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Controlling Broadleaf Weeds


We took a neglected, weed infested lawn and turned it into a St. Andrews fairway with very little coin and effort; forgoing any notion for complete renovation.

First of all, the best way you can prevent weeds in your lawn is to grow a dense turf. Healthy, vibrant grass can put up some serious defense against weeds that try to invade. A good fertilizing regiment, proper mowing techniques and regular, deep irrigation all contribute to a healthy turf.

If you missed an opportunity to apply a pre-emergent fertilizer this spring or for some reason have an unusual number of broadleaf weeds in your lawn, now is the time to make a move. September is the best time but anywhere from mid-May to mid-June we have another opportunity to eradicate these annoyances. If you're thinking of herbicide, now is the time while weeds are still young and easier to battle, the weather isn't too dry and soil conditions are still ideal for grass root development.

Ideal times to use a broadleaf killer:

There's two-Late spring and late summer or early fall. Here's why; fall is the best time to grow new grass from seed. It follows that after broadleaf weeds have been killed, you can then fill those bare spots with new grass. Late spring...same argument. New grass has the chance to develop where weeds once were.

We've had the best results from two types of herbicide applications. We're not here to plug any brands; we only want to show you what works with minimal effort and even less strain on your wallet.

The first type we used was a liquid weed and feed hose-end type of application. With one application the weeds were handled and the nitrogen provided good amounts of food turning the lawn a deep, rich green. We used this method on one particular lawn which had not been treated for years. A few weeks later some broadleaf plantains and dandelions came back but nowhere near in number as they once were.

A second application or type of liquid weed n' feed, six weeks apart, and the lawn was well on its way to recovery. All that was necessary from that point on was proper mowing, irrigation and a good fall fertilizer.

The second type of herbicide application from then on for this particular lawn was to spot treat for broadleaf weeds that occasionally came up. And these were rare. Any local garden supply store will carry a concentrated broadleaf herbicide. Find one that contains a combination of 2.4 D MCPP and dicamba. And with a hand held spray bottle or pump tank sprayer, walk the lawn prior to cutting when weeds are more visible and then spot spray. And as time goes on this procedure will be needed less and less.

These approaches took a weed infested lawn and turned it into a scenic, green canvas for the surrounding foliage. Only two fertilizer applications were necessary from then on; a pre-emergent in spring and a high nitrogen winter guard in the fall.

You can on occasion give the lawn a "Scooby snack" of kelp or liquid seaweed extract which is a great alternative to chemical fertilizers. Something to think about, if you're into that organic thing.

Prevention is the key.

Keep in mind, proper mowing heights for your specific type of grass is crucial to weed prevention. We tell you when, how and more importantly why in Mowing Techniques here at The Little Green Apple.


"the best way you can prevent weeds in your lawn is to grow a dense turf."

~D. Ezell


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