What is a weed?
Weeds are plants that are growing where they’re not wanted. Weeds can take many forms and can vary depending on where they grow. By this definition something we see as a weed may be perfectly fine for others.
For some lawn owners as long as it’s green it’s fine is a common statement. But consider this for a moment, most broadleaf weeds are annuals which only grow for part of the year and then set seed. Whilst in small numbers the lawn will cover over these small spots as they die out but as they grow in numbers through seeding the lawn can’t fill in these spots and suddenly your lawn is bare, when it isn’t covered in weeds….
Weeds are very easily dispersed, so are difficult to eradicate completely. A longer lawn, with a dense growth habit helps in outperforming weeds, while an aerated soil is a much better option than a compacted soil.
Weeds can be transferred on shoes, in manure, with animals, or even the mower. Some weeds can be removed by hand but many have growth mechanisms like deep taproots which significantly hinder success in this method, meaning a weed spray is often the easier and better option.
Why you need to draw your line early?
In Australia our most common weeds like Bindii and dandelion are Winter annuals, this means they germinate in the soil from around April-June and start setting seeds in mid-Spring.
The important factors you need to consider when aiming for the best results in weed treatment are:
Using the dates above we start to see a window appear between July and September. This time period represents the best time to achieve results, whilst good results can still be achieved outside of this window.
While herbicides play a part in treating weeds often they are only part of the solution or can be avoided altogether with good lawn care practices.
Choose the right lawn grass
Weeds spread incredibly easily so some will enter your lawn at some point. The right grass in the right area can be extremely hard to invade due to its density and ability to outcompete the weeds for water and nutrients.
Ensure ultimate lawn and soil health
Weeds love particular conditions for example, Bindii love hard and compacted soils, clover outcompetes in soils low in Nitrogen so alleviating these conditions will help take a big step in improving your lawn health, increasing its competition against the weeds.
Prevent weeds from taking hold
Hand weeding is a great way to get on top of weeds before they grow in number as well as mowing with a catcher to catch flowers from weeds.
How to treat weeds in the lawn?
Weeds in lawns require what is commonly referred to as a selective herbicide. The term “selective” is used because the herbicide has a mode of action which works selectively and does not kill everything, thereby removing some plant types while leaving others unaffected. In this case removing your weed but not killing your lawn.
Bindii and clover concentrates.
Weed’n’Feed products. These remove weeds from the lawn while, at the same time, fertilising the lawn.
Winter grass killers. These products remove winter grass (a cool season grass) from certain types of lawns.
Please check the suitability of the product you are using for the weed you are trying to remove. Some are not suitable for all varieties of lawn.
Which one to use?
Munns and Yates have a great range of herbicides for lawns but there are times when you may want to pick one over the other.
Granular weed n feed products like Munns Professional Buffalo Booster Weed n Feed, Yates Buffalo Pro Weed n Feed Granular and Yates Weed n feed granular are great for rapid greening of the lawn and provide a great feed for the lawn. The granular products work by sitting on the surface of the weed and burning it. This makes it particularly effective on weeds with larger or hairy leaves which hold onto the product. The Buffalo specific products are designed with an increase in Potassium a nutrient required for increased leaf strength, a requirement for the larger leaved Buffalo grass.
Hose on products come in 3 different formats, For Buffalo lawns, Yates Buffalo Pro has both a weedkiller hose on version and a weed n feed hose on which has the benefit of added nutrition. For non-Buffalo lawns Yates have Yates Weed n Feed 4L. All these products click into your hose to treat your lawn. They are great for covering medium to large lawns in a reasonable time frame. For tough weeds a follow up application may be required.
Concentrate products like Yates Bindii & Clover Weeder Concentrate and Yates Buffalo Pro Weed killer concentrate are super economical ways to purchase herbicides. These are concentrates so you will need a sprayer to apply these. These are great for when you don’t have a hose that reaches your whole lawn, you have large weeds which will require multiple treatments, or you are after an economical treatment.
Spot spraying for weeds using Yates Weedkiller for Lawns Spot Spray is a great way to keep on top of weeds if you only have a small number. It’s easy to apply method makes it great for 10 minute garden care opportunities. Do not use on Buffalo lawns.
Top Tips for controlling broadleaf weeds
Always follow the manufacturers directions, store chemicals safely, ensure adequate ventilation when mixing and note the appropriate first aid measures.
Don’t mow weeds for 48 hours prior to applying and don’t water for 24 hours before or after applying unless directed to by the label.
Make sure that you thoroughly spray all surfaces of the weed. Don’t spray in windy conditions. Early morning or late afternoon spraying minimizes the hazard to bees. Don’t spray in wet conditions as the rain may lessen the effectiveness of the weed killer.
Do not apply any broadleaf weed control until the lawn is at least 3 months old.
Weeds are plants that are growing where they’re not wanted. Weeds can take any form and can vary be a plant that’s growing where it isn’t wanted. And, as winter comes to an end, it often seems that the weeds are about to take over the entire garden.