Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Weeds in Lawns Can Be Tricky to Kill in Springtime ; Kidd: Mow Regularly, Fertilize at Right Times

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Weeds in Lawns Can Be Tricky to Kill in Springtime ; Kidd: Mow Regularly, Fertilize at Right Times

Article excerpt

Just two days until spring. My gardening gloves are beckoning me, and my green thumbs are all but sprouting.

One of the things I'm getting ready for is spring weeds. Henbit, chickweed and dandelion are all intruding on our greening lawns. Here is some good information that will help us deal with these three stooges.

Weeds like henbit and chickweed are actually winter annuals. They germinate in fall, lie quietly through the winter and rise up with a vengeance in the warming days of spring. We don't notice them in fall because they are small and we are pretty much done working in our yards for the year. I think they know this, and that's why they sneak in. Just my opinion.

The good thing is, winter annuals die with the heat of the summer.

The bad thing is, they leave seeds behind.

While we get excited in spring about killing these invaders, it's not the most effective time to do so. Let me explain. Winter annuals germinate in fall and spend their energy pushing food down to their roots to over-winter and have a good reserve for spring growth. In spring, they are busy pushing the food reserves up, creating larger, more noticeable leaves and flowers.

Many post-emergence weed killers work on the premise of entering through the leaves and being pushed down to the roots. Can you see then why fall is a better time to control these weeds? Post- emergence products will still offer control, just not as much as they would in fall.

The second-best time to control dandelions is in the spring, but it doesn't last long. The time arrives during or just after the first flush of cheerful yellow flowers. Products that contain 2,4-D are the most effective chemicals at this time.

If you only have a few dandelions, you can choose to spot treat them or dig them out. …

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