Posts Tagged ‘lawn weeds’

Organic weed control

Published by mrgrass on May 19th, 2014 - in Broadleaf Weeds

Most folks do not understand or believe that lawn weeds can be effectively reduced with organic products and methods.   There are several effective sprays which will specifically reduce broadleaf weeds while leaving surrounding turf grass unharmed.  Your lawn can be treated with organic products in the spring and or fall and generally two sprays do just as good a job as conventional treatments.

 
If you have dandelions, clover, hawkweed, or even ground ivy and violets, organic sprays can significantly reduce these weeds and many more in your lawn.  A cautionary note on weeds they are a sign of a bigger problem in your lawn.  Weak lawns with poor soil quality, low soil pH, compaction, and thin turf create the ideal environment for promoting more weeds than grass.  So while you may want to attack the known, visible issue – broadleaf weeds, the big picture issue is generally more complex and should be dealt with first or in conjunction with organic weed reduction.

 
Many weeds indicate a sour soil or compaction.  Plantain and Pineapple weeds (pictured below) are classic indicator weeds growing in compacted soil.  You can see plantain on playgrounds, ball fields, or even paths along roads where traffic causes compaction in the soil.  The solution is core aeration in combination with spraying for the weeds.  Once the weeds are gone, you need to replace the empty space with hybrid turf grasses better suited for the location.  Appropriate timing is critical along with the proper sequence of events for successful results.

 

Plantain weedPineapple Weed means compacted soil

 
Organic weed control should and can be used in conjunction with lime, aeration, compost tea, and a variety of slow release fertilizers for substantial visual results most folks look for when spending money on their lawn.  If you are considering a longer-term approach and want to be environmentally conscious, look for a licensed lawn care company ‘.  As I have said before, even organic products can cause harm in the hands of untrained or unlicensed workers.  If an organic product is designed to attack a pest, be it a weed, insect, or disease, you must be licensed to legally use these materials.  This makes sense doesn’t it?  After all, why would you want to hire a company not truly prepared to do the job right – ethically, legally, and morally when it comes to your family, pets, and the environment?

 
Don’t let weeds get you down this year, now you know you have choices and knowledge is the power for success.

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Summer crabgrass woes

Published by mrgrass on July 11th, 2013 - in Crabgrass

A typical July and August brings ideal summer heat for optimum crabgrass growth.  Hot summer days slow normal grass growth but crabgrass takes off like a rocket; growing up and then outward to claim weak, thin, or bare lawn areas.  If you failed to apply a pre-emergent spring crabgrass suppressant, chances are your lawn may look like the lawn to the left in the picture below compared to one treated to the right.  The lawn on the left is actually 90% crabgrass and come fall, it will all die leaving behind a brown dusty mess.    A picture is worth a thousand words and in this case, a thousand crabgrass plants!  If left untreated, millions of crabgrass seeds will take hold as a new school year begins.  If you forgot or do not think a crabgrass suppressant works, just keep looking at the picture below – with only one treatment in May, simply amazing.  Even the bare/plow damaged edges are crabgrass free as of July 9th!

Crabgrass in a lawn

Fear not, there are still treatments which can slow, thin out, or completely eliminate existing crabgrass in small, medium, and even larger areas.  Chippers’ turf division offers several post emergent sprays which can be used to target just the crabgrass, not the good grass you want to save.  One well-timed spray can provide superior results when done properly with our licensed lawn technicians.  If you have lime green crabgrass and it is starting to resemble the photo above, give me call or your local lawn care company so you don’t allow your lawn to be lost in a jungle of crabgrass this summer. 

What else can you do to prevent crabgrass from taking over? In most cases, a healthy lawn which is cut properly and treated fairly in terms of care will have the best defense against germinating crabgrass; density.  Fair care refers to fertilizing, lime, aeration, and compost tea for example but does not mean any or all need necessary be done to insure a healthy lawn.  A proper cut and a thick healthy lawn are your best natural defenses against crabgrass.  This just makes good sense.  Think for a moment, a thin lawn has hotter, exposed soil and hot soil lets crabgrass seeds germinate and grow fast – real fast.  A few too short mowing cuts can cause an explosion of crabgrass in weeks where proper 3” mowing would have prevented some, if not most, under the same conditions.

If your lawn is in trouble, have a qualified company inspect the problem and provide solutions.  Something might be appropriate now, next month, or this fall depending upon the infestation given the overall lawn location and condition.  Don’t let a good lawn go bad, stop crabgrass before it engulfs your mailbox and pets!

 

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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!

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