Nothing ruins the look of a perfectly manicured lawn quite like a few rogue weeds. They are unappealing to look at and they sap nutrients, sunlight, and water from your existing plants. Quite simply, weeds are the bane of most lawn care enthusiast’s existence, and almost everyone has had the not-so-pleasant experience of crawling around a lawn or garden, picking each offending weed out by hand.
Traditional weeding is extremely laborious and time consuming, but many people assume it is just a sacrifice that must be made in order to have a great looking lawn. However, there are special chemicals designed to specifically kill weeds quickly or even prevent them from growing altogether, preserving the look of your lawn and saving you hours of backbreaking labor.
Types of Weed Killers
There are two main categories of weed preventatives: pre-emergent and post-emergent. As their names might suggest, each type of chemical works at a different stage of a weed’s lifecycle.
Pre-emergent herbicides control weed growth by killing them at the point of germination before they get a chance to begin growing and taking over your lawn. They are ineffective at killing weeds after they have emerged from the ground, and should be used two to three weeks before they begin to sprout.
Because the germination of weeds occurs based on the soil temperature, a herbicide should be used BEFORE the weather begins to change. A good rule of thumb is to use pre-emergency herbicides for summer weeds in early spring and for winter weeds in early fall.
Preventing weed germination is something that must be done on an annual or biannual basis. Just doing it once or twice isn’t enough to kill weeds off for good – in fact, some seeds are known to last for up to fifty years.
Post-emergent herbicides contain chemicals that kill weeds after they have already germinated and sprouted from the ground. As with pre-emergence herbicides, timing is of the essence – the smaller and younger the plant is, the easier it will be to kill with a post-emergent herbicide. The younger the weed, the more open it is to absorbing things in its surrounding environment – including herbicides.
Weather and lawn care habits also have an effect on post-emergent herbicide effectiveness. Rain can reduce their power significantly, and ideally they should only be used with a 24-hour dry period following application. Mowing can also reduce effectiveness, and should be avoided for three or four days to allow the chemicals to be absorbed in the weeds.
Post-emergent herbicides typically will not completely kill weeds with just one use. Follow-up uses are often required around one to two weeks after first use. Call Gold Star Landscaping today for access to the top Lawncare and Landscaping Company in Franklin, Brentwood, Nashville, and all of Middle Tennessee.