Posts Tagged ‘clover’

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!


To weed your lawn or not to weed, that is the question!

Published by JKeefe on May 10th, 2011 - in Broadleaf Weeds, Lawn Care Companies

White clover in a lawn is very common

Many folks cannot stand dandelions, clover, violets, wild strawberry and a host of other creepy-crawly broadleaf weeds.  By definition, a weed is simply a plant that is not desired, out of place if you will.  Therefore, one person’s weed is perhaps desired by another.  I often ask clients on a consultation if they want weeds reduced or left alone.  The majority have quick answer, such as “I don’t mind them” or “kill them all!” different strokes for different folks.  The point I am trying to make is this: you don’t necessarily need to feel obligated to attack every broadleaf weed in your lawn to have it healthy, colorful, and green.  Sure, some will flower and it may not have that “golf course” manicured look, but it will certainly be functional for barbeques, picnics, or volleyball.

On the other hand, some folks like a more manicured, groomed lawn with a finer texture and a pleasing roll as the wind combs each blade into a carpet of excellence.  Broadleaf weeds are best reduced and attacked when they are actively growing, and that means spring and fall.  Tough weeds have waxy coatings which makes them difficult to thin out like ground ivy and violets.  Other weeds shake in fear at the mere sight of a bag of weed and feed being loaded up into the spreader for the inevitable is near!  Clover and dandelions are easily reduced or completely eliminated in a single season with proper timing and technique.

The dandelion is the symbol of a common weed

Weeds are like chocolate and vanilla ice cream, there is an opposite flavor and outlook on each, neither being necessarily right or wrong, better or worse.  My final word of caution for those “do it yourself” folks, be vigilant of how much and when you apply your material.  Be aware of surface water like rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds as they border your turf area.  Be careful not to apply too much product under the illusion of better results, disregarding the label instructions.  Have fun, and may your lawn be a source of enjoyment, not a burden to your summer happiness.

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