Monday, December 15, 2014

Winter Weed Control Including Dollarweed

Do you want to control dollarweed and other weeds this winter? Dollarweed seems to be a hot topic recently.

Winter annual weeds are also showing up everywhere.  Winter weeds are tricky. They come up now and are easy to kill; however, everyone’s in the holiday mode and entertaining their kids (college students included), shopping, partying, etc.

The Holidays and Bowl Games (if you include the Super Bowl) end in February. By then the weeds are much larger and harder to control. The weather is usually colder and when it is nice, people are wanting to get outside and try out their new golf club, tennis racket, running shoes, boat, fishing rod, or do something besides spray weeds. Prune roses and put out preemerge for summer weeds is something fun to do outside, maybe? (ha ha)

All the sudden it is March and these winter weeds start to flower and become very visible in the yard. Since they are now in their reproductive stage of growth because they are flowering (a little technical info), instead of the actively growing vegetative stage of their life (more technical info), the weeds are even harder to control. In most cases weeds are easiest to kill in the vegetative stage because most weed killers are systemic and the plant will move the product throughout the plant faster and more uniformly. In March, people will bring in beautiful bouquets of weeds into Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply for us to identify.

It is best to kill weeds in turf while the grass is fully dormant or fully actively growing (not in transition). By March some turf can begin to wake up and start growing, depending on the weather. More reason to get out there now with your weed control.

If you have the capability to spray, a product called Weed Free Zone really does a number on Dollarweed.  Read and follow product label (pay particular attention to the temperature restrictions on using this product).  Weed Free Zone has revolutionized the control of many tough weeds including Dollarweed, Florida Betony and many other broadleaf weeds.  One of the unique features of this product is that it kills the weed very quickly letting you know exactly where you sprayed and if you missed any weeds.  This is a big advantage when going after Dollarweed because if you miss one lily pad it could recreate a whole network of other Dollarweed plants in a short period of time.  In the past some of the products that controlled Dollarweed worked very slowly (Image), so if you missed spraying a few lily pads, you could have a whole new crop by the time the old crop was dying.

For all the Bonus S lovers out there, closely read the label on the back of the bag before using this product.  Bonus S contains Atrazine.  Atrazine is a root absorbed chemical.  If you spread Bonus S in areas that the roots of desirable trees, shrubs, flowers or vegetables are located, you are poisoning the plants with Atrazine.  In our soils, it is very difficult to tell where roots of plants extend.  Also, roots do not know property lines and may come from your neighbor’s yard.  Be very careful when applying products that contain Atrazine.

For all products that you use on your lawn or around your house, you should read, understand and follow product labels.  I know reading labels is not as interesting as reading the police blotter; however, they are full of information that can help you safely apply the correct product to your yard.  This applies to all control products whether it is for weeds, fleas, moles, mice or any other pests.  Labels contain important information to help you apply the product correctly and safely for you, your plants, your pets, and the environment.