Crabgrass. Oxalis. Nut grass. Goosegrass. Clover. Dandelions. All names of some popular weeds that pop up out to ruin the looks of people’s yards. Every year, residents across the state face the dilemma of figuring out how to combat the invasive plants.
But what is the best way to fight weeds?
“The best thing you can do is have a healthy stand of grass. That means staying on a good fertilizer program. Having a healthy stand with a good pH balance and good fertilizer will help choke out the weed populations. So having a better stand of grass by doing the proper nutrition is going to help keep the weeds away. Its not going to stop it, but its going to help,” Steve Hill, owner of Turftenders Landscape Services in Raleigh.
Knowing how much water your grass gets, Hill says, will also help to maintain your lawn.
“They need between an inch to and inch and a quarter of rainfall a week to survive here in the piedmont in the actively growing months. So you need to know about how much rain you get a week. It’s all about how much you get, then supplementing what you don’t get from Mother Nature.”
But, even with well-maintained, healthy lawn, instances still arise when you have weeds pop up. What do you then?
There is always the option of pulling the out. Or you could take a chance of using a chemical herbicide. Hill recommends anything with 2, 4- Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, or 2, 4-D.
“It’s been around for a long time and it’s a good choice to not kill the grass but kill a majority of the summer weeds. It will take out about 90 percent of what is in most people’s yards,” said Phil Hanks, owner of Prolifiscapes in Greensboro.
But 2,4-D does have a weakness, Hanks points out.
“Typically, your 2, 4-D products are not going to be good to use when its above 80 degrees, and can pretty much stress the tall fescue. But some newer products are out and I am going to experiment with them, just airing on the side of safety.” Hanks recommends anything with quinclorac when trying to kill crabgrass without killing grass.
Whatever the case, they recommend not using the popular herbicide Roundup, unless in special circumstances.
“If your going to use Roundup in the turf, then it needs to be a situation where Bermuda grass has invaded your lawn. And then you just wanted to kill your yard off completely and start new in the fall. Otherwise, unless your tall fescue is completely dormant, you’re going to kill,” said Hanks.
Whatever you should decide to do about a weed problem in your yard, Hill offers this advice to remember.
“There’s no one weed killer that will kill everything.”