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how to stop weeds growing in winter

How to stop weeds growing in winter

Two of our recommended products for Trimec Speed (a new product from Gordon’s for residential use, comparable to Speed Zone, their commercial product), and Bonide Weed Beater Ultra. Generally speaking, liquid weed killers are ideal for controlling actively growing weeds because they typically provide better surface area coverage than granular products. Plus, since they are applied as a spray, they can be turned on or off as needed, limiting waste or overuse.

Winter weeds include chickweed, bittercress, henbit and deadnettle, as well as perennial weeds, such as clover, dandelion and wild violets. These winter weeds actually germinate in late September and early October, but they often go unnoticed in the fall when they’re just young seedlings. They overwinter as a small rosette, and come spring they are ready to strike with a vengeance!

Spring is just around the corner. Before long you’ll be sowing grass seed, applying fertilizer, and mowing the lawn! To return your lawn to a thick, healthy state, March is the time to begin controlling pesky winter weeds currently taking over your lawn, and preventing summer weeds.

Products to Control Winter Weeds

Winter weeds typically flower in March, but can start blooming in February if temperatures are warm! Regardless of when they bloom, you can stop them dead in their tracks with the right control product.

We really like Speed Zone as it contains the same three active ingredients as the other products, but also has Carfentrazone, which makes it work faster and be effective at lower temperatures. Speed Zone also has a two-week waiting period before reseeding the lawn, compared to the three-week waiting period that most of the other products require. This allows you to get started on your overseeding project sooner so that you will be growing thick and healthy turf.

Most winter annuals can be controlled with just one application of weed killer. However, because perennial weeds live year-to-year with an established root system, some of them may be more difficult to control than others. Clover, for example, can typically be controlled with just one application, while others, such as wild violet, may take several applications to effectively control.

Regardless of the weed control product you use, none of them will hurt your lawn if they’re used as directed. Be sure to treat any existing broadleaf weeds in the lawn now, so that you’ll be ready to start building a beautiful new lawn from a clean slate.

How to stop weeds growing in winter

If you choose a weed and feed product for winter application, you can wipe out your winter weeds at the same time you strengthen your lawn for spring. Unlike many weed killers, which should be applied on a dry lawn, winter weed killers, like weed and feed, work well in damp winter conditions. This is because weed and feed contains bits of peanut husk soaked in weed killer. Damp conditions allow the peanut husk to stick to plants and release the winter weed killer they carry, more effectively killing weeds.

Apply the fertilizer, a small layer of compost, or weed and feed during the winter months. This allows time for the nutrients in the fertilizer to soak into the soil while the grass is still dormant, meaning your lawn will burst into life in spring.

Spot-treat these winter weeds with an herbicide application of your choice. Tenacity is a great post-emergent herbicide because it tackles both broadleaf weeds and winter annual weeds like poa annua.

Most areas with warm winters are planted with heat-tolerant grasses that flourish in summer and go dormant in winter. However, these same regions are often infested with invasive grasses that flourish in colder weather and brown in the summer.

Go All Out Against Invasive Winter Grasses

Because most lawns with Bermuda, St. Augustine, or any other warm-season grass go dormant in the winter, this is a great time for controlling weeds. An herbicide application to any weeds in the winter won’t kill grass that is dormant, so you will still have a healthy lawn in the upcoming spring.

Even in regions with relatively mild weather and warm-season lawns, where weed growth doesn’t stop in winter, it’s a good bet you don’t want to spend hours outside in the cold, battling winter annual weeds. Here are some great low-effort, high-reward ways to kill any type of annual weed in the winter.

If you’d prefer an organic herbicide option, consider BioSafe, which won’t leave any unwanted residue in the soil.

Spot-Treat Broadleaf Weeds

Invasive cold-weather grasses like rescuegrass and poa annua contribute to ugly brown spots in your lawn in summer. However, because they can handle cooler temperatures without going dormant, they are often green spots in your winter grass.

Many cool-season weeds are broadleaf weeds. Dandelion, henbit, common chickweed, and many others will remain green and growing through winter in temperate areas, even when the grass is brown and dormant. This means weeds won’t die but will stick out as green patches in your yard, making them easy to find.