When it comes to enjoying your lawn and appreciating its aesthetic benefits, few things are more frustrating than weeds. In the colder months, you may notice a few winter lawn weeds pop up here and there but spring is when weeds really have the opportunity to thrive and take over. That’s because the weather conditions are ripe for growth. Spring lawn weeds are not only unattractive but they can also deprive the healthy grass in your lawn of the nutrients it needs to survive.
Weeds need to be dealt with--and dealt with appropriately. While most lawn care programs will include weed control, assuming that all products and weed control strategies are the same is a big mistake. It’s important to carefully weigh your options so that you choose the best program to tackle spring lawn weeds.
Spring Lawn Weeds Identification
The first step in control is identifying common lawn weeds. While there are many spring lawn weeds, some of the more common ones that we see in Cincinnati, Dayton OH and Northern Kentucky include the following.
Dandelions are common meadow flowers of the sunflower family. While there was a time when they were appreciated as flowers, in modern day America most people identify them as weeds.
A weed is typically considered to be any plant that is growing where you don’t want it to be. In a lawn of lush green, most people don’t like seeing rapidly spreading yellow Dandelions pop up here, there, and everywhere. Dandelions can also impact your lawn’s growth by establishing deep roots and competing for nutrients.
Unlike the Dandelion, which is known for establishing deep roots, this perennial has a shallow root system.
It grows low to the ground and though these spiky white flowers have shallow roots, they can become established quickly and spread fast. It’s definitely a weed to get a handle on before it takes over your lush lawn. Large patches of white clover will crowd out desired turfgrasses, leaving an empty spot when it dies off later in the season.
Wild Violets can be one of the most difficult weeds to control in the lawn. While the bright purple flower looks small and delicate, Wild Violet is quite aggressive and can produce thick mats of leaves that end up depriving the rest of your lawn of nutrients.
Wild violets are particularly difficult to control due to their extensive root systems, waxy leaf covering and aggressive growing characteristics. This broadleaf weed should be repeatedly treated throughout the year if there is a large infestation of it in your lawn.
Corn Speedwell (Veronica)
Corn Speedwell, perhaps better known as Veronica, is another weed that has a pretty flower but an aggressive nature.
Characterized by a four-petaled blue or white flower and a heart-shaped seed pod, Veronica is considered hard to control and incredibly invasive.
While the flower is attractive, its thick green weedy bottom grows in unattractive mats. It also has a fibrous root system.
Best Time and Approach to Kill Weeds
Spring lawn weeds in Ohio and Northern Kentucky are often aggressive and difficult to control. But with the right approach, even the trickiest weeds can be dealt with effectively.
That’s not to say that paying for a lawn care service means you’ll never see a weed again. Even the best lawn care programs cannot account for changes in Mother Nature. But an effective program should mean that you’re seeing less and less weeds over time. If the same amount of Dandelions pop up year after year you must ask whether any true progress is being made.
Weed control product comes in both liquid and granular forms. There are a lot of benefits to liquid, particularly in relation to its effectiveness. While granular product can be blown or tracked off the lawn, liquid weed controls are absorbed right into the leaf tissue and get to work quickly. Weed control products work by interfering with growth, either by stopping photosynthesis from occurring or by preventing root growth. Of course, like anything in life, some products work better than others. The time of application is also important.
The best time to kill weeds in the spring is when the weather conditions are right for product application. The temperature should be in the 45 degree range for both the soil and the air in order for the product to be most effective. Applying too soon or starting too late can both impact how successful a weed control program will be.
Additional Weed Control Tips
While the most effective way to control spring lawn weeds is through a knowledgeable lawn care service that combines expertise with professional weed control products, there are also a few things you can do on your own to control weeds. Here are a few key tips to keep in mind.
- Mow at least 3.5 inches. Grass grows best when kept at its tallest recommended height. Healthier grass will help naturally choke out weeds.
- Don’t scalp edges. Weeds thrive in thinner areas and along hardscaped areas where grass was accidentally scalped.
- Keep your lawn well-watered. The healthier your lawn, the more natural control it has over weeds.
- Seed thinner areas in the fall. Again, a healthy, thick lawn is the best natural defense against weeds.
Finding a Lawn Care Service
Some approaches to weed control are certainly better than others. Timing, as mentioned previously, is a critical factor. While some companies will apply products whenever it is most convenient for them strike, at Oasis Turf & Tree we actually check soil temperatures throughout our service region to ensure that we’re putting product down when it will be most effective.
Although some companies will hold off on starting weed control in order to prevent doing multiple passes across a lawn, as soon as the conditions are right, we will begin treatment.
Once the time is right to get started, we also take a proactive approach, utilizing different products throughout the season and making modifications as they become necessary. We also invest in high-quality, professional-grade product that will ultimately be the most effective and therefore give our customers the most bang for their buck. Rather than take a one-way-fits-all approach to lawn weeds in Ohio and Northern Kentucky, we adjust our products and our program as needed throughout the season.
It’s important that you hire a lawn care company that knows what they are doing. There is a lot to understand when it comes to weed control product formulations and timing. It’s also important that lawn care technicians are properly trained and highly knowledgeable of what they’re doing.
It can be difficult to differentiate which companies know their stuff and which don’t. But if you go into the conversation prepared with some questions, you’ll likely be able to sort some of the good companies from the bad.
Ask These Questions to a Potential Lawn Care Company:
At what point will you start treating broadleaf weeds? If they say the second application, a red flag should go up. If they say, as soon as the temperature is warm enough, you’ve likely got a good, conscientious company.
What is your short-term and long-term approach to weed control? It’s important to gauge whether this is a company that takes a one-size-fits-all approach or if they’re customizing their plan as things change.
Can you explain in more detail the types of weed control you’ll utilize throughout the year? Again, looking for knowledge on products and approaches but also a willingness to adapt and customize the plan as changes arise.
As you get a better sense of what a lawn care company is all about, you should also gain a good sense of how well they’ll be able to tackle spring lawn weeds. More importantly, how they handle their weed program is an indication as to how they conduct business in general. You’ll want to find a company that has a high level of professionalism, knowledge, and expertise.
At Oasis Turf & Tree, we provide all of that. We take our job very seriously and are always trying to raise the bar of the lawn care industry. We’re not interested in the status quo, we’re interested in doing what’s right for our customers and the health of their lawns.
Fill out our contact form or call us at 513-697-9090 if you’re ready to get your weeds under control and your lawn on track to good health.