It’s been a hot summer battling problem lawn weeds. Record temperatures, high humidity nights and days and abundant rainfall have been tough. With weather like this it’s no wonder we’ve had war with weeds. Weeds in our lawns seem to have the upper hand, but we can fight back and eliminate this chlorophyll foe before they start for winter.
In fighting weed problems in the lawn, one of the first and best steps is to keep your lawn mowed properly. Most yards are cut extremely low. This gives an advantage to weeds that quickly appear in bare, thin lawn areas. Keep in mind “short shoots equal short roots.” Cut your grass at recommended heights: two to three and a half inches for St. Augustine and one to two inches for Bermuda, Centipede and Zoysia.
Proper fertility in the lawn helps keep the grass strong to out compete the wacky weeds. Generally, fertilize your lawn in spring, not late summer or fall. Weed and feed are little help in late summer because they have minimal effect on summer tough weeds and the lawn will not benefit from the fertilizer as it begins dormancy.
Chemical control options of upcoming winter weeds is possible. In late September to early October there are several herbicides to control typical winter weeds. For annual bluegrass, chickweed, henbit, and crabgrass use Hi-Yield Dimension or Greenlight Crabgrass Preventer. For lawn burweed, dandelion, and wild geraniums use Green Light Portrait. For most broadleaf pre-emergence and early post-emergence weeds use liquid Atrazine. Apply this in mid-November and again in mid-February.
Weeds will always be a battle in weak lawns. Using these materials as directed will help to win the war of winter weeds.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture