Can Your Prevent Weeds In Your Lawn?

Now that we are 100% in the full swing of weed season in most of the country, I figure I’ll share with you one of the misconceptions that a lot of my lawn treatment customers–the ones who don’t read this website, anyway– seem to have. That misconception being that lawn weeds can be prevented. Let’s look at this for a moment.

Can Lawn Weeds Be Prevented?

The answer is, “To an extent.” How is that for dancing around an answer? In reality, weeds cannot be prevented; there just isn’t a product available that can do that without also harming your turf. Now, don’t get me wrong, we can use products like Barricade and Dimension to stop crab grass, but not your typical broad leaf weeds.

This is because many of the more common weeds like dandelions, for example, start growing beneath the ground almost as soon as the snow melts. It is just not physically possible to get anything down in time. Other weeds, such as creeping charlie and clover, have very shallow, surface-type root systems–meaning that a chemical barrier would be ineffective anyway.

For the most part, only post-emergent herbicides can be used to actually stop existing weeds, not prevent them.

What Can We Do To Reduce Lawn Weeds?

The key to preventing weeds lies in fattening up your lawn. That’s right: feed it. Thick turf is the best way to keep weeds from invading. Weeds will attempt to compete with your thick lawn, but they will lose in most cases! Remember, a thick, healthy lawn is the very best way to prevent broad leaf and vine-like weeds in your lawn.

So next time you fertilize your lawn and weeds pop up a few weeks later, don’t blame your lawn care guy–he didn’t “fertilize your weeds” like you think. Just call him or her back to do a touch up spray, and you will be all good!

How To Get Rid Of Dandelions In Your Lawn

Where I live, we’re just now on the cusp of the annual onslaught of broad leaf weeds, and specifically, dandelions. In fact, during all my years in the lawn and landscape industry, the dandelion has been the biggest thorn in my side, literally!

What Is A Dandelion?

Believe it or not, dandelions are NOT always looked at as weeds. Some people use them in salads, while others use them for medicinal purposes. Personally, I never recommend you look at them in this light. After all, we are lawn care folks here, so we take an adversarial approach!

Either way, here’s a quick definition for you:

“any of several herbs of the genus Taraxacum having long tap roots and deeply notched leaves and bright yellow flowers followed by fluffy seed balls”

If we go by that definition and apply it to our beautiful green lawns, then we gotta knock these guys out, and fast!

How To Get Rid Of Dandelions

First off guys, I never recommend you use granular bagged “weed and feed” products. These really are not environmentally responsible products in the first place, but, secondly, they just don’t work very well. I mean, think about it: How are the granules of weed control actually gonna land on the dandelions and broad leaf weeds? Even if you had your fertilizer spreader set perfectly, you’d need to rely on luck to get best results.

That is why I always recommend liquid weed control for dandelions and other weeds. The easiest way is to buy pre-mixed weed killers in bottles and “spray-spray-spray,” but I think you’ll find spray bottles will hurt your hands like crazy after you pump 5 millions times on the lawn! Ha!

I always recommend homeowners invest in a quality pump sprayer and mix their own weed control from concentrate. This is a bit more work, but I can tell you from experience you’ll get better results as long as you follow the mizing instructions and always wear the proper protective gear. Follow the label guys… to the letter!

When buying a pump sprayer, look for one with brass nozzles as these will likely deliver a more consistent misting pattern. The key is a fine mist of weed control delivered at a time when temps are between 55 and 75 degrees. That means this weekend guys! Get out and knock the dandelions down now, and your lawn will thank you for sure!