Springtime is here – and with it, the long sunny days and abundant rain which makes our Florida lawns so lush and green.
But our grass and spring flowers are not the only things which grow so easily at this time of the year. Weeds and invasive grasses are also likely to pop up during the coming months, stealing water, soil, nutrients and space from your lawn. This spring, you can take measures to stop weeds in their tracks, and return your Tampa area lawn to its intended health.
Types of Weed Control
There are two basic types of weed control products.
- Pre-emergent weed control operates as its name suggests – by stopping weeds before they emerge. Pre-emergent herbicide products create a barrier in the top layers of soil, preventing weeds from growing through. This will result in fewer weeds to treat as the weather warms up, rain becomes more frequent, and mowing is a regular event. There is one caveat, however. Pre-emergent weed control needs to take place in early spring, so depending on when you are reading this, it may be too late to apply this type of treatment.
- Post-emergent weed control herbicides are used for treating weeds which are actively growing. Some products are selective, targeting only the weeds you are trying to kill; while others will kill every growing plant in the area, including your grass. Most consider post-emergent weed control to be more expensive and not a “green” option – but if you have a tough weed problem, it is also highly effective.
Common Florida Weeds and How to Treat Them
Weeds most often appear because of improper irrigation, mowing, or fertilization. Not every weed should be treated the same way. Here is a short list of the types of weeds we often see in the Tampa Bay area, and how to best get rid of them.
- Florida crabgrass quickly spreads by branching out across your lawn, and is a persistent adversary. Crabgrass is generally encouraged by improper watering, or by mowing your lawn too often and too short. This type of weed is best fought in early spring with pre-emergent herbicide products. Should you know that you have a crabgrass problem, be sure to attack it just as winter is coming to a close.
- Dandelions are one of the most common and easily recognizable weeds. They grow very well in full sunlight, making our Sarasota area lawns prime locations for growth. These weeds can be very difficult to completely eliminate, as the entire plant must be destroyed or they will grow back immediately. Your best bet is to spray directly on the dandelion with a post-emergent herbicide , which in this case should not affect the surrounding grass. Lush, thick lawns mowed on a high setting will also discourage dandelion growth.
- Dollarweed can be identified by its round leaves, and stems which burrow deep into the soil. This weed grows best in moist soil, gardens, and is especially likely to appear in areas where there is little other growth. The best remedy is to allow your grass to grow thick – reduce the water supply and mow it high – as a lawn with deep roots will begin to choke out the dollar weed.
- Goosegrass takes advantage of sparse areas of lawn growth, especially in high-heat areas and hard soil. This is a tenacious weed, and is best treated with a combination of methods – proper lawn care and growth, and both pre- and post-emergent weed control treatments.
Whether dealing with weed treatment or any other problems with your lawn and garden, bring your questions to Big Earth Landscape Supply. We have expert advice, high quality products, and solutions for every lawn care dilemma. How can we help you?