“Do you know what I found yesterday? Hair in my ear. I’m losing hair where I want hair and getting hair where there shouldn’t be hair. I found four big fat ones on my back; I’m starting to look like the fly.”
– Billy Crystal in City Slickers
Is your lawn past its prime this time of year? It seems like lawns are easy to make look nice until about half way through the year, then they sometimes start having a mid-season crisis. Despite all the care and beauty treatment in the early life of the season, strange growth starts sprouting in peculiar areas. Things that never grew there before suddenly start popping out. What gives?
Crabgrass: Just because you put down crabgrass preventer in the spring, doesn’t mean you are immune all season. Preventative crabgrass control does a nice job of reducing growth. It can prevent up to 85-90% of typical growth, but there are always areas of weakness for a variety of reasons. When those small pellets of material go down in the spring, they dissolve with rain, forming a thin layer of material in the top inch or so of the soil. When the thousands of crabgrass seeds in your soil start to grow, they most-often come in contact with this material preventing their development. The problem arises though when there is heavier than typical rainfall, soil drying out and cracking, and leaching around edges. This creates breaks in the barrier allowing some seeds to germinate and emerge as mature plants in your lawn in summer.
Yellow Nutsedge: Another common summer weed popping up is Nutsedge. This weed grows about twice as fast as your turfgrass so it will shoot above it in just a couple days after mowing. It is easily identified by its triangular stem, light green color, and the ability to pull it out easily. This weed may start from seeds blowing into a lawn, but also spreads rapidly by underground tubers that make it change quickly from one plant, to many.
Control of these weeds is best achieved with systemic, selective herbicides. You want a herbicide that will trans-locate through the plant, traveling into the roots. Particularly in the case of Nutsedge, you should treat with a herbicide rather than pulling it out. Pulling actually will promote more growth. Using a herbicide that is selective means it will only control certain weeds, not causing damage to your turfgrasses. These post-emergent herbicides can at times be purchased at your local hardware or home & garden centers. Some of these materials do a fair job managing crabgrass and nutsedge. A local, professional lawn care company has even more options in controlling these weeds. Often cutting edge materials are released to commercial applicators before they are available to the public.
Even if you feel your lawn is past its prime, it can still be beautiful. It just may require different beauty treatments than it did in the early life of the season. A mature lawn is always more beautiful than a young, new lawn anyway. If you’re on either our Premium Lawn Care or Soil-Smart Lawn Care program, treatments for these weeds are included in your summer visits. If you need help with these summer grassy weeds growing in your lawn, contact us. We can add treatments for these issues or talk to you about changing an existing basic or a la carte program to include these helpful treatments.
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