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Weed Control

It is most important to know that herbicides should not be used until the turf grass is fully established. This will take 4 months of warm summer weather (April – September). Sod laid in Fall/Winter will have to wait until July to begin weed control. Sod laid during Spring/Summer will still need 4 months of warm weather to be fully established. Herbicide application prior to grass being fully established is likely to cause damage to the grass.

Each lawn is unique and will have different factors to consider for weed treatment. These factors include soil type, turf variety and identification of the weeds. A professional lawn service will be able to identify these factors and treat accordingly. If you choose to treat your lawn yourself the following information should be helpful.

Identifying the weed is the first step to successful weed control program. If you are unable to identify the weed your local garden center, lawn care service or the local Extension office can provide the necessary information. Once the weed/weeds have been identified, it is very important to select the correct herbicide.

The product label is the best source of information when choosing a weed control. The label will specify the variety of grass and the weeds it can be used to treat. Some products will contain more than one type of herbicide. Read the product label thoroughly to ensure that the product will work on your particular type of grass. Always follow label directions exactly; each label will recommend the best way for the product to be applied.

Pre-emergence herbicides are herbicides that are applied before weeds germinate and emerge from the ground. These herbicides must be applied before the weed problem develops and are usually ineffective when applied to weeds that have already emerged. We recommend for home owners that have a fully established lawn use a fertilizer that has the herbicide barricade included. It should be applied twice a year. In the fall apply in mid-October and in the spring first of March. This should eliminate most winter and summer weeds.

Post-emergence herbicides are herbicides applied after the weeds have emerged from the ground but are still small and actively growing. These herbicides must be applied to the leaf and stem of the problem weeds and will not control weeds that germinate and emerge after the application to leaf and stem. Post –emergence herbicides should be applied only to full established lawn.

Non-selective herbicides are herbicides that kill all vegetation treated. Generally these products are applied to the foliage of the weeds. These herbicides will also kill or severely injure desirable plants. Roundup is a popular type of non-selective herbicide.

Your local extension service is a good source of information. The website address is

Common Mistakes:

1) Roundup is for weeds only and will kill/damage grass.

2) Improper selection of herbicide for the weed to be controlled.