Imagine your kids playing Frisbee, your friends coming over for a BBQ, and the family dog running around in your backyard. What does your lawn look like? Is it lush, green and weed free?
Lawns create a peaceful place full of natural beauty that immediately affects your mood. It’s not uncommon to be brought into a tranquil and happy space when walking barefoot through a beautiful lawn.
Green, weed-free lawns benefit our environment too. In the summer, your lawn is busy absorbing the sun’s heat
helping to keep you cool. A healthy lawn also reduces weed pollen in the air helping you to breathe easier during allergy season.
The American dream of a weed-free lawn is achievable and Dream Greener is here to help with the following tips on how to control weeds in your Pittsburgh lawn.
1. Start Early
A few of the broadleaf weeds that germinate in lawns can be treated proactively. The main culprit most Pittsburgh homeowners ask us about is crabgrass. Fortunately for us, we can plan for crabgrass with a proactive herbicide.
Crabgrass pre-emergents should be applied before the anticipated germination time. When applied correctly, the pre-emergent will create a thin wall on the soil that will block the crabgrass from being able to grow into your lawn.
You can expect a crabgrass pre-emergent herbicide to control between 75-85% of the crabgrass in your lawn. Here at Dream Greener, we apply two applications to ensure best results.
Unfortunately, not all weeds can be controlled before their germination with pre-emergent herbicides. When that is the case, we treat these weeds with post-emergent herbicides, designed to work on contact with the visible weed.
Tough weeds like chickweed often require multiple applications which is why a lawn care plan is a valuable investment.
2. Follow a Comprehensive Lawn Care Plan
Preventing weeds is a tough job! The saying goes, “the best defense is the best offense” and we believe this to be true with lawns too.
If your lawn is already well established, thick and lush then you’ll have a much easier time blocking out the weeds that you would in a bare area.
Acquiring healthy, beautiful grass requires a comprehensive lawn management program. Aerating and over-seeding in the spring or the fall of the year will help thicken up your existing lawn by introducing new desirable grass to help block out weeds.
3. Treat Weeds in the Right Conditions
Depending on the label, the product may work on contact with the weed which means it will kill the portion of the weed it touches. Other products work systemically meaning that the plant will absorb the chemical and spread the toxins throughout the weed. This makes it very effective for controlling persistent weeds.
Either way that the product works, it’s important to apply the product at the right time.
Here are a few pointers:
- Do not apply weed control during drought conditions. Moisture must be available in the soil to not harm your desired grass.
- Always ask or refer to the label for after care instructions. Many granular products need to be watered in for the active ingredient to begin working. If there isn’t rain in the future, make sure you supplement watering during the summer months with a sprinkler or underground irrigation system. However, some products need time to dry out and should not be watered in immediately.
- Be aware of wind conditions. It’s important that the product doesn’t “drift” in the wind and touch desirable plants.
- Only apply weed control in proper temperatures. Most chemicals should be applied when the temperatures are between 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit, but always check the label. Avoid applying over a frost or during freezing conditions which may occur in spring or late fall.
The best time to treat a weed is when it’s immature, or small in size. The less leaves and smaller it is, the easier it will be to eliminate. However, the weed must be actively growing.
As a rule, if you are applying your own products, always thoroughly read the label.
Could you imagine playing catch in a backyard that is filled with bugs and weeds? Neither can we!
That’s why we designed our 6-step fertilization program just for Pittsburgh lawns.