The Rockdale Gardener

Gardening Posts From Rockdale Cooperative Extension

To Apply Spring Preemergent Herbicides Or Not To Apply…That is the Question

Two Choices: 1. Perfect Lawns require Spring Preemergent Herbicides 

If you want your lawn to be as weed-free as a golf course, then you must apply preemergent herbicides. These chemicals prevent weed seed from germinating and kill tiny weeds. The time for preemergent herbicide application is now: apply preemergent herbicides between February 15 to March 15.

soil sample for winter

There are many products out there for preventing weeds. The University of Georgia publishes the Pest Control handbook that includes recommendations for preemergent herbicide products here: http://www.ent.uga.edu/pest-management/homeowner-turf.pdf 

2. Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemicals if You Do Not Require Perfect Turf

So, what if you do not care if your turf looks like the back nine of the country club? Without preemergent herbicides you will have some summer weeds. As long as you do not require 100% control of weeds, there are things you can do to manage against weeds.

  1. Perform a soil test. Find out how much lime and fertilizer you need to make your turf as healthy as possible. Thick, healthy turf will out-compete weeds.
  2. Mow your turf at the correct height. Taller grass shades the soil and prevents weed seeds from growing.
  3. Mow frequently. Mow often enough to prevent tall growing weeds from producing seed.
  4. Irrigate as needed but not too much! Excessively dry and excessively wet soil favors certain weeds and is unfavorable to healthy grass.

 

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about turf at this UGA website, GeorgiaTurf.com .