Plan Now To Combat Spring Weeds!
August 27, 2019 by Farrah L. Fulps
“Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”
Did you know with proper planning NOW, you can start the spring without those so familiar early spring weeds?
The weather forecasts this week show the next seven days in the 80s! Starbucks today began serving the “P.S.L.” aka Pumpkin Spice Latte, which to some marks the unofficial first day of fall. While we likely will see those hot days in September the cooler temperatures mean great changes are upon us and our lawns and quite possibly marks the calendar for one of the most important steps in lawn and turf management: PRE-EMERGENT.
What exactly is pre-emergent and why is it so important?
First we must understand exactly what is emerging within our lawns.
Since the plentiful and record breaking rains this summer, the turf growth rates have certainly not slowed in Oklahoma, however our warm season turfgrasses will eventually start to enter dormancy. Underneath our lush green late-summer lawn still lies those winter annual weed seeds that have been dormant since late spring, and once the weather cools a bit and the turfgrass growth slows, these seeds take their turn to germinate then continue a slow growth through winter. These winter weeds eventually show rapid growth when the temperatures start to rise in late winter, early spring. The untreated lawn in early spring is a collection of weeds that are actually starting to germinate over the next two to three weeks: annual bluegrass, smooth brome, henbit, mouse eared chickweed, common chickweed, clover, cranesbill and Shepherd’s purse to name the most common.
A good plan of action for winter annual weeds is a pre-emergent herbicide application, the chemicals that prevent weeds from growing. At Arrow Exterminators our goal is to save you time and money in the spring by applying a pre-emergent herbicide to our lawns to catch these winter weeds before they germinate.
The first sign the spring is coming…HENBIT
Warm day in late winter and Shepherds Purse might appear in driveway cracks
It’s All About the Timing!
Pre-emergent herbicide will not kill the seeds, so it is extremely important to apply the pre-emergent herbicide in late August and first few weeks in September to catch the germinating weeds in action. Once the weeds can be seen the only way of controlling them is with our post-emergent application, but remember once weeds mature they also re-seed, making them much harder to control. In addition, winter weeds can be unsightly in the spring and extremely harmful to warm-season turfgrasses such as Bermuda as it tries to green in the spring. Weeds often deplete sunlight, moisture and nutrients over the winter and into spring leaving our turfgrasses stunted or ridden with bare spots and weak areas that are even more susceptible to summer annual weeds like the dreaded crabgrass!