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What to Do When Weeds are Taking Over Your Lawn
by Rick Orr - A Promised Land Lawn Spraying
“Weeds are killing my lawn” or “My lawn is being overtaken by weeds” are the most often heard complaints about weeds. But the truth is weeds don’t kill a lawn and don’t smother a lawn. Weeds do have seasons when they grow faster than the St Augustine turf and seasons of maturity (weeds are at their maximum size) that make them appear to be getting the upper hand on your lawn. But the truth is St Augustine turf is far more aggressive than common weeds and will kill and smother the weeds.
How St Augustine Turf kills Weeds
St Augustine turf is a vigorous species of turf capable of overtaking and smothering out weeds IF (and that’s a big if) you provide the basic necessities. St Augustine turf needs to be mowed as high as the mower will go (at least 3”), moist soil (water at least every 3 days), maintain medium fertility and safe from chinch bugs, grubs, sod webworms and brown patch.
If St Augustine Turf is So Good, Why Do I Still Have Weeds
The reason you have weeds is that your St Augustine turf is weak. One of the most common places for weeds is the edges of the lawn. The edges are where you find the weakest St Augustine turf. Why? Weed Eaters! Weed eaters (actually the operators) often scalp the edges by weed eating too low – often so low there is bare soil around the edges of planters – and creating a perfect place for weeds to thrive. The turf weakens; weeds germinate, grow, flower and reseed themselves – causing a reoccurring ugly mess.
Weeds Caused by Tree Roots
Another common cause of weak turf is tree roots. Mature Live Oaks form root masses that can block St Augustine turf from life giving soil it requires. The St Augustine turf weakens and weeds that can thrive without soil move in.
Spills and Broken Irrigation Cause Weeds
Death of the lawn or death of part of the lawn is a major cause of many weed problems. It is a double whammy problem because you have the scar of dead grass and the ugliness of weeds. Dead lawns or part of the lawn have two main causes: Spills from pools, mop buckets, etc and Broken Irrigation.
Herbicides Kill Everything - Healthy St Augustine Kill Weeds
Herbicides do exactly as the name implies – kill herbs( aka plants). To think the herbicide has GPS guided smart bomb technology to seek and destroy weeds is absurd. Herbicides impact the entire lawn – including St Augustine turf. Herbicides should be used sparingly. And remember there is no technology that you can spray today and the weeds are gone – that is not how herbicides work. They can help deter weeds and even discourage weeds but never eliminate weeds.
Your best herbicide is a healthy St Augustine turf – mowed and WEED EATED at a minimum of 3”, watered often, fertilized on a regular schedule and protected from bugs. Then should a weed or two manage to populate the lawn, an application of a herbicide will assist the St Augustine Lawn in killing the weed!
There is no herbicide that you can apply and the weeds are gone. More than likely when you apply the herbicide it will damage or kill the lawn and cause even more weeds. Your best method for weed control is to focus on having a healthy thriving stand of St Augustine turf and apply herbicides only as needed.
ILoveTurf.com - October 29th, 2011
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