Turfgrass gets off to the best start when proper attention is given to preparing the site and soil, understanding correct planting techniques… When is the Best Time to Use Weed and Feed in Texas? Well if you live in Central Texas, March is a great time to apply Weed and Feed! Understanding Texas Lawns and Turf Weed Control Let’s face it. Weeds in your lawn are an eye-sore. If you didn’t think so, you wouldn’t be here! In this article, we will find out about the
Turfgrass Establishment for Texas
Turfgrass is often planted without much thought as to what it needs to grow well and remain healthy. Turfgrass gets off to the best start when proper attention is given to:
- preparing the site and soil,
- understanding correct planting techniques for the material being used (seed, sod, sprigs or plugs), and
- caring for the grass properly after planting.
This publication explains the steps involved in successful turfgrass establishment on any site, whether it is a lawn or sports turf that will be well watered and mowed often or a low-maintenance area. These steps are also important when renovating turf areas or repairing isolated spots.
The successful establishment of turfgrass also depends on:
- selecting a grass type that is adapted to your part of Texas,
- making sure your site is appropriate for the grass type you select (soil type, soil depth, amount of shade, etc.), and
- giving the grass the level of care that matches its intended use.
Options for Planting
The grass species and variety you select also influences your planting options, as well as the site preparation you will need to do and the time it takes for the grass to establish. Table 1 shows the grass species suitable for Texas and the ways each can be planted. Table 2 has more detail on planting methods, quantity of planting material needed, and best planting season by method. If planting is contracted out, be certain to check the contract for the extent of services it specifies.
Seed. Seeding costs less than other planting methods. Warm-season grass seed germinates best when the temperature is 70 degrees F to 95 degrees F, so late spring to early summer is the best time to seed bermuda grass and other warm- season turfgrasses. This will allow them to become well established before the growing season ends. Unlike bermudagrass, few types of seeded zoysia- grass and centipedegrass are readily available and these species grow much more slowly from seed than does bermudagrass. Seeded types of warm- season grasses are typically not available as sod, although there are a few exceptions. Many improved types of bermudagrass, buffalograss, zoysiagrass and St. Augustinegrass varieties do not produce viable seed and are available only as sod, plugs or sprigs. Cool-season grasses (Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, Texas bluegrass), where they are adapted, are best planted in the fall.
Information on the seed label is important. You can evaluate seed quality by reading the information on the label (see Fig. 1). The label gives the seed test date (which should be within 1 year of purchase) and the percent germination and purity. Both percent germination and purity should be as high as possible, with little weed seed and inert matter contained in the package. Buying “certified seed” ensures that the variety stated to be in the package is indeed the variety in the package. Low- priced seed is often the most costly because it may have a low percent germination and purity. Professional landscapers evaluate seed on the basis of the percent “pure live seed” (not on the label). This number is the product of the percent purity and the percent germination. For example, bermudagrass seed with 85 percent germination and 98 percent purity contains 83 percent “pure live seed” (0.85 x0.98 = 0.83). In contrast, bermudagrass with only 80 percent germination and 85 percent purity contains only 68 percent “pure live seed.” Make sure that the date of purchase is within 1 year of the seed test date. Seed should be stored in a cool, dry place to maintain viability.
Sod. Turfgrasses that spread by rhizomes and/ or stolons can be grown and harvested as sod. Al- though sod costs more than seed, sodding may not cost more than seeding when the long-term cost of “growing in” seeded turf is considered. Seed usually requires more irrigation, fertilization, weed control and time than sod to become established.
The best time to sod is when the turfgrass is actively growing so the sod will root or “knit” down as quickly as possible. As with seed, buying certified sod, if available, is the best way to be sure you are getting the stated variety.
Before ordering or purchasing sod, be sure you are prepared to install it and can irrigate it adequately. Sod is perishable, so plant it right away; it should not remain on the pallet or stack longer than 36 hours (less in hot weather).
Sod has traditionally been sold by the square yard, though the trend now is to sell it by the square foot. To determine the amount of sod you will need, measure the square feet of the area to be planted, then divide the total square feet by 9 (the number of square feet in a square yard) to calculate square yards. There are 111 square yards per 1,000 square feet. Sod is usually delivered on pallets that contain 50 square yards (450 square feet). There is some waste in installation because of odd shapes and irregular pieces, so order a bit more than you will need, based on the recommendation of the sod producer or landscaper.
Sprigs. Sprigs are harvested from turfgrasses that spread by stolons. Sprigs may come in bags for small jobs or in bulk for large jobs. They are planted by uniformly distributing them over the site and then setting them into the ground with specialized equipment. Sprigging is used primarily to establish hybrid bermudagrasses. Sprigging costs more than seeding but less than sodding. Sprigs are sold by the bushel. A bushel of sprigs is approximately equal to 1 square yard of shredded sod. Sprigs should be planted in the spring or early summer so the grass will get established quickly.
Sprigs are perishable and must be planted as soon as possible after harvest. Sprigging requires a good irrigation system because sprigs must be watered diligently to keep them from drying out as the grass is growing in. Bermudagrass sprigged at 5 bushels per 1,000 square feet should cover in 2 months or so with good growing conditions; zoysiagrass may require an entire growing season and, for that reason, is rarely sprigged. After planting, the sprigs may be covered with a thin layer of topsoil to help them get established. Since the sprigging is initially sparse, weed control will likely be necessary once the grass is mature enough to tolerate herbicides labeled for this use.
Plugs. Relatively small areas can be established or repaired with plugs of grasses that spread by stolons, such as bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass or zoysiagrass. Plugging can be done at any time during the growing season when adequate moisture is available. The proper distance between plugs depends on the rate of growth and on how soon you want the grass to reach 100 percent ground cover. St. Augustinegrass plugs 4 inches in diameter planted 2 feet apart should completely cover within 3 months if adequately watered and fertilized. Plugs must be firmly pressed into the soil and then rolled to give a smooth surface for mowing. Plugs can be obtained by cutting up sod pieces or by taking plugs from healthy turf areas and then backfilling those areas with topsoil. Most sod producers do not market plugs.
Steps to Follow before Planting
1) Select a grass. The availability of sod, sprigs and plugs of particular grass species or varieties varies by region. Seed of specific grass varieties may be hard to locate, since garden centers usually carry only a few seed varieties of each species. Refer to Extension publication L-, “Turfgrass Selection,” (available from http:/ agrilifebookstore.org) to select grasses best suited for your area.
2) Target the date of planting and work backward to schedule the preparation that must be done before planting . Turfgrasses should be planted when temperature and moisture are most favorable. This will be different for cool- season and warm-season grasses. See Table 2 for the approximate best planting dates for various grass species and planting methods.
3) Measure the lawn area. Measure to determine the total square feet to be planted and, thus, the amount of material or seed to purchase. You will also use the total square feet of the planted area to purchase fertilizer. Fertilizer recommendations are based on the number of pounds of nutrients needed per 1,000 square feet or per acre.
4) Test the soil. Texas soils are often deficient in the major nutrients required for turf. East Texas soils normally are deficient in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and require lime to adjust the acidity of the soil. Soil testing will determine whether the soil pH and nutrient levels are in a range favorable for turf growth. The soil test report will tell you how much fertilizer needs to be applied before planting. Fertilizer should be tilled into the upper 4 to 6 inches of the soil. Soil sample boxes and soil analyses are available through your county office of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. You may also send soil samples directly to Extension’s Soil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory (http:/ soiltesting.tamu.edu/). Allow 2 to 4 weeks to get the results from the soil testing lab.
5) Control perennial weeds. Perennial grassy weeds (e.g., bermudagrass, dallisgrass) detract from the appearance of new turf, compete with newly planted grass, and are difficult to selectively control with herbicides after the turf is established. Control grassy and broad-leaf weeds before planting by applying a non-selective, systemic herbicide (such as glyphosate). Two applications 4 to 8 weeks apart may be necessary to control perennial grassy weeds. Glyphosate has no soil residual and planting can be done 7 days after its application. How- ever, weeds are best controlled when they are actively growing, which may not be until late spring. Controlling them may delay the planting of grass.
6) Prepare the soil and grade the site . Turfgrasses are healthier, need less water, and tolerate environmental stress better if they are grown in a deep, non-compacted soil. A soil depth of 10 to 12 inches is preferred. If topsoil depth is not an issue, grade the seedbed so the surface will drain away from the house, walks and driveways. A fall of 6 inches for every 40 to 50 surface feet is adequate for drainage. Make sure there are no pockets or depressions in the surface. Take care not to direct excessive water onto neighboring properties. Subsurface drainage systems are sometimes needed to remove excess water from poorly drained sites.
In many parts of Texas good topsoil is a scarce commodity. If significant grading is required, stockpile the topsoil to the side of the property while grading the subsoil; then redistribute topsoil evenly over the area. If the topsoil is not deep enough, bring in good topsoil (a loam or sandy loam soil is best) to build up the native soil. Construct the site to avoid steep grassed slopes, as they are difficult to maintain. Do not indiscriminately add soil over tree roots without first seeking advice from a professional horticulturist. You may need to build a retaining wall a good distance from the tree trunk to avoid harming the tree. Be sure to remove all debris such as stones, tree stumps and construction debris. Then you are ready to till the soil.
Compacted soils are usually not tilled before planting, even though they should be. Proper tillage requires the right equipment to do well and the soil settling process afterward takes time, so this important step is often skipped. Instead, compacted soils are often buried beneath a small amount of surface tillage or a shallow layer of topsoil or sand. If your soil is compacted, make every effort to till it deeply (scarify, chisel plow or rototill) so it does not become a permanent barrier to water flow, soil aeration and rooting. Do not till the soil when wet, as this will further compact it. After tilling, wet the soil to settle it; then let it dry. Repeat the wetting and drying cycle several times until the loosened soil has settled and you can determine whether further surface grading is necessary.
It may or may not be necessary, or practical, to till in soil amendments (organic matter) to improve the soil before planting. If organic matter is needed, till it in before the final grading of the topsoil. Organic matter (composts, well- decomposed hardwood sawdust, or similar material) should be thoroughly mixed into the top 4 to 6 inches of the seedbed. Rotary tilling is a good way to accomplish this. Intensively used sports fields (football, soccer, baseball) may need special preparation so the soil will resist compaction and drain well.
Sports fields are often built with soil mixes that contain a high percentage of sand and that have been laboratory tested by qualified soil scientists.
7) Install the irrigation system . If you will have an in-ground irrigation system, install it before the final grading. Soil disturbed by trenching will then have time to settle with repeated irrigation. Be certain to use qualified and licensed irrigation designers and installers. Irrigation heads should be at the same level as the final grade if you are seeding, and 1/2 to 3/4 inch above the final grade if you are sodding.
8) Add pre-plant fertilizer and amend soil pH . The soil test report (from step 3) will suggest the types and rates of fertilizers for the new turf. Most turfgrasses prefer a soil pH near neutral, in the range of 6.0 to 7.0. The soils in East Texas have a tendency to be acidic and may need liming to adjust the pH. Only a soil test can determine the need for lime. In much of Texas, the soil pH is above 7. While sulfur can be used to lower pH, the amount of sulfur needed and the effort required make it impractical to do so on such a large scale.
Starter-type fertilizers typically have more phosphorus than nitrogen and potassium and their N, P2O5, K2O nutrient ratios are about 1:2:1. If the soil test shows that a site is deficient in phosphorus, adding a starter-type fertilizer at planting might be beneficial. If no soil test was done, apply 1 pound of nitrogen, 11/2 pounds of phosphate, and 1 pound of potash per 1,000 square feet. This should be mixed into the top 4 to 6 inches of soil.
9) Irrigate to settle the soi l. If the site was tilled again to amend the soil, irrigate it several times, allowing the soil to settle. This will identify low spots that may need to be re-graded before planting.
10) Do the final soil preparation . Walks and driveways should be flush with the final soil grade before planting. If planting with seed, sod or plugs, the soil should be rolled to firm the soil surface and then lightly raked to leave a corrugated surface. A well settled and firmed soil helps prevent ruts from mower tires and foot traffic while grass is growing in. If the site is to be sprigged, firm the soil but leave the soil surface slightly loosened in the upper 1 to 2 inches. This allows the sprigs to be set into the soil and helps them take root. Make certain the final soil preparation is done in time to receive delivery of sod, sprigs or plugs.
Planting Tips by Method
Seeding . Seed can be sown by hand but it is better to use seeders or spreaders. Divide the seed required for a specific area into two equal parts, one to be broadcast as you walk back and forth in one direction, the second to be sown as you walk at right angles to the first seeding. This will make the seed distribution uniform. After seeding, roll the area with a weighted roller so the seed will have good contact with the soil. Landscape professionals may offer hydroseeding as an alternative. Hydroseeding equipment mixes seed, fertilizer and mulch in a water tank to form a slurry that is then uniformly sprayed on the area prepared for seeding.
Sprigging. When sprigs are broadcast over an area the grass covers more quickly and is more uniform than when sprigs are set in rows. Do not cover sprigs too deeply with soil because you must leave part of the sprig (or stolon) above the soil to produce new shoots and roots. In repairing smaller areas, or where sprigs do not get set into the soil, sprigs can be covered with a thin layer of topsoil to enhance rooting. Sprigging can take place at any time during the growing season when there is adequate moisture from irrigation.
Plugging. The proper spacing between sod plugs depends on the grass species and how soon a 100 percent ground cover is desired. St. Augustine- grass plugs (4-inch diameter or square) planted on 2-foot centers will grow together within 3 months if adequately watered and fertilized.
Sodding. The firm soil surface should be free of footprints, stones, depressions and mounds. Sod is perishable and should be installed within 36 hours of harvest. If you see mildew or yellow grass leaves as you pull the pieces off the pallet, it is evidence of “sod heating” injury, which happens when sod is left on the pallet too long. Do not plant such sod.
To reduce the need for short pieces when installing sod, it is generally best to establish a straight line lengthwise through the lawn area. Lay the sod on either side of the line with the ends staggered in a brick-laying pattern. If the terrain slopes significantly, place the sod strips perpendicular to (across) the slope. On severe slopes the sod may need to be staked until it roots to prevent it from slipping during heavy rains.
A sharpened concrete trowel is very handy for cutting sod pieces, forcing the pieces tightly together, and leveling small depressions in the soil. Make certain to butt each sod piece up against the others as tightly as possible when laying the sod. Immediately after planting the sod, roll it with a weighted roller.
Keep the sod moist until it is well-rooted into the soil. If the sod dries soon after transplanting, it will tend to shrink and separate from adjoining pieces, leaving gaps where weeds can grow.
Care after Planting
Mulching . Mulching is a common practice on cool-season grasses but not on seeded warm-sea- son grasses such as bermudagrass or buffalograss, since heavy mulch blocks out sunlight needed for warm-season grass seed to germinate. However, hydro-seeding may include a layer of hydro-mulch to stabilize the soil surface and aid germination.
Watering . Newly seeded or sprigged turf should be watered frequently. The first few weeks are especially critical as the plants begin to send out new roots and shoots. If young plants are allowed to dry out, they may die. Keep the seed or sprigs and the soil moist, not saturated, during this initial growing period. This may be difficult to monitor in large landscapes, since it will take awhile for an irrigation system to cycle through all irrigation zones.It may be necessary to water four or five times for short periods on hot, windy days. After about 2 weeks, seedlings should be growing (germination time varies with species) and sprig roots should be developing. Watering amounts and frequency can be adjusted as seed and sprigs mature.
After planting sod, water enough to ensure that the soil under the sod is wet to a depth of 2 or 3 inches. Roots develop fairly rapidly under good growing conditions and with good watering practices. Avoid overwatering, as roots do not grow as quickly in saturated, oxygen-deficient soil. Water newly sodded areas as you would established turf, except more frequently. Each time the sod begins to dry out, water to a depth just beyond the depth of the root system. After 2 weeks or so, begin to increase the amount of time between waterings.
Mowing. Allow the turf grass to grow one- third to one-half higher than the desired mowing height before beginning to mow. Sodded sites will be ready for mowing sooner than others. Seeded or sprigged sites should not be mowed until they can tolerate the mowing without damage and have covered well enough that the mower wheels will not create ruts. The recommended turf mowing heights will determine how frequently to mow. Keep mower blades sharp. Dull mowers can dislodge or damage young seedlings.
Fertilizing. If fertilizer was applied before planting and the area was planted during the active growing season, then apply nitrogen fertil- izer at a rate of 3/4 to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet when new growth from seedlings or sprigs reaches a height of 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Thirty days after this application, begin to follow a main- tenance fertilization program. Refer to Extension publication E-437, “Lawn Fertilization for Texas Warm-Season Grasses,” (available at http:/ agrilife bookstore.org/ ) for fertilizer rates and application timing for established warm-season lawns.
Controlling weeds . Newly seeded, sprigged or plugged areas may become weedy before they are completely covered with grass, as weeds are opportunistic, quick to germinate, and grow in the absence of turf competition. While grass is growing in, the safest way to control weeds is hand weed- ing. Help the grass compete against weeds by giving it adequate fertilization and irrigation and by mowing frequently. Regular mowing can help keep summer annual grassy weeds in check until grass plantings mature enough to tolerate post emergence herbicides. Different types of grasses tolerate selective herbicides differently. It is best not to apply an herbicide until after the second or third mowing, when grass should be mature enough to tolerate it better. Always select an herbicide labeled for use on your grass species and read and follow the label guidelines.
Sodded areas have few if any weed problems after planting if good quality weed-free sod is used.
Fully Established Turf
A turf is well established when the grass can express the true characteristics of the species. It is often assumed that a lawn is “established” when it covers the ground completely. However, grass planted from seed or sprigs can reach total ground cover, under good care, in 60 days but still be more at risk from drought or heavy traffic than more mature grass stands. For seed, sprigs and plugs. it takes about a year from the date of planting to consider the lawn truly established. Planting sod significantly speeds up the establishment process.
Overseeding Warm-Season Grasses for Winter
Overseeding bermudagrass turf for winter color is another type of turf establishment used on sports turf, golf courses, and commercial lawns.
However, it is not necessary. Overseeding should be done only on fully established turf. Overseeding is typically done in the fall about 5 to 8 weeks before the expected first frost date. The turfgrasses most commonly used for overseeding are varieties of perennial ryegrass, intermediate ryegrass, and improved turf-type annual ryegrass. Perennial rye- grass is generally the preferred choice for winter quality. The rate for ryegrass overseeding ranges from 5 to 10 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet, depending on the type of turf. The most impor tant issue associated with overseeding is the time known as “spring transition,” when the turf is changing from the actively growing overseeded grass back to pure bermudagrass. Ideally, the over- seeded grass will die out gradually as temperatures begin to warm and bermudagrass begins to green up. As the overseeded grass thins, bermudagrass takes its place. But in many years temperatures do not warm soon enough for the overseeded grass to thin out, so it delays the spring recovery of bermudagrass. When this happens, it is not uncommon for the overseeded grass to die quickly in mid- to late spring, leaving behind a thin and weak bermudagrass turf. This is a concern more with the perennial ryegrasses than with improved turf-type annual ryegrasses.
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When is the Best Time to Use Weed and Feed in Texas?
When is the Best Time to Use Weed and Feed in Texas?
Well if you live in Central Texas, March is a great time to apply Weed and Feed! And with the extra rain this year lawns are ready. The Bluebonnets are already blooming and that means you are probably seeing some weeds in your lawn.
Weed killers can be classified into two categories: Pre-emergent and Post-Emergent.
Pre-emergent Weed Control
Pre-emergent weed killers are generally a granular treatment, and as the name suggests should be applied BEFORE weeds start germinating to be effective.
If you missed applying a pre-emergent weed treatment in January, now is the time to apply a post-emergent weed killer. (Also, put a reminder in your calendar for December to make an appointment for January pre-emergent weed treatment.)
Post-emergent Weed Control
Post-emergent weed killers are generally a spray herbicide. Costs vary depending on your lawn size but average around $75.
We tend to apply post-emergent weed killers in combination with Grass Fertilizers aka “Weed & Feed”. A healthy lawn is an important part of weed control much like the way your body is better able to fight off sickness when you’re strong and healthy.
Keep dogs & other pets off the lawn for at least 36 hours until the treatment is watered in and dry.
You should water your lawn the next day after we have applied the Weed Killer and/or Fertilizer(but please adhere to all city & county water restrictions!)
If you prefer we also offer Organic Weed Killers and Fertilizers. Contact us for more info about these.
Weed & Feed Schedule in Texas
- Late February/Early March: Spring application of pre-emergent herbicide to take care of weed issues.
- Mid-March through Mid April: Monitor your lawn until at least 50% green, this is when you want to apply your spring fertilizer.
- Late April through Early May: Establish an irrigation program for your lawn for at least an inch a week of watering.
- Early September: Apply fall fertilizer.
- Early October: Apply pre-emergent herbicide
Don’t wait until summer when the weeds have invaded and conquered your lawn! It will be too late to apply Weed Killer & Fertilizer due to the extremely high temperatures it can reach here in Central Texas. (Remember the summer of 2011 when we had 90 triple digit days!)
Still have questions?
Fill out the form below and we’ll get back you with more details on how Grass Works Local Lawn Care can help make your lawn beautiful and healthy!
Understanding Texas Lawns and Turf Weed Control
Let’s face it. Weeds in your lawn are an eye-sore. If you didn’t think so, you wouldn’t be here!
In this article, we will find out about the types of lawns we have in Texas, the growth pattern, and the identification of specific weeds, and determine how to treat them. So if you want your lawn to be the best in the neighborhood, keep reading.
Benefits of an Amazing Lawn
Did you know that a beautifully maintained lawn and landscape can help to increase the value of your home by as much as 10-20%? A weed-free lawn and outdoor living space will also speed up the sale of a home as it’s usually the first thing homebuyers see when they pull up to your property. That first impression is everything!
But, where should you begin? You know you want to hire a professional lawn care company to handle it for you, but you don’t want to leave the details to just anyone. If you’re going to make a knowledgeable decision, it’s best to know the basics of how to care for and protect your grass.
Types of Texas Turfgrasses
Here in Plano, Texas, we are in USDA Hardiness Zone 8a. Knowing this number is one of the basic starting points of identifying which plants are most likely to thrive at a location and is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature.
In the South, we can competently grow warm-season grasses, which grow best in temperatures between 80-95 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, cool-season grasses grow optimally in temperatures between 60-75 degrees. Some Northern parts of Texas are close to the transition zone, and that makes it challenging to grow anything well due to the unpredictability of frosts and low temperatures.
The top 3 types of turfgrasses that we see on residential properties are Bermuda, Zoysia, and St. Augustine. Let’s explore the differences in each of them.
Differences in Bermuda, Zoysia & St. Augustine Turfgrasses
Bermudagrass is extremely drought-tolerant, meaning it can withstand the hot summer sun and lack of rainfall. It reaches maturity fairly quickly when seeded into the soil. Once it’s established it can hold up against a lot of traffic and has a tolerance to low mowing heights. Bermudagrass does need a lot of specially formulated fertilizers to look its best and as a result, requires frequent mowing.
Zoysiagrass is very diverse and includes at least 11 different species that can be used to build a lawn. It thrives in shade and doesn’t require as much fertilizer as other grass plants. Since the roots are shallow, zoysiagrass may not be as tolerant to drought.
St. Augustine grass has deep roots and can withstand both shade and drought and is one of the more popular choices for residential lawns.
As you can tell, each grass type has its own strengths and weaknesses. Determining which one is best for your yard is an important part of the lawn care process. Keep in mind that sometimes this may vary. Your backyard could be completely shaded by large trees, and the front yard gets full sun. In this case, grass blends work very well.
We also recommend grass blends for their higher resistance to disease, drought, pests, and herbicides. Let’s say, for example, your lawn gets infected with a fungus that only St. Augustine contracts, the rest of your lawn will stay intact. This is a great benefit, however, it also makes it tricky to manage weeds in a blended yard.
Understanding the types of weed control products and how they work will give you a better idea of what it takes to treat them.
Classifying Weeds of Texas Turf
Weeds can be categorized into 3 different botanical groups of annuals, biennials, and perennials. These are indicators of a weed’s lifecycle, growth, and reproduction strategy. Having this basic understanding is one of the first best practices for defeating them.
Classifying Weeds by Lifecycle
Annual weeds germinate from seeds each spring. After maturing, they drop seeds before dying. These are the seeds that germinate the following year. Crabgrass is an example of an annual weed.
Perennial weeds do not die at the end of a growing season. They lay dormant in the winter but will pop up again in the spring. Dandelions are an example of a perennial weed.
Biennial weeds are a bit of a combination. They grow vegetation in the first year and then flower and die the second year. Bull Thistle is an example of a biennial weed.
Classifying Weeds by Appearance
Even if you can’t think of the specific name of a weed, you can probably place it under one of two umbrellas: broadleaf or grassy.
Broadleaf weeds are the most common culprit that homeowners hate to see in their lawn. They’re easily identifiable because their leaves are broad (imagine that!) and they don’t look like grass. They always have a main vein in the center leading to smaller veins that branch out from it. Examples of broadleaf weeds include chickweed, clover, dandelions, and violet.
Grassy weeds are tougher to identify because they can often resemble grass. In fact, in some growing zones, our treasured bermudagrass is considered an invasive weed! Grassy weed blades have a single leaf with long, parallel veins. Their round stems have alternating leaf blades on each side.
Often herbicides are designed to be effective against one of these groups, so that’s a great place to start. But don’t stop there – you want to know your stuff, right? If so, it’s important to be able to identify specific weeds in each group so that you can choose the best product for a particular species and apply it at the right application rate.
Applying Proper Weed Control onto Texas Lawns
Now, this is typically the part you call a professional for. But we’re going to let you in on a few secrets of weed control so strap on your seatbelt and get ready!
Remember all that talk about weed life cycles and reproduction strategies? Well, that comes in handy now to determine what product to use during a specific time in the season. A Texas weed control service can help you not only identify the weeds that are prone to developing in your yard but also keep them at bay by using a combination of pre-emergents and post-emergents on a regular schedule.
Pre-emergents are applied to the soil before the weed starts to germinate. It essentially forms a thin, invisible barrier that blocks seeds from germinating.
Post-emergents are applied when a weed has already made its ugly face appear in your yard. When you can visibly see it, you have two options to control it – contact or systemic.
Herbicides that work on contact will destroy the portions of the weed that they touch. Contact control herbicides work exceptionally well for annual weeds.
Systemic herbicides will spread within the weed as it is absorbed, making this type of control very effective for perennial weeds.
Sometimes you need a combination of all four of these types of products for very stubborn weeds. Sedges, which are a type of grassy weed, can be very hard to eradicate so proper identification of the weed is key.
Well, we hate to judge…but the ugliest weeds in our area are dandelions, crabgrass, chickweed, and clover. We treat them for our clients and we’ve come to learn a lot about them along the way.
Dandelions are a perennial broadleaf weed that grows almost anywhere but loves moist sites with ample sunlight.
Crabgrass is a summer annual grass that is so hardy you can see it growing in barren places like sidewalk cracks.
Chickweed has a fibrous and shallow root system with white flowers.
Clover is a creeping perennial weed that is visible almost year-round. It can commonly be found in areas with low soil fertility.
Congratulations! You now have all the basics you need to go out and make an educated decision about who will help you keep the weeds out of your lawn! But don’t stop with just weed control, consider a full-service company for every aspect of maintenance.
Year-Round Turf Care Services
For a beautiful, thriving, weed-free lawn it’s more than installing sod and walking away. Just like a houseplant or your child, you have to make sure that you have a plan for your lawn and you take good care of it!
Some best practices for all turf include:
- Proper Mowing
- Proper Watering
- Aerating and overseeding
- Fertilization and Weed Control Program
You might notice lawns in your neighborhood may look different in appearance based on how it is being managed with those best practices in mind. Environmental factors like soil type, mowing height, watering, shade, and proximity of other plants that share the same nutrients are other common factors that change the way a lawn looks.
Want your lawn to look better than your neighbors? Call College Fund Landscaping!
About College Fund Landscaping
We can help you feed your lawn, apply a crabgrass preventer, and get rid of weeds in your lawn so that you’re able to enjoy your outdoor living space with your friends and family all year round.
From the very beginning stages of getting a quote to the final touches, College Fund Landscaping will be there to guide you, answer questions, and work diligently to provide you the best lawn care service available.
We are a recognized leader serving local Plano Texas customers with residential lawn care and weed control services. From lawn care, mowing, to landscaping and yard cleanup, you can rely on us to bring experience, beauty, and value to your lawn care project.