Fall lawn weed control

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Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — Fall is a good time to control tough lawn weeds.

“Good moisture in most areas of South Dakota this August set the stage for healthy fall growth of perennial weeds,” said Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

Johnson said the weeds to target this fall include; dandelion, ground ivy, creeping bell flower, field bindweed and white clover.

Ground ivy is also known as creeping charlie and field bindweed is often referred to as creeping jenny.

“Results from the SDSU WEED project tests show fall timing has the best chance for excellent control of dandelion,” Johnson said. “Active new growth is important for good results.”

Johnson explained that fall works best for perennial weeds as the herbicide moves better into the root. “If you wait until a light frost other plants in the yard are less sensitive to drift,” he said.

He suggests letting the grass grow and delay mowing to get good growth prior to spraying. It is safe to begin spraying anytime in September.

For the toughest weeds, like ground ivy and creeping bell flower, Johnson said to make a repeat application two weeks after the first.

Application tips

Apply with care and use low pressure and coarse droplets to reduce drift. Do not make applications if it is windy. Most broadleaf lawn products are a mixture of herbicide ingredients. Check label guidelines in mixing and applying instructions.

To learn more, visit iGrow.org.