Are weeds the bane of your existence? If you’re like a lot of homeowners in the Lehigh Valley, then you might be frustrated when you see weeds creeping into your lawn. They’re embarrassing and can really take away from your enjoyment of spending time outside.
While you may have tried different approaches to get rid of weeds in your lawn, if you’re not seeing much success, you might be wondering what’s wrong.
The truth is, there’s a lot more to weed control than most homeowners realize.
Because we believe in the value of a well-educated consumer, we’ve rounded up 9 different weed control facts that might not be on your radar. Better understanding these facts will help you have more success when it comes to effective weed control.
1. There are Different Types of Weeds that Require Different Weed Control Methods
There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to weed control despite what marketing messaging and gimmicks might have you believe. These days everything is about “simplification” and finding products that do it all, but the fact is that different weeds require different treatments.
You should know that weed control can be broken down into two main product categories: selective and non-selective. Selective weed controls, for the most part, will control one group of weeds without harming turfgrass, while non-selective weed control targets all vegetation (and will kill your turfgrass, too). To protect your lawn, you want to choose selective control. The majority of broadleaf weeds (such as dandelions) can be controlled by broadleaf weed control.
There are also different variations of selective grassy weed control depending on what type of grassy weeds (such as crabgrass and nutsedge) you have in your yard. The most effective treatment plan includes a variety of products depending upon exactly what your yard is struggling with.
2. Some Weeds are Best Prevented
Part of understanding the best weed control methods means knowing what kind of weeds are best controlled pre-emergently (vs. post-emergently).
Not all weeds can be treated this way, but those that can (crabgrass being a big one), should. That’s because once crabgrass germinates it can truly spread like wildfire and be difficult to get under control. Post-emergent controls are also a lot more costly.
3. Weed Control Products can Be Liquid vs. Granular (And That Will Impact Effectiveness)
You should also know that weed control comes in both liquid and granular format and the type you choose can have an impact on your success.
Most DIY products sold at big box stores are granular. But with a granular product comes some complexities that can complicate your effort. Namely, the lawn has to be wet in order for enough product to stick to your weeds and then it has to remain rain-free for 24 hours in order to work. That leaves a lot of room for error.
A professional-grade liquid application would be much more effective.
4. DIY Products Can be Subpar for Weed Control for Lawns
Besides the fact that many DIY products are granular, you should know that their formulations can be quite different from what a professional is using as well. After all, a weed control pro needs to be licensed to be able to spray weeds. They’re using much higher quality, more effective products.
But beyond the fact that the products themselves may be inferior, it’s also true that many of those who are implementing a DIY approach may be using ineffective methods. Everything from when to treat to how often to treat can impact your success.
5. Even with the Right Arsenal of Products, Some Weeds are Tougher to Control Than Others
Some homeowners are surprised to learn that some weeds can be really tough to control, even if they’re using a weed control company that implements a variety of different products. In fact, some weeds really can’t be controlled and the best option is to completely re-sod an area where those weeds have taken over.
Nimblewill is a good example of an uncontrollable weed in the Lehigh Valley. It will out-compete desirable grasses, making overseeding ineffective. To get rid of it, it must be dug out completely (with total removal of all stolons and pieces). This is one of those weeds where you may need to discuss a plan of “starting over” and adding sod.
6. Low Soil pH May Encourage Weed Growth
A lot of homeowners are shocked to realize that the health of their soil can have a significant impact on weeds. But lawns that have a low soil pH can create growing conditions that are better for weeds than healthy turfgrass!
A lawn limestone treatment can help your soil to release valuable nutrients to your grass plants while correcting the soil pH in order to make the conditions less favorable for weeds.
7. A Thick Lawn Can Naturally Reduce Weeds
While a lot of people tend to think about weed control for lawns in terms of products, and that’s obviously an important part, it’s also important to recognize that the overall thickness and health of your lawn is going to play a role. Opportunistic weeds thrive in thinned out areas of the lawn where they do not need to compete with healthy turfgrass. The thicker your lawn is, the more likely it’s going to naturally choke out weeds.
Therefore, make sure that you’re choosing a comprehensive lawn care program that includes services like lawn fertilization and aeration and overseeding, which will promote a thick and healthy turf.
8. The Time of Year can Impact Weed Control for Lawns
The time of year that you’re treating weeds will also come into play. Different weeds grow at different times of the year so that’s going to alter your treatment plan.
You should know that weeds are most effectively controlled when they are treated during active growth, as weed control products are more easily translocated throughout the entire plant. This makes it imperative that weed control efforts are occurring at the right time. If you, or the professional service you’ve hired, aren’t switching up products based on season, then you’re probably not going to get rid of weeds in your lawn.
9. Every Weed Control Company is Not Created Equal
That leads into our final point, that all weed control companies are not created equally. Even though the above 8 points are facts that you’d expect a professional to know, the truth is, many companies still make mistakes. Sometimes they don’t know any better. They might not be trained on the best methods.
However, it’s also true that some lawn care companies do what they can to save money and may intentionally choose subpar products so they can make more money off of their customers.
A Well-Rounded Approach to Weed Control
Getting rid of weeds requires a multi-faceted approach that includes the ideal arsenal of weed control products but also good habits such as aeration, overseeding, and a strong lawn care program that promotes soil health.
Hopefully in better understanding some of the facts that we’ve presented above, you can begin getting your Lehigh Valley weeds under control. Although some lawn care companies might not want you to know all of this “insider information,” we believe that you deserve the truth. In the end, it comes down to the fact that we always have our customers’ best interests at heart. We want to help get you on the road to the best lawn so that you can get back to enjoying your Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA home to the fullest.
If you’d like to stop worrying about weeds in your Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA lawn, then contact us for a free consultation or feel free to give us a call at 610-365-2200.
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