do I get rid of the weeds in my lawn?
One of the best ways to keep a lawn weed free but easy to maintain
and inexpensive, is through an effective lawn maintenance strategy
that encourages vigorous growth of turfgrass. Weeds do not compete
well with dense healthy turf, therefore the maintenance of a
healthy thick stand is very important in producing a weed free
lawn. Practices which encourage this include proper irrigation
and/or drainage, use of fertilizers, insect and disease control,
and the use of the correct type of turfgrass for your situation. Fescues are the best for shady areas, whereas turf-type
perennial ryegrass varieties, which require full sun, establish
themselves quickly in newly seeded areas and will crowd out
germinating weeds. Kentucky bluegrass establishes more slowly,
but once it is established it is very competitive.
can be done by hand pulling if weeds are not too numerous or
with a knife or V-shaped spudding tool (called a 'Dandelion
Digger' or 'Fishtail'). It is important to get the whole
weed plant or you may simply get more weeds, this is especially
important when pulling dandelions.
is often the easiest, especially with high weed populations.
The 2,4-D spray works best in the spring or in September when
broadleaf weeds are actively growing. This treatment will generally
thin Dutch clover in the lawn. A large number of broadleaf weeds
resistant to 2,4-D can be controlled by mecoprop, dichlorprop,
and dicamba. A thorough wetting of the leaves with any type
of chemical spray is required for effective control. Mecoprop,
dichlorprop and dicamba are also in mixtures with 2,4-D.
Be careful when using dicamba near shrubs,
etc., Prepared mixtures of this chemical and 2,4-D are
safer and effective on a wide range of weed species in the lawn,
including knotweed which is resistant to most other herbicides
except when very young. After seeding a new lawn, annual weeds
may sprout up quicker than the new grass. These need to be controlled
since they will shade and eventually crowd out much of the grass
seedlings. Mowing at a height of 2 1/2 - 3 inches will control
most of these. If they are very thick, and if the grass has
been up at least 4 weeks, then apply 2,4-D at one-half the usual
Common trade names of chemicals that can
be used on lawns are: 2,4-D amine, Banvel, MCPA amines, Compitox,
Dycleer 24, Mecoturf Plus 2,4-D, Killex, Betasan, Dacthal, Tupersan,
Betasan, Dacthal, Basagran (plus oil concentrate) and Assist.
Most of these products will control most weed types, while others
are more weed specific.