This obviously is a common question I get a on daily bases here at ASTRO T&O, so let’s look at what could possibly be going on in your lawn.
WEEDS, the most hated, undesirable plant growing in a place where you don’t want it. These little pecky green eukaryotes cells sometimes want to make us scratch our heads and other times just give up but understanding why they are so relentless help us to keep our sanity.
University studies show that there are 13,000 weed seeds in 1 cubit foot. That’s a lot of weeds in such a small area and yes that is how many weeds are per cubic foot in your lawn also. There are only 3 things that need to happen for those seeds to germinate and become a nuisance, perfect temperature, sometimes light, and moisture, all at the correct timing. Summer weeds germinate in the spring and winter weeds germinate in the fall.
I have the question ask so many times, “I spray for weeds and put out pre-emergent and still have weeds, what is going on?”.
Healthy turf should be top priority when it comes to weed free lawns. Healthy turf will grow and shade out sunlight which will in keep weeds from germinating and thick lush turf chokes out pesky weeds. Healthy turf has very few weeds. Our goal as homeowners and turf managers should be to grow healthy turf to combat weed pressure. I like to compare it to our bodies and lifestyles. We must eat correctly and exercise to keep from getting sick and going to the doctor. It’s better to live a healthy lifestyle than to take pills to make us better. It’s the same concept with lawns.
When turf gets weak and stressed, it dies out, then the sunlight penetrates the soil and weeds come up on those bare places. Temperature, moisture and then LIGHT was added for the perfect storm to get that weed growing and thriving and weeds are designed to not need much water nor nutrition.
What happen to your beautiful turf that just died and went away and allowed weeds to grow. University studies show that “Cultural practices can significantly affect the extent of weed problems in turf. A weed problem is the result of weaken turf, NOT THE CAUSE OF IT”, (UGA Extension). There are 4 bases to proper cultural practices that can get you a healthy weed free lawn.
- Mowing – improper mowing heights especially cutting the turf too short will stress it.
- Cultivation practices – dethatching and aerification. Can the lawn benefit from it
- Irrigation – 1” a week is what warm season turf requires and no more. Water infrequent but deep
- Fertilization – For anything to grow and be healthy it needs PROPER NUTRITION
What else can you do to help with weed control? Fall and spring pre-emergents can significantly help reduce weed pressure and give the turf and fighting chance at growing strong and filling in. When turf doesn’t have to compete with weeds for nutrition and vital nutrient aren’t being depleted by unwanted weeds, you get a healthier turf that can grow and fill in your lawn.
In conclusion, mow at the proper height, aerate and dethatch as needed, be certain that your lawn is getting 1” of water a week (infrequent but deep), and call ASTRO TURF & ORNAMENTAL in the spring for some good granular fertilizer.
We are in the middle of Fall Pre-Emergent Applications so don’t wait and miss the temperate window for applying fall pre-emergent, only about 30 days left.
I’m Monty and thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments please send us an email or give us a call. Until next time, HAVE A GOOD DAY!