County Extension Agent
Are you concerned about winter weeds in your lawn?
As we near the end of the winter months with spring around the corner, many may be wondering how to kill winter weeds. University of Georgia Extension is here to help you improve your lawn. It is common for annual cool-season weeds to become prevalent in your lawn as your primary warm-season grass (Bermuda, bahia grass, centipede, or Saint Augustine) is in the dormant growth stage during the winter months.
The most common annual cool-season weeds species are annual bluegrass, cheat grass, cleavers chickweed, dandelion henbit, and prickly lettuce. Weed control depends upon grass type, application timing, temperature, herbicide, and weed specie. Herbicides are differentiated by type and formulation. The herbicide types are selective, nonselective, pre emergence, and post emergence. Selective herbicides target certain plant species, whereas, nonselective kill plants regardless of weed species. The prefix “pre” and “post” denotes which herbicide can be used to control emerged weeds. Liquid and dry formulations are the two formulations of herbicides. The dry formulations are either mixed with water (wettable powders) or applied directly to the lawn (granules). Liquid formulations can be applied with hose-end sprayers or compressed air sprayers (spray tank). Granular formulations can be applied with a broadcast spreader.
Prior to treating winter weeds there are steps that should be followed to maximize weed control. First, properly identify the weeds in your lawn. Secondly, apply a granular or liquid herbicide to target a wide range of weed species. Lastly, before application thoroughly read the directions and apply to active growing weeds at the recommended rate. I recommend a granular herbicide called, “Spectracide Weed Stop for Lawn with Crabgrass Preventer” which can be purchased at your local Lowe’s Companies, Inc. This granular herbicide kills 200 plus weeds with up to five months of weed control.
Be cautious about herbicide application prior or immediately following mowing your lawn. A recommended application time for granular herbicide application to control winter weeds is now. At the moment, summer grasses are dormant which will reduce injury. Apply herbicide evenly across lawn while the warm-season grasses are still dormant to prevent herbicide injury to warm-season grasses. Successful herbicide use is depended upon using the right equipment and application procedures. The University of Georgia Coffee County Extension service is committed to given unbiased research data to help make recommendations to the community of Coffee County. It is important to follow the directions given in this article and on the product label. If you have any questions please contact Coffee County Extension at 912-389-1402.
Pictured is an example of chickweed, dandelion, and prickly lettuce. Photo by John McLemore, Coffee County ANR Extension Agent