Has your lawn been invaded by weeds?
Don’t panic, you’re not alone.
Weeds are a Symptom, Not a Disease
Weeds are symptomatic of a soil problem and signal a lawn in distress. Weed problems are the most common lawn issue for homeowners.
Contrary to popular belief, weeds are actually a sign of greater problems within your lawn.
- Weeds can flourish in conditions where grass cannot. They tolerate soil compaction, high ph, lack of nutrients, over watering, under watering, and heavy shade.
- Applications of herbicide can reduce the number of weeds in these locations, but unless the other issues are addressed, the weeds will keep coming back.
- Constant herbicide application is not good for the environment – nor is it the only answer to getting rid of weeds.
What are Weeds?
Weeds are essentially plants growing where they’re not welcome. Originally lawns were compromised of a number of different plants, including grasses, chamomile, clovers, and mosses. The combination of these types of different plants maintained a beneficial level of biodiversity, and made lawns possible with less maintenance and fewer resources.
Now, 100% turfgrass is the ideal, but that’s difficult, if not impossible, to maintain. In a healthy, vigorous lawn, 90-95% turfgrass is a more reasonable, achievable goal. The small amount of weeds left will not be very noticeable in your vibrant, healthy lawn.
Common Broadleaf Weeds in Minnesota
The most common types of broadleaf weeds in Minnesota are:
- Creeping Charlie
- Wild Violet
- Black Medic
When’s the Best Time for Weed Control
For broadleaf weeds, the best time to control and treat is when they are actively growing. During the hot and dry summer months grass may go dormant, that is when a weed problem becomes very obvious.
Crabgrass is commonly controlled with a pre-emergent in the spring. But, can be controlled in the summer if necessary.
Using Herbicides Properly for Weed Control
All herbicides can cause damage to desirable plants if they are not used correctly or are used as the only means of weed control. Using the following guidelines will help make sure that herbicides are being applied the right way.
- Make sure that anyone applying herbicides to your property has the appropriate Pesticide Applicator License for your state.
- Make sure that herbicides are being used minimally, and as a part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.
- Herbicides containing dicamba should not be used under trees
- Use herbicides in an “amine” form, rather than the more volatile “ester” form.
- Spot spray. Spot applications are much less likely to harm desirable plants and use less herbicide, significantly reducing the amount of pesticides put into the environment.
Cultural Practices Can Control Weeds
About 60% of having a healthy lawn can be tied to proper watering and mowing. Conversely, poor watering and mowing practices can lead to disease, weed infestation, and a high-maintenance lawn.
- When mowing, always use a sharp blade. Grass cut with a sharp blade looks greener. Dull blades tear and mangle grass, which makes it dry out faster.
- Beware of mowing grass too short. Grass is at its best when it’s mowed to a height between 3 and 4 inches. Short grass requires more water and is more likely to have disease and weed problems.
- Do not remove more than 1/3rd of the grass at any mowing.
Watering and Weeds
Water deeply and infrequently. Frequent, shallow watering leads to lazy grass with shallow roots. Less frequent, deeper watering leads to deeper roots and greater drought resistance.
Other Practices for Controlling Weeds
In addition to cultural practices, these lawn maintenance techniques – practiced on a regular basis – help keep weeds to a minimum and maximize the percentage of turfgrass in your yard:
Contact Us for Weed Control
Rainbow LawnCare’s weed control programs prevent these weeds from becoming a problem. If you have a weed problem and you’re in our service area, Rainbow has effective treatments to eliminate the problem. Contact us today!
Lawn Weeds Identification
The first step in getting rid of lawn weeds is to identify
what type of weed you have.
Here are some of the more common weeds found in the Twin Cities Metro area. Click the picture of any weed to enlarge it.