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!