Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > March 2013 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - Forsythia and Crabgrass

GARDEN TALK with DOUG - Forsythia and Crabgrass

            Forsythia and crabgrass seems to be a funny combination but there is a strong gardening trend associated with this “marriage”. 
            I want to talk about weed control in general. But first I want to talk about crabgrass and its relationship to forsythia. The important thing to remember about crabgrass is that it is an annual. In other words, it germinates, grows, and sets seed all within one year – hence the term annual. Crabgrass dies out in the fall, after the first frost. The crabgrass seed lies dormant in our lawn through the winter and will begin to germinate in the early spring and begin to grow. For our area we have a natural indicator as to when we need to control crabgrass and that is with our forsythia shrubs. The time to apply a pre-emergent crabgrass control is when our forsythia is beginning to bloom – hence the “marriage”.
            Now I want to talk about lawn weed control. A weed can be defined as anything growing where it should not be. Weeds can come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be either annual or perennial. They can spread by seeds falling, animals, or by the wind. Other contributing factors include poor quality topsoil and grass seed. If left unchecked, weeds will take over whatever growing area you have.
            The best weed control is to maintain a healthy, full lawn. Make sure that all topsoil and organic amendments are weed free. Before purchasing new grass seed, check the tag for weed content. Mowing should be frequent and done with the blade set at 3 inches. Water your lawn only when it is dry enough to need a deep soaking. Watering is best done early in the day to allow for a natural drying period.
            It is a rare lawn that does not have some type of weeds in it. Knowing the type of weed that is growing not only helps with the elimination of that weed, it also identifies the conditions that causes it to thrive. I am going to focus on two types of weeds:
            This category contains the much dreaded crabgrass, although other varieties include goosegrass, foxtail, and annual bluegrass. These weeds reproduce in the summer and fall, then over-winter as seed in the soil and will start to break ground in early spring (about the same time forsythia blooms). The best way to control these weeds is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide on the lawn in mid-March. One note of caution, a pre-emergent herbicide keeps weed seeds from sprouting but does not get rid of what is already there. Also, please remember to apply this pre-emergent herbicide again in early May.
            This category includes dandelions, spurge, chickweed, henbit, and many others. Again the best method in controlling these weeds is to prevent them by using a broadleaf pre-emergent herbicide. This application should be done in late March to early April. If problems continue, applications of post-emergent herbicide can be used. Post-emergents come in a variety of ways, including liquid spot treatments and granular coverage.
            Weed control is an on-going project and one that needs knowledgeable understanding of the weed, constant attention, and follow through. A combination of proper lawn maintenance and early detection will result in a lawn of which you can be proud.
Posted: 3/19/2013 by Doug Hensel | with 1 comment(s)
Filed under: DougHensel, GardenTalkWithDoug
Would you provide the name of the best product for the control of these weeds?
4/1/2013 12:40:03 AM

 Security code