds as well.  Therefore, these weeds don’t even germinate because of this first treatment in many lawn programs.  However, this type of treatment will not control existing weeds like dandelions or clover.  A subsequent treatment which targets these perennial or biennial broadleaf weeds works completely different by attacking the plants you see in your lawn right now.  This is done by contact with the leaf surface and by absorption into the root system.

Although there are some annual broadleaf weeds which will germinate later and not be controlled by the first treatment in April or May, subsequent weed treatments in a post-emergent setting will address those villains.  Another option to naturally reduce both annual and perennial/biennial broadleaf weeds involves turf building by adding compost tea, kelp, annual aeration/overseeding, lime, as well as natural or organic fertilizer.  A healthy lawn that is thick and growing will naturally crowd out a huge amount of weeds over time without the need for broadleaf weed control treatments.  However, many folks like to speed the process up by having a few select weed reduction treatments followed up by a conversion to natural treatments afterward.

So, if you are confused about pre-emergent weed control versus post-emergent weed control, I hope you feel a little better after reading this short blog post!  Have a great spring and don’t fear, “Mrgrass” is always near!


Fall Seeding replaces crabgrass

A very common question I hear is, “When is the best time to seed your lawn?”.  My answer is usually the same due to a few basic factors.  Fall wins over spring for a few key reasons.  The first being the soil is already nice and warm- ideal for faster seed germination with sufficient moisture.  Spring soil is usually cold and even after weeks of warm weather- soil temperatures do not reach into the low 50’s until mid to late May.  Any colder and the seed tends to stay dormant and dry out.  Therefore, fall is perfect for seeding since the soil temperature is already much higher than this- allowing for faster germination periods which means a better lawn for you.

The second reason is the competition- crabgrass and annual weeds like spurge and oxalis are just germinating in the spring- growing and fighting for space, light, water, and nutrients.  Spring seeding and especially summer seeding can often spell disaster because crabgrass will grow so much faster than the seed you planted.  This is an unfair competition because soil laden with crabgrass seed will win every time- even more so in hot, dry weather.  In the fall, these plants are all dying!  Hurray!  Yes, the bad guys are dying and cannot harass your new grass.  Therefore, you have two very big reasons to seed in the fall over the spring because its your time and money.  Why not take advantage of the next 6 to 8 weeks and do a little lawn fixing?  It will be an entire year before you see can seize this opportunity again.

If you seed now, you can apply a crabgrass barrier next spring and help suppress all the bad guys I mentioned above.  If you wait to seed until spring, you will have to forego crabgrass control- unless you pay for a unique product that is VERY expensive which allows seeding and a crabgrass barrier to be applied at the same time.  For most folks, seeding in the fall and applying a solid barrier in the spring makes the most sense- don’t make the fight uphill, go with the flow and take advantage of each season according to the life cycles and maximum benefit you can derive!  Get seeding today!

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