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Recently we held a seminar here at BGC on effective weed control. Walt Uebele, owner of the Burlington Garden Center, walked through different methods, products, and their time of use on the lawn, perennials beds, and vegetable gardens. Here are some of the highlights:
For crabgrass in the lawn, preventative measures can be taken in the early spring. Products such as Hi-Yield's Crabgrass Control effectively prevent weed seeds from germinating. If you miss spring's pre-emergent window, Walt recommends Fertilome's Weed-out with Crabgrass Killer in mid-May. This will control crabgrass as well as a long list of broadleaf weeds including dandelions, thistles, chickweed, and ground ivy. Liquid products applied with a hose-end sprayer (RTS - Ready-to-Spray) are easy to use, require no mixing, and result in good coverage. They also eliminate the need to time the applications with dew or rain.
For dandelions, Walt recommends Hi-Yield 2,4-D. This concentrate should be mixed with Spreader Sticker which is a surfactant that improves absorption into the leaf of the weed. Dandelions are a sign of compact soil, so core-aerating in the fall will help improve soil structure.
Other lawn tips: Proper fertilization can help reduce the number of weeds in a lawn. Use Milorganite as a lawn fertilizer in the spring (May) and again in the fall for a slow, even green-up, with no burning. For those who want to use an organic fertilizer on the lawn, corn gluten is the best option.
To eliminate grass in asparagus beds, use Fertilome's Over the Top Grass Killer. It is absorbed by the grass foliage and travels through the entire plant working systemically. Over-the-Top will kill grass in perennial beds as well - see label for complete list.
Walt has a warning when using products like Round-up and Hi-Yield's KillzAll - avoid purchasing the Extended Control versions by mistake. Extended-control products will kill everything and prevent any growth for up to 3 months. The dual-action formulas (pre-emergent and post-emergent) are designed to be used on driveways and sidewalks.
Creeping Charlie can be a real nuisance in the lawn as well as in landscaped areas. Fertilome's Weed-free Zone works in well in the cool temperatures of spring and fall on creeping Charlie as well as 80 other problem weeds. If creeping Charlie has crept into your perennial beds, Weed-free Zone can be used taking care to avoid contact with the leaves of perennial plants.
For those of you who use Preen, Walt suggests switching to products containing Dimension. This newer technology will suppress the germination of annual grasses and broadleaf weeds, can be used earlier in the spring (April), and has a longer window of control extending well into the growing season. Dimension can be used in perennial beds, ornamental landscape areas, and established lawns.
Natural weed control in perennial beds and the vegetable garden can be achieved with a thick layer of mulch. Speaking of natural, a new line of natural products here at BGC is Natria by Bayer Advanced. In addition to natural insect and disease control products, there is a Grass & Weed Killer that uses naturally-derived, non-synthetic active ingredients to kill listed grasses and weeds.
We hope this gives you a good overview of how to effectively manage weeds in your yard this year. Feel free to ask Walt or our knowledgeable staff questions you have may have about your specific situation.
- Tracy Hankwitz
BGC Store Manager
Horticulturist & Landscape Designer
photo source: gertens.com