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Pre-Emergent Time

The old adage “A good offense is the best defense” couldn’t be more true when trying to keep your lawn weed free. Weeds are the inevitable enemy of your lawn and will take over if nothing is done to stop them. A single weed may be capable of dropping thousands of seeds, and then you hit that weed with the mower and those seeds are spread literally everywhere. If you have convinced yourself you don’t have a single weed in your lawn, odds are your neighbor does, and a nice breeze will carry those weed seeds hundreds of yards where they can last upwards of 50 years just waiting for the right conditions to take root in your finely manicured lawn.

Fortunately for all of us, technology has lent us a hand at battling weeds. A quick application of a pre-emergent herbicide product and all those pesky weeds will lay dormant another year. Yes, dormant. See a preemergent weed control product isn’t a pre emergent weed killer. It keeps the weeds from growing which is why it’s necessary for you to put down a pre emergent herbicide product every year.

When to apply pre emergent herbicides:

Basically you want to control summer weeds and winter weeds. As soil temperature rise above 50°F the summer weeds begin to take root and begin growing. The major offenders, crabgrass and clover, will not emerge until the soil is consistently over 50°F. If you do live in a warmer area you may need to apply your pre emergent herbicide before March 15th, so it’s not quite as simple as it may sound.

Late in the growing season the weeds begin to set new seed. This is where you want to catch any late growth with the application in September. Remember keeping on top of the weeds will save you much time and aggravation next spring.

Prepare Now for Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua) Emergence this Fall!

Annual weeds establish from seed and complete their lifecycle in one year.  Summer or warm-season annual weeds (like crabgrass) established in spring, grow actively in summer, and die out in fall.  Winter or cool-seasonannual weeds (like annual bluegrass) established in fall, grow from fall to spring, and complete their lifecycle in warm temperatures in late spring.

Failure to control annual weeds in late summer may predispose turfgrasses to winter weed infestations.  In many lawns, it is fairly common to see turf with significant summer crabgrass populations have problems with annual bluegrass in fall.  Open areas left in turf where crabgrass was once actively growing may permit annual bluegrass invasion during periods of peak seed germination.  Controlling crabgrass now or in late summer could significantly improve turf cover, growth, and competition with annual bluegrass.

Scientific Name – Poa annua L.
Family – Gramineae
Small tufted to clumped winter annual. Leaf blade, smooth on both surfaces, with two distinct, clear lines, one on each side of the midrib. Lead tip kneeled or boat-shaped. Ligule membranous. Light green to whitish spikelets that lack cottony hairs, are arranged on branches, one to two per node, in dense to open flower clusters. Reproduces by seed. Found throughout the world.

Prepare Now for Puncturevine Emergence this Fall!

Puncturevine

Growth

“Goathead” fruit

Thumbtack-like Tribulus terrestris nutlets are a hazard to bicycle tires.

It is a taprooted herbaceous perennial plant that grows as a summer annual in colder climates. The stems radiate from the crown to a diameter of about 10 cm to over 1 m, often branching. They are usually prostrate, forming flat patches, though they may grow more upwards in shade or among taller plants. The leaves are pinnately compound with leaflets less than 6 mm (a quarter-inch) long. The flowers are 4–10 mm wide, with five lemon-yellow petals. A week after each flower blooms, it is followed by a fruit that easily falls apart into four or five single-seeded nutlets. The nutlets or “seeds” are hard and bear two to three sharp spines, 10 mm long and 4–6 mm broad point-to-point. These nutlets strikingly resemble goats’ or bulls’ heads; the “horns” are sharp enough to puncture bicycle tires and to cause painful injury to bare feet.[7]

Etymology

The Latin name tribulus originally meant the caltrop (a spiky weapon), but in Classical times already the word meant this plant as well.[8]

Eradication

Typical habit of Tribulus terrestris

Where this is a non-indigenous species, eradication methods are often sought after. There are both biological and herbicidal solutions to the problem, but neither of them provide a solution which is both quick and long-lasting, because T. terrestris seeds remain viable for up to 3–7 years on average.

Physical

In smaller areas, puncture vine is best controlled with manual removal using a hoe to cut the plant off at its taproot. While this is effective, removing the entire plant by gripping the taproot, stem or trunk and pulling upward to remove the taproot is far more effective. This requires monitoring the area and removing the weed throughout the preseeding time (late spring and early summer in many temperate areas). This will greatly reduce the prevalence of the weed the following year. Mowing is not an effective method of eradication, because the plant grows flat against the ground.

Another avenue of physical eradication is to crowd out the opportunistic weed by providing good competition from favorable plants. Aerating compacted sites and planting competitive desirable plants including broad-leaved grasses such as St Augustine can reduce the impact of puncture vine by reducing resources available to the weed.

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