Spring Weed Control Planning 2024

Now is the time to start thinking about spring weed control planning! While you’re enjoying the fruits of your turfgrass maintenance labor (aka a quiet, low-maintenance winter dormancy period), don’t forget that spring weed control needs are just over the horizon. Just like your turfgrass, grassy and broadleaf weeds are preparing to rear their heads and create new lawn challenges.

Pre-Emergence vs. Post-Emergence Herbicides

Both pre-and post-emergence herbicides are key tools in your belt, but be sure you understand the difference and pay careful attention to application rates and timing. Pre-emergent means that they sit in the soil killing the weed seed when it is germinating. Post-emergent means that it kills the weeds around they have come out of the ground.  In southern states, application timing can be as early as February, and in northern areas, as late as the end of April. Take care to find the right resources for your location for pre-emergent application timing. Your local research extension office is a great resource for weed identification and products/processes to eliminate them. If you miss the window for pre-emergent application, don’t fear, post-emergent herbicides can come to the rescue. Just be aware of the difference between selective (kills only specific weed(s)) and non-selective (kills everything including your turf, trees, and shrubs) herbicides. Careful attention to label descriptions and application methods is essential to get the best weed control while protecting your turfgrass. 

We pulled some info from our friends at NC State Turf Files, and for those operating in North Carolina, as winter temperatures rise, so do soil temperatures. That being said, crabgrass will germinate when 24-hour mean soil temperatures average approximately 55 degrees for 3 or 4 consecutive days. See their soil temperature graph below for reference on timing on determining when to apply the appropriate weed control measures.

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