Maybe Labor Day marked the unofficial beginning of the fall season, but nobody told weeds that. These strong, adventitious plants seize upon the shoulder season to thrive and make sure they’ve provided ample opportunity for the next generation to do the same.
As adventitious plants, weeds make sure they fill up any bare spot in your lawn or planting beds. If you fell behind in your weeding during the spring and summer season, weeds may already have a foothold. This makes your job tougher in the fall. Besides having to rid your landscape of these unwanted plants, you also must rid your yard of the seeds they’ve dropped in preparation for winter.
You may want to sit back and assume that the winter will kill the weeds, no matter how strong they look. You’d be right. Before succumbing to winter’s blasts, though, those strong weeds dropped strong seeds that’ll lie dormant in the soil until next spring. Then they’ll pop up early in spring when other plants are still enjoying their winter dormancy. They’ll be able to flower and get established without competition from other plants.
These ideal conditions will allow the weeds to grow strong before the good plants wake up. Some even flower early and drop their seeds before anything else. As a result, strong, hardy weeds produce several generations a year. A weed may just be a plant growing where it wasn’t planted but where they grow seems to be to their liking because the do tend to thrive.
The best way I’ve found to fight weeds is to use everything in your arsenal. Start by spot treating the weeds with a broadleaf weed killer with both pre-emergent and post-emergent compounds. The post-emergent will kill the weeds that you see while the pre-emergent will prevent the seeds they’ve dropped from germinating.
The method I just described isn’t a one-and-done. You’ll have to keep after it. Weeds are persistent. If you want to take some aggression out, you might consider applying a pre-emergent to prevent seeds from germinating and pulling the weeds by hand.
The herbicide you select should be labeled for broadleaf weeds. A non-selective herbicide will kill all plants. Your lawn should be safe if you apply a broadleaf weed killer, but you will have to be extra careful applying it to weeds in a planting bed. The material can’t tell the difference between a weed and a desirable plant.
If you would like to leave the whole process to the pros, our lawn care professionals would be happy to make the application for you. Weed control is part of our lawn care programs but we can also provide a la carte service.