Lawn weed identification
So you have a weed problem in your lawn! Before you go ahead with any lawn weed control program will need to know what kind of weeds you have in your lawn. This is especially true if you are going to use a chemical weed killer to remove the weeds. This is because you want to be sure that the product you use will be effective against the weeds that you are trying to control.
We have a comprehensive lawn weed identification chart which includes images and information on many of the most common weeds to help you with control and management of weeds. Some of the lawn weeds included on this chart are daisy, clover, dandelion, buttercup, plantains and many more.
Methods of weed control
There are basically two methods used to control weeds, either culturally or by chemical means using a selective weed killer or selective herbicide.
- Cultural weed control – Before reaching for the chemicals you may want to consider removing the weeds by hand, especially if there are very few weeds. This method is ideal for weeds such as plantains, daisy, dandelions etc which can easily be removed with a daisy grubber or similar tool.
A good lawn maintenance program will keep the in a healthy condition which in turn helps reduce the spread of lawn weeds. For more information on this please visit our weed prevention section.
- Chemical control – In some case the weed problem will be too severe and widespread for hand weeding. If this is the case then chemicals will be needed to control the weeds. However it is important to note that chemicals should only be used as a last resort in controlling lawn weeds.
When should lawn weed killers be applied
If you are going down the chemical route is important that you apply the weed killer at the correct time of the year for the most effective control.
Generally speaking the ideal time for weed control us usually between April and September when the grass and weeds are growing vigorously. However don’t be tempted to reach for the chemicals as soon as April is here. In recent years April has been very cold and treating weeds when it is cold with poor grass growth is likely to yield poor results.
If this is the case wait until the grass growth is strong and consistent, be patient and you will get better results.
For optimum results apply a nitrogen based fertiliser about 10 – 14 days before you intend to apply a chemical weed killer as this encourages strong growth. Many weed killers can be purchased pre-mixed with a fertiliser (weed & feed) for the reasons above.
So in summary any time during the summer months ,during periods of good growth is ideal for this operation. Avoid periods of drought as results will be poor and the grass can be damaged due to chemical scorch.
Types of lawn weed killers
There are two types or formulations for most weed killers, liquid or granular, either can be a straight weed killer or they can be part a weed & feed formulation which will contain some additional fertiliser.
How to apply a weed killer
So you have identified the weeds in your lawn and chosen you product, all that you have to do now is apply the weed killer.
To get the optimum results cut the lawn at least 3 days before applying a weed killer and then don’t cut for at least another 3 days once it has been applied. Leaving the lawn for 3 days before application ensures a large leaf area, allowing for good chemical coverage on the leaf. Again not mowing for 3 day after application allows time for the chemical to travel through the plant ensuring an effective kill.
If you are using a liquid weed killer it is important that you apply it when no rain is forecast. This is because rainfall could wash the chemical off the leaf and reduce the effectiveness of the product.
Alternatively if you are using a granular product some irrigation or rain may be required after application.
There are many types of equipment available to apply chemicals, for liquid weed killers a watering can or sprayer could be used. For a granular there are many types of spreaders available.
Whatever you choose it is important to read the label and follow the manufactures recommendations and guidelines.