While the blistering heat of August may indicate otherwise, it’s time to start fighting winter weeds now. Weeds spread their seedlings during the Fall and can become an eye sore by early Spring. At Finishing Touch Landscaping, we’ve collected some of our best August weeding tips so that your lawn will look healthy and polished next Spring:
1) Apply a Pre-Emergent Herbicide
Apply a pre-emergent herbicide in late August to early September to prevent winter weeds from growing. Labor Day weekend is an excellent target date for weed control. It is important to apply the herbicide early, because once the seeds germinate, the pre-emergent herbicide will not be effective. This is more efficient than waiting for the weeds to grow and then applying a post-emergent herbicide. Feed and weed products are also popular in the Fall. This combines a herbicide with fertilizer. When choosing an herbicide, we encourage the use of safe, organic lawn treatments.
2) Maximize the Herbicide Application
In general, the more rainfall you’ve received, the earlier you should apply the herbicide. It also helps to apply the herbicide in two batches. First take your supply, divide it in half, and then apply the one batch of herbicide walking north to south and the other from east to west. This cross-directional application process will provide the most extensive coverage of herbicide. It only takes a little longer, but will save you more time and money in the long run.
3) Water After Herbicide Application
Make sure to water your plants and grass after applying the pre-emergent herbicide, unless you were lucky enough to receive rainfall! This activates the herbicide by moving it from the surface into the soil. The ideal amount of water is the equivalent to a half an inch of rain.
4) Raise the Height of Your Lawn Mower
Raise the height of the blade in your lawn mower, because weeds thrive on short grass. When the grass is short, the sun can easily reach the soil allowing the seedlings to start growing. By keeping the grass longer, at around three inches, this blocks more sunlight. Even if you do not have weeds right now, seedlings are constantly moving onto your lawn through the wind and water that runs through your yard after a rainfall.
5) Reapply Mulch
Seedlings have the best chance of growing where there is lots of sunlight and little competition. Any bare patches of soil are a prime breeding ground for weeds. With many heavy rains this Spring and Summer, it is not uncommon for some of the mulch to have drifted away. If you see any bare patches, reapplying mulch now can save you from dealing with pesky weeds later.