Let’s be honest, talking about weeds gets your blood boiling just a little. Preventing and controlling weeds are possibly the most frustrating aspects of lawn care. Finding your strength and willpower being challenged by the strength and willpower of a plant can make your frustration peak to the point of complete helplessness. Weeds don’t need to win, though. Let’s talk about four specific weeds and ways that you can overcome their seemingly indestructible selves.
These will probably be the weed that you are most familiar with. Dandelions are incredibly common, as well as incredibly noticeable. They start with a bright yellow top and slowly transition into a fragile, white puffball that loses its seeds with a slight blow of the wind. These weeds appear seemingly out of nowhere in the early spring and continue to grow at an alarming rate. Dandelions can have roots up to three feet deep. Whoa, right?
These weeds are pesky, and of course the best course of action to take with them is to do whatever you can to prevent them. This involves having and maintaining a thick and healthy lawn, if it’s mowed routinely then the weed won’t be able to mature and create even more of a problem for you. If it does mature, the seeds spread from the puffball will end up creating more dandelions the next year.
For other treatment options, chemicals are incredibly effective. Products such as roundup – glyphosate – are very effective, but will also kill any and all things in the yard. If you choose to go the chemical route it is suggested to only use it in beds, walks, or driveways rather than the entire lawn. Spray the weeds when they have sprouted and before they mature. There are also options such as crabgrass control or pre-emergent that can be applied in early spring to help reduce the amount of dandelions. Dandelions in the lawn will need a broadleaf, selective weed control which is incredibly effective.
There are the crabs of the ocean and the crabgrass of our lawns, and each are equally upsetting. Crabgrass, though, can be controlled. Crabgrass is that weed that has a center root low across the ground with leaves sprawled all around. This weed will first appear around mid-spring, but it is especially prevalent during the summer due to how well it thrives in hot, dry conditions. They’ll die in the fall, but before they pass they’ll make sure to spread thousands of seeds across your lawn just waiting to pop up the next year.
The key to crabgrass control is to stop the spread of these little seeds. Preventing the germination will help prevent crabgrass, which will in turn help make your lawn look quite flawless. To stop the seeds, there are multiple different techniques. Just like dandelions, and just like many other lawn imperfections that come about, a healthy lawn will greatly help prevention. There are also other things such as pre-emergent that will work to kill seedlings as they germinate. However, pre-emergent won’t help if the crabgrass has already sprung up. For crabgrass already there, then post-emergent will be useful to control their spread of seeds. Just make sure to not apply too much herbicide. (If your lawn is browning, that’s a good sign you have.) To prevent death of your lawn just make sure to water the area extensively.