I recently met with the Rotary Club Sunrise Chapter and we had a long discussion on weed control in turfgrass. If you are looking to stay ahead of the weeds in your yard, you may want to consider a pre-emergent herbicide. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide now will provide a better control of weeds this summer than a post-emergent herbicide alone.
Timing is crucial for the effectiveness of a pre-emergent herbicide and if applied too late in the season, it will provide zero control. Soil temperatures are rising and very soon summer weeds will begin to germinate or “start to grow”. A great management strategy would be to apply a pre-emergent at Valentine’s Day and then follow up with another pre-emergent application on St. Patrick’s Day. This will provide a longer window of weed control coverage and prevent troublesome weeds from being a problem in the summer.
Many people wait until the weeds appear before applying a post-emergent (2,4-D and others), although this is the norm here are some benefits of a pre-emergent herbicide:
• Prevention of the weed from stealing nutrients from your turf, which makes a healthier lawn.
• Many pre-emergent herbicides are sold in a granular form so they are easy to handle.
• Most ornamental trees and shrubs are tolerant of these herbicides.
And of course, we have limitations and things to be aware of with these herbicides:
• Do not apply to a lawn that will be seeded or sodded that growing season
• Certain pre-emergent herbicides do not control all annual summer weeds
• Do not apply to a lawn that has been seeded, sprigged or sodded within the past year
• A follow-up application of a post-emergent herbicide may still be needed
Some products that are considered pre-emergent herbicides are: Atrazine, Halts, Crab-Ex, Balan, Bonus S, Surflan, Team, XL and many others. Correct selection of pre-emergent herbicides is crucial, so please contact the Effingham Extension office to discuss the herbicide that will best control the weeds you have dealt with in your lawn.
For additional questions contact Effingham County Extension Agent, Sam Ingram at 754-8040 or