Keeping Weeds at Bay
There's something soothing about seeing an even expanse of green grass that seems to lower our blood-pressure a bit. And to some people, when that expanse is broken up by something growing where it shouldn't be growing, it seems to raise it a notch or two. Weeds are just one type of plant that we have decided shouldn't be growing in one particular place. Wild orchids growing in Hawaii are considered weeds there. It's just your point of view as to what makes a weed a weed. Some weed-type plants are very invasive and fast growing. Their growth habit overtakes our cultivated turf plants, depriving them of food and water.
Some common lawn weeds are annuals. Sprouting from seeds, they develop, blossom and form new seeds, then die in the fall, repeating the process each year. Crabgrass is one such weed. Once these types of weeds take root, they are difficult to remove without harming the lawn. The ideal control prevents them from developing. Applying a Pre-emergent Control in the spring does this. The soil's surface is covered with a microscopic protective layer that prevents any germinating seeds from taking hold, including crabgrass. If left undisturbed, this protective layer will maintain its defensive qualities throughout the prime germinating period. This is when most weed seeds will normally start developing. Of course, there is no 100% guarantee that additional seeds won't be carried in by winds, birds, or any number of other methods.
Thoroughly read, understand, and follow all information on herbicide labels. Avoid windy days, as these materials can damage many landscape and garden plants if they drift (spray droplets land off the lawn). Also avoid hot days (over 85 degrees F). It's best to have adequate soil moisture, but no rain for 24 hours after application. Don't mow for a few days before and after application. Consider spot treating weeds rather than broadcasting weed killer over the entire area. Use caution on newly seeded areas; wait four mowings before treating newly seeded lawns and 30 days before seeding areas treated with broadleaf herbicides. Read the label regarding potential tree damage when used on lawns growing over tree root zones.