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Ask Burton: This week, a question of weed control. It’s time for pre-emergent now, of course, but what to do about the problems that sprouted last Fall?

Posted on February, 02

Q: My yard is half-green with weeds and small, soft grasses, none of which are my actual turfgrass. You’ve told me about applying pre-emergent this month to prevent the weeds soon to sprout this Spring, but what do I do to knock down my current problems?
 
A: The weeds present now are mostly a mix of broad-leafed weeds (clover, dandelions, etc.) and cool season grassy weeds like annual bluegrass.
The bluegrass would have been best controlled with your fall (September) application of Dimension pre-emergent. It’s too late to stop it now. The only treatment would be carefully applied shots of glyphosate like Killzall or Roundup, and those will kill your lawn as well if the turf isn’t completely dormant. Spot treat only the areas where you cannot tolerate the grassy weed at all for now and leave the rest alone. The good news: Annual bluegrass and annual ryegrasses will die once we get warmer in late Spring, quicker if you keep the lawn mown short. Get a jump on those next September and head them off next year.
Broadleafed weeds are easier to control. Apply ferti-lome Weed Free Zone when the nighttime temperatures for the next few days are expected to be over 40 degrees. Add one to three teaspoons of dish soap to each gallon of spray to act as a surfactant and apply from a pump sprayer.

Q: My yard is half-green with weeds and small, soft grasses, none of which are my actual turfgrass. You’ve told me about applying pre-emergent this month to prevent the weeds soon to sprout this Spring, but what do I do to knock down my current problems?

A: The weeds present now are mostly a mix of broad-leafed weeds (clover, dandelions, etc.) and cool season grassy weeds like annual bluegrass.

The bluegrass would have been best controlled with your fall (September) application of Dimension pre-emergent. It’s too late to stop it now. The only treatment would be carefully applied shots of glyphosate like Killzall or Roundup, and those will kill your lawn as well if the turf isn’t completely dormant. Spot treat only the areas where you cannot tolerate the grassy weed at all for now and leave the rest alone. The good news: Annual bluegrass and annual ryegrasses will die once we get warmer in late Spring, quicker if you keep the lawn mown short. Get a jump on those next September and head them off next year.

Broadleafed weeds are easier to control. Apply ferti-lome Weed Free Zone when the nighttime temperatures for the next few days are expected to be over 40 degrees. Add one to three teaspoons of dish soap to each gallon of spray to act as a surfactant and apply from a pump sprayer.