Fall Weed Control

The recent rains are a great boost to my lawn and garden.  I really am amazed at how quickly plants can recover from drought after a good, soaking rain.  My salvia plants are already blooming again, and my fall tomatoes are really growing a lot of foliage.  The rain also helped the weeds kick into gear, and they are growing like…well, weeds.

With fall just around the corner, this is a good time to talk about preventing cool-season weeds.  Winter weeds such as henbit, dandelion, annual bluegrass, rescue grass, and ryegrass will be germinating soon. Now is the time to apply a pre-emergent weed treatment to your lawn to prevent these weeds from germinating.  A little preventative action now will save you a lot of time in the late winter and early spring.  No one wants to pull out the lawnmower in February to mow henbit and ryegrass weeds.

As you think about purchasing a weed control product, take some time to determine which kinds of cool-seasons weeds you have in your yard.  Do you have broadleaf weeds like henbit or dandelion?  Or do you struggle with grassy weeds like annual bluegrass or rescue grass?  The Aggie Turf website at https://aggieturf.tamu.edu/ has a great picture guide for common weeds and grasses in Texas.

For grassy weeds, use a pre-emergent herbicide with the active ingredients of dithiopyr, pendimethalin, or prodiamine.  Corn gluten meal is an organic product that will also control grassy weeds, but it may not be as effective.  Broadleaf weeds can be controlled with the active ingredient isoxaben.   If you have grassy and broadleaf weeds, you might need more than one weed control product.  You can apply two products, but do not mix them and apply at the same time.

Follow the label instructions for determining how much weed control product you can apply to your lawn and if you need to water the lawn after treatment.  Some products can cause injury to different types of lawn grass, so check the label to make sure it is safe for your type of grass.

Remember, if you have weeds in your lawn that are big and actively growing now, those are warm-season weeds.  You can hand-pull these weeds or spot-treat them with a post-emergent weed control product.

For more information about lawn and garden topics, contact the Williamson County AgriLife Extension Office at 512-943-3300.  Be sure to check our calendar for upcoming classes and events at Williamson.agrilife.org/.

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