Controlling Weeds in Summer
If crabgrass is making you feel, well, crabby and your child is able to present you with a two-handed bouquet of dandelions and clover, it might be time for some summer weed control. Controlling summer weeds begins by identifying the types of weeds invading your lawn, garden and landscaped areas.
Types of weeds
Weed varieties include grassy weeds (crabgrass, foxtail) and broadleaf weeds (dandelions, buttercups). Some weeds are annual, while others fall into a perennial category. Summer garden weed control also includes removing biennial weeds (weeds with two growing seasons) by hoeing or pulling from flower and vegetable beds.
Bull thistle is a common biennial weed — identify it by its puffy purple bloom and prickly stems. When pulling bull thistle from your lawn or garden, be sure to wear a pair of sturdy gardening gloves such as the split cowhide leather gloves from Westchester.
According to the Washington State University Extension Office, summer weed annuals such as redroot pigweed and common lambsquarters “germinate in late spring, grow during the heat of summer, flower, set seed and die from cold temperatures.”
Annual weeds spread by seed and often can be removed simply by pulling. Perennial weeds, which include dandelions, typically have a more invasive root system and may require the use of an herbicide such as K-Gro, a broadleaf weed killer concentrate.
Weed control tips
“Improper mowing is one of the most common causes of weed invasion,” reports the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State. The average lawn should be mowed to a height of about two inches for the best weed control and overall health.
Another non-herbicidal method for weed control is mulching — covering the soil with organic material to prevent weeds and their seeds from receiving needed light. Mulch won’t control all weeds, but it can help prevent dandelions from spreading throughout your flowerbed.
Preemergence herbicides can control weeds such as crabgrass and foxtail before they invade your lawn in the summer. These types of weeds can be treated with a preemergence herbicide in the spring before the crabgrass seeds germinate. Products like Ortho’s Weed-B-Gon Max Plus Crabgrass and Weed Killer spray can eliminate crabgrass without harming your lawn.
Remember, when using any herbicide, be sure that it won’t kill your grass, flowers or vegetable plants. Dandelions that emerge in concrete cracks of the driveway or walkway can be sprayed with a product such as Safer Brand’s Fast Acting Weed and Grass Killer. It eliminates dandelions, grass and other undesirable growth from walkways, driveways, flowerbeds and more. This product won’t harm nearby plants.