If you want a healthy, robust lawn, fertilizing and weed control should not be once-a-year chores. Instead, several seasonal treatments can be adjusted to meet your turf’s changing nutritional needs throughout the year. Late spring is the ideal time for post-emergent weed control and fertilizer to nourish vigorous growth as the growing season really gets underway.
About Post-Emergent Weed Control
Weeds can germinate at any time, and a good post-emergent herbicide will help deter weeds even after they have sprouted. These herbicides work on actively growing weeds, and may be absorbed through the plant’s foliage, root system or both, depending on the formula and weed type. Post-emergents are most commonly used to control various broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions, clover, ragweed, chickweed, plantain and chicory.
Because these herbicides are most effective when weeds are actively growing, they are best used on young weeds in late spring, after pre-emergent formulas have already minimized how many weeds are popping up in the lawn. Post-emergents are ideal for spot treatments of individual weeds, but can also be used across your entire turf to kill any weeds that are just making their appearance. Older, more mature weeds may take several herbicide applications to completely kill.
Because post-emergent herbicides are available in both selective – kills only specific plants – and non-selective – kills all plants – formulas, it is critical to choose the right type. A non-selective formula will kill all the weeds, but will also kill your grass, shrubs, flowers, garden and anything else that may be growing. Selective formulas are safer for lawn use, but be sure that the specific formula you choose will be effective on the weeds you want to eliminate.
Both types of post-emergents are available as either liquid sprays or granular products, but whichever one you choose, read the application directions carefully and follow them meticulously to avoid any overuse that can harm your turf. Apply the chemicals at the proper time of day, and allow adequate drying time if needed. Some formulas may need watering-in, which can be done naturally if there is rainfall expected, or you may need to use sprinklers or manual watering to ensure effectiveness.
Controlling weeds in spring is of little use if your turf is thin and weak, because new weed seeds will simply take over after every herbicide treatment. It may seem counterintuitive, but you want to avoid heavily fertilizing your lawn in early spring – this is the period when roots are growing most actively, and most fertilizers are designed to “green up” your lawn and foster shoot growth instead. Improperly applied, spring fertilizers will instead take away from your root system and create a lawn that, while it looks healthy at first, has a weaker root system and will not withstand summer stresses.
In late spring, however, fertilizing can be very beneficial for your lawn. In mid- to late May or early June, your lawn will crave more nitrogen as its stored supplies are exhausted. Weed-and-feed combinations that include post-emergent herbicides as well as late spring fertilizing formulas are ideal. These blends will not only help combat unwanted weeds, but will give your lawn adequate nutrition for building up its strength against the heat, drought and heavy use that summer brings.
Everything is growing in spring, including the lawn you want and the weeds you don’t. With a post-emergent weed control application and appropriate late spring fertilization, you can keep weeds away and let your lawn thrive.
And hey…..if you just don’t have the time to drag out that old wobbly spreader out of your shed to perform your Round 2 application, then give us a call. We would be more than happy to treat your lawn for you.