Effective Lawn Weed Management Begins Now
February is always a busy month of activities to remember for me with Ground Hog Day, the Super Bowl, Valentine's Day, and my wife’s birthday.
For effective lawn weed management, February is also the month to take action in controlling existing winter weeds, such as clovers, wild garlic, henbit, chickweed, etc., with post emerge herbicides. Now is also the time to apply pre-emerge herbicides to prevent annual weeds, such as crabgrass, goose grass, spurges, etc., from infesting the lawn through spring and summer.
Pre-emerge herbicides must be applied prior to weed seed germination, therefore, the Super Bowl should be a reminder to get your pre-emerge herbicide purchased and Valentine's Day generally provides the perfect timing for applying it.
This is also an ideal time to apply post-emerge herbicides since most warm-season turf species are somewhat dormant and less likely to be injured by the herbicides. The winter weeds are actively growing and have not been mowed, so there is ample leaf area to absorb the herbicides for effective control. There is also some efficiency gained since both the post-emerge and pre-emerge herbicides can be applied in the same application.
With any pesticide, you should always READ THE LABEL carefully and completely before applying. The herbicide label will provide a list of where it can safely be applied and the weed species the active ingredient will control and at what rate.
For more detailed information on specific weeds and herbicides for turf applications, refer to the turf section of Extension publication #1532 Weed Control Guidelines for Mississippi.
Published February 6, 2012
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org