Tag Archives: Herbicide

Get the Weeds out of the HOA Common Area.


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Some people call them weeds, other just say plants growing in the wrong place. They seem to sprout overnight and can grow flowers that emerge in a heartbeat. Recent rains have resulted in vigorous growth. If left unchecked can steal water and nutrients from neighboring plants. Where do they come? What can be done to gain control so that they do not take over your garden? Read on for tips to control these pesky troublesome creepers.

Weed seeds arrive in your yard either by wind or are carried in the birds. They could be brought to the playground equipment, grass seed, organic soil ground cover or cracks in cement.  They can also ride on shoes, clothes or even on the skin of pets.

The two basic groups of weeds are grasses and broadleaf weeds. Some seeds and shoots grow, flower, produce seed and die within a season. These are known as annual weeds.

Perennial weeds can live for several years.
The control methods you choose will depend on what type of weed in question.

If you only have a few weeds in a relatively small area, mechanical removal is often the most desirable. This can be accomplished with sharp hoes, shovels, or hand-trough. This exercise is good – even therapeutic. If herbicide applications are warranted, it is important to select one that will focus on the weeds in question and not to damage the surrounding vegetation. If you use grass murderer on crabgrass or nutsedge growing in the hybrid Bermuda grass, it won’t discriminate and will kill all the grass that the contacts. A broad spectrum herbicide can kill anything green it touches.

In gravel areas both annual and perennial weeds can be controlled by applying a post-emergent herbicide. Post-emergent which means that controls the weeds which have germinated and are growing. The most common application contains glyphosate or glufosinate as the active ingredients on the label. These herbicides work for translocation of the product through the roots to the leaves where they interfere with the growth process. Control is achieved best when applied to young plants. These two products are not selective, which means it will kill any vegetation growing in both grass and broadleaf plants.

In areas of lawn in the best control of weeds is healthy turf.  Any chemical weed control should be practiced only on well established lawns, as newly installed or seeded lawns are often injured by weed control agents. Spot treatment with glyphosate is effective especially in winter, on the dormant Bermuda grass.

Pre-emergents work very well in preventing weed germination and work best in areas of gravel. Do not use a pre-emergent if you plan to establish a Bermuda lawn from seed. The same occurs in the fall if overseeding the hybrid Bermuda grass or Bermuda – which will prevent the seeds of winter rye grass from germinating! Many pre-emergents are available at your local nursery store or home improvement  center. For example, a common pre-emergent herbicide has a chemical name: 3, 5-dintro-N4, N4-dipropylsulfanilamide. The chemical name is oryzalin. Ask the sales staff at your local hardware store or nursery for help if you are unsure which product is a pre-emergent.  Apply twice a year in April for summer weeds, and September for weed control in winter.  Ultimately, the climate and seasonality will be different in different regions of our country.

Caution: Some products are labeled to kill total vegetation. These products kill all existing vegetation, but also can remain in soil for many years and leach into surrounding areas and seriously affect or kill the plants there. If you have an area in your garden where nothing grows, a killer of vegetation  could have been applied in the past.

Be careful when using products containing 2-4-D. These are designed to be applied when temperatures are below 80 degrees or less. On warm days, this product volatilizes (becomes a gas) and can cause damage to surrounding vegetation, as it moves through the air.

Always follow label instructions exactly! We sometimes think that if a little is good, more is better. The average homeowner applies 9 times more chemicals to their property than that of a farmer on land the same size. With herbicides and insecticides, it can be deadly – to plants, pets and humans. Wear protective clothing and avoid skin contact with the product.

Your Lawn in the Fall. Not Done Yet.


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Looking forward to when you can leave the lawnmower alone? With the end of summer come cooler temperatures and potentially higher moisture, making your job as a lawn care specialist a little easier. As we head into this season, keep a few things in mind that can help maintain the good lawn health you’ve cultivated this summer.

Put your soil to the test.

Apply some back-to-school spirit to your lawn by considering a soil test to determine the quality of your soil. Soil testing is easy; you can usually find access to a local soil testing lab online or through your local greenhouse or hardware store. Having a few samples of your lawn area’s soil tested will let you know how your lawn is doing, how nutrient-rich it is (i.e. nitrogen and phosphorous content), and how many contaminates it contains.

Experts recommend soil testing during the fall to give time for using the results for the next growing season.
Weed, or warn weeds away.

Late summer / early fall is a good time to tackle those weeds, but keep a few things in mind:

  • Some herbicides used in weed killers can prevent new lawn seeds from germinating, so if you’ve just fed your grass, take a pass on herbicides.
  • No weeds yet? Be proactive by using herbicides for “pre-emergent” weeds. These products can help keep your lawn weed-free during the fall.

Loosen things up.

This time of year is also good for aerating, which loosens up the soil beneath the lawn and can be a good time for seeding. Waiting for some rain to get the soil in good condition first is wise, and waiting until after you aerate to seed is even wiser. Do you live in a hot, dry climate? You may want to wait to aerate, since aerating an overly dry lawn can damage your soil.
No need for any of these three tips? Then just keep mowing, watering, and wait for cooler temperatures. Fall and winter are lower maintenance seasons for lawns, freeing you to do some more creative things with your landscape; or, to simply relax!