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Weeds in turf

As we get into February and March, it will be apparent which lawns in the Tulsa and Oklahoma area have been cared for and treated last fall, and which ones were left for Mother Nature to do her thing. Winter annual weeds such as annual bluegrass, dandelions, henbit, and chickweed to name a few will be exploding into dormant bermudagrass lawns especially. These green weeds really stand out on a brown dormant bermudagrass or zoysiagrass lawn, and with the lawn not actively growing now, these weeds can really take over a lawn. So this time of the season is really a good time to determine if your present method of lawn care or company is really doing their job.

If a quality pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicide was applied last fall to turf, then there should be very little if any green weeds showing now. This picture shows one of our treated lawns on the right, next to an untreated lawn on the left. As you can see, as long as a good fall treatment was applied the previous season, lawns should be pretty clean of weeds. Controlling winter annual weeds in the fall either just before they germinate or right afterwards when they are small is much easier and more effective compared to waiting until spring when they are larger and harder to control. At LawnAmerica, we use a great new product named Specticle in the fall, which does a great job of preventing winter weeds from even germinating. We also add a liquid post-emergent herbicide, Trimec, which controls any broadleaf weeds that have germinated already. So with our fall treatment, when we come out for the early spring weed treatment, our lawns are pretty clean, so we can concentrate on applying the crabgrass pre-emergent for control of the next crop of weeds, the summer annuals.

What I often see, especially in commercial properties, are weeds present in early spring in the turf, which means that the company responsible for the turf either did not even apply a fall treatment, or they applied it incorrectly or with cheap products. There are some commercial maintenance companies that just skip this important treatment for some reason it seems. Don’t know why, other than they are just trying to save money, or they’ve sent all their workers back to Mexico. A key to successful weed-control is to prevent weeds from even germination if at all possible, and it’s the safest way to control weeds. So hence the justification and the need for a quality pre-emergent applied both in fall, and again in spring.

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