- Mow or hand-pull weeds before a treatment. Weed products work by entering the leaves. When the lawn is mowed, there are fewer, if any, weed leaves to capture the product.
- Watering too soon after an application. Allowing the weed-control product to stay on the plants for 12 to 24 hours gives the product sufficient time to get into the weed. Early irrigation can wash the product off before being absorbed.
- Mowing too soon after a treatment. Getting the product absorbed into the leaf is the first step. The second step is allowing time to travel to the roots. Mowing too soon can prevent the product from completely killing the weed. The weed responds by sending up more leaves! Waiting two days is preferred.
- Obliterating the edges of the lawn with a string trimmer. A beveled edge allows the summer weeds to grow by destroying the preemergent layer and offering no competition from the lawn. Use a straight blade edger instead.
A clean lawn edge is the crowning piece of a beautiful lawn, however when done improperly, weeds take advantage and grow. “Using a string trimmer to bevel the edges destroys the pre-emergent protective layer and heats up the soil. Summer weeds like Spurge and Crabgrass thrive in those areas,” says Blake Moore, owner of Moore Green. He prefers a straight blade power edger.
Labor Day Weekend, the last hurrah of summer, is one of the key dates in horticulture. Here is a list of things to consider for fall yard care projects:
- Hit those perennial weeds. Don’t give up now. Those summer weeds are tough and now is the time to take advantage of them pulling nutrients from the leaves to store in the roots. Why not send some herbicide with it to knock out the roots?
- Put preemergent (weed preventer) in your shrub beds. Winter annual seeds will be germinating. Stop them before they even become established.
- Add more days between lawn watering cycles. With the cooler temperatures and shorter days, frequent watering invites fall fungal diseases like Rust. Continue to add days between watering cycles as the temperatures drop and days get shorter.
- Lower mowing height. This helps prepare the grass to receive a short mowing for the final cut. Gradually reduce the height instead of lowering it 3 notches all at once.
- Stop pruning roses. Let them harden off by forming rose hips. It is okay to trim them a little before the snow falls to prevent the canes from breaking.
- Don’t fertilize trees after Labor Day. To protect trees from winter damage, they need to harden off. Fertilizing in the fall may encourage new shoots which won’t be prepared for a cold winter.
- Don’t aggressively trim trees. Aggressive trimming may spur new growth instead of allowing the tree to prepare for winter.
- Avoid the temptation to prune fruit trees. After the fruit is picked, fruit trees need to strengthen up before winter too. Trimming late in the fall removes needed nutrients from the leaves. Wait until the leaves come off to prune fruit trees.
- Plant grass seed. Any bare areas can be reseeded and existing lawns can be over-seeded. Don’t wait too late in the year or the new grass may not have a chance to take root.
- Spray your home’s foundation to keep bugs out. Insects seek out warmer places to stay and your home is a prime target. Spray the foundation to keep them from going inside.
Nothing finishes off a beautifully mowed lawn like a nice crisp edge. The lawn always looks nice directly after it’s edged, however depending on how it’s done, an improperly edged lawn invites heat-loving, fast-growing weeds.
Edges can be made square or beveled, depending on your liking. Moore Green recommends a square edge achieved by using a straight-blade edger. This method is less likely to allow summer weeds to become established along the edges.
A beveled edge is achieved by using a string trimmer. The problem with the beveled edge is that it is difficult for the operator to make a consistent height and often we see the turf whipped down into the soil. A short stand of grass is a perfect place for invasive weeds to get established, whereas a thick stand of turf out competes the weeds.
If weedy edges are a problem, look at the way the lawn is edged. You may need to change your edging method. Let’s face it, the grass along the edges experience higher temperatures, more traffic, and possibly less water. All of these welcome summer weeds. #MooreGreen