JANUARY WEED CONTROL
Before we get to the meat and potatoes of this week's GardenLine tip, I just want to remind everyone that GardenLine will now be heard on NewsRadio 740 KTRH. We will still be on Saturday mornings but from 6 to 10 and Sunday mornings we'll be on from 7 to 10.
2007 is the first in 11 years of doing GardenLine that I remember broadleaf weeds, like clover and thistle, ever being a problem so early in January. So, I thought it was worth going over some tricks of the control trade instead of waiting until late February or early March.
If you have a bunch of weeds already up, usually, you've have what are known as the winter germinating weeds which could have been prevented with the use of pre-emergent herbicides back in November. Regardless of which of the many reasons you already have a bumper crop of clover, thistle, dandelion, chickweed or henbit, let's knock them back with a post-emergent herbicide! These are often referred to simply as broadleaf weed killers.
The problem though in using post-emergent herbicides during the month of January is temperature-related. Most post-emergent herbicides, that have labels for broadleaf weeds, tend to burn up some dormant St. Augustine lawns, if used when the temperature is too cool. The good news, however, is that there are two very specific broadleaf weed killers that have come to the market in the past two years that are designed to work when the temperatures are between 45 and 70 degrees. Those two products that can and should be used right now are:
Bonide Weed Beater Ultra
Bonide Weed Beater for Southern Lawns
Green Light Wipe Out
Remember, most post-emergent herbicides kill only broadleaf weeds. So, if you're problem is mostly the thin-bladed, seed-head heavy poa anna (that often looks like rye grass gone bad) don't worry, the heat will take care of it.
It's also worth noting that most post-emergent herbicides are also of the liquid variety. You can either use a concentrate in your own pump-up sprayer or a dial-n-hose-end sprayer. I tend to avoid anything granular, because it runs too close to being a weed-and-feed. Anyone that listens knows I feel Weed and Feeds are one of the biggest gardening taboos!
You'll need to use a surfactant! What's a surfactant, you ask? It helps the herbicide actually stick to the leaf. Hi Yield makes a bottle called Spreader Sticker. Bonide makes one called Turbo. Monterey also makes two called No Foam A and No Foam B, and for the do-it-yourselfer in all of us, one tablespoon of liquid dish soap per gallon of water of spray will also help. However, please note that some of the Ready-To-Use spray weed killers might have a "surfactant" built in. Just read the label. Finally, I don't care how bad you think the weed problem is, but if you try to double the dosage of any of the products I just recommended, you will almost assuredly kill your grass.
Finally, we are coming up on another treatment for Pre-Emergent Herbicide around the first of February, but if you put it down during the last week of January, it won't hurt my feelings. If you need my complete lawn fertilization schedule click here.
Until then, here's to great gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively weekend mornings 6 to 10 on Saturdays and 7 to 10 Sunday mornings on Newsradio 740 KTRH.
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