Spring Weed Control Strategies

Posted on: 23 January 2020

Spring is right around the corner, which means weeds are getting ready to emerge. A weedy lawn early in spring can weaken your grass, making it much more difficult for it to recover and grow lush before summer arrives. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take in late winter and early spring to prevent these lawn nuisances from taking over this summer.

1. Pre-Emergent Herbicides

You don't have to wait until the weeds have overtaken your yard before applying a weed killer. Pre-emergent herbicides are applied before the weeds start to go. They work by either preventing seed germination or by killing a seedling as soon as it sprouts deep within the soil. Most pre-emergent herbicides are for killing broadleaf weeds, although there are some available for common problem grasses, like crabgrass. Broadleaf herbicides won't harm your lawn, but some grass herbicides will, so make sure to follow all application directions. In some cases, you may need to schedule several herbicide applications so you can kill weeds with different spring germination windows.

2. Nitrogen Boost

A healthy lawn is less likely to have a weed problem because the lawn grasses will crowd out any weed seedlings that try to sprout. Applying a spring fertilizer gives your lawn a nitrogen boost right when it comes out of dormancy and begins active growth. A lot of soil nitrogen washes out over the winter months, so your end-of-season fertilizer application may not still be feeding your lawn. Weak spring growth is often a result of this lack of nitrogen. By giving your lawn a fertilizer boost, you can help it to outgrow the weeds. If you aren't sure about your fertilizer needs, you can use a general-purpose spring fertilizer mix, or you can have soil testing done to determine exactly what nutrient needs your grass has.

3. Mulch

Mulch smothers young weeds before they can establish, which naturally keeps your landscape weed-free. All exposed soil in your landscaping should have a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch, minimum. Wood chips and pine straw are popular options for flower beds and around trees and shrubs. You can lay mulch over a layer of landscape fabric to further prevent weed growth. Mulch is also a good idea for you lawn grass. Use the mulch setting on your lawnmower when you cut the lawn to form a healthy mulch layer in the grass.

Contact a lawn fertilization and weed control company like Texas Green Turf for more assistance.