Weed Management Guide for Florida Lawns
You work hard to maintain a beautiful thick and green lawn, but those weeds just keep coming back. How do you finally get rid of the crabgrass in your Florida lawn?
Eliminating Weeds from Established Turf
If you have weeds popping up in your lawn, only using prevention methods simply won’t address the current situation. You first need to get rid of the invading grasses and perennials to halt the cycle.
Consistent Mowing Schedule
During the growing season, if you mow on a weekly basis the weeds will not have time to flower and spread their seeds, thus setting up the next season’s crop. This is a long-term solution, but the least damaging to your current turf.
Pull Up Random Plants
If you have just one chickweed plant or clover in the middle of the yard, digging up the invading plant stops the problem from progressing. You do need to remove the entire root system such that it cannot send out runners and propagate elsewhere in the lawn. Patch the bare spot with a plug of new grass for an instant repair.
Block Out the Sun
For problem areas of weed-filled lawn, it might be simplest to start over. Apply a sun-blocking membrane or several inches of mulch. The green weeds will die out without the use of chemicals. Pre-existing seeds will sprout when the membrane is removed, but if you follow up with an herbicide and proper preparation of the soil, you have a clean slate.
Check with your lawn care professional at Duda Sod to discuss the proper herbicide to use to control specific weeds. Different weeds require a different approach, whether the chemical stunts early growth, inhibits proper root propagation, or halts the cycle of reproduction. Using the wrong herbicide can kill your entire lawn or stop desired grass seed from sprouting.
Prevention Tips to Stop Weeds Before they Start
In Florida it might seem like it’s always growing season, but there are a couple months every year where you have the chance to beat the clock and stop this year’s weeds from taking over. Your weed prevention program starts in February and March before this year’s lawn begins to wake up with the warmer weather.
Apply Pre-emergent Fertilizer
Often referred to as weed n’ feed, this fertilizer includes a targeted herbicide that stops common invading weeds like crabgrass and chickweed from waking up while providing extra fuel for your healthy lawn.
It is a good idea to apply a second round of weed n’ feed about two months after the first to catch late sprouting varieties.
These are most effective on young weeds and work best when there is plenty of rainfall. If your turf is drought-stressed, it is best to use more traditional methods such as hand-pulling to eliminate weeds.
Maintaining Thick & Healthy Turf
Ultimately the best defense against invading plants is a strong root system built by the desired grasses in your lawn. Limit foot traffic over the yard, which can crush young grasses and prevent the establishment of shade generating blades. Ensure that a regular irrigation schedule is maintained that takes into consideration natural rainfall. When mowing, only trim back the lawn to 2 1/2-inches deep so that the thick grass can shade the ground where weed seeds will want sunshine to sprout.
What Kind of Weeds are in Your Turf?
Of course, it helps to know what it is that is growing in the middle of your turf.
This group includes common weeds such as chickweed, clover, and plantains. They multiply after they flower and their seeds blow away. Remove them while small before they can flower and produce seed pods.
Crabgrass, annual bluegrass, and goosegrass are included here. Weed grass sprouts from seeds, but spreads through roots that run along the surface of the ground, stealing water and nutrients from your lawn. Pre-emergent herbicides are your best prevention.
Along the Water’s Edge
Rushes and sedges will try to take over your ponds if left unattended. Check with your landscaping specialist for the safest and most effective methods to control these invading plants.
In order to develop the most effective weed elimination and prevention program for your Florida lawn or turf, contact the friendly experts at Duda Sod today.