The prevention of broadleaf weeds should be a priority in any lawn care program. And for good reason: aside from their unsightly appearance, these undesirable plants jeopardize the health of your lawn by soaking up nutrients that would otherwise help keep your grass healthy.
As an Ohio homeowner, you’re invested in making common broadleaf weeds like dandelions and broadleaf plantain feel unwelcome in your lawn. You’ve talked to neighbors and done research online, but you’re still looking for some clarity on how to best achieve these results.
As we’ll showcase here, pairing sound lawn care techniques with a specialized preemergence herbicide will put you on the right path to a weed-free yard.
Minimize Broadleaf Weeds with Proper Lawn Care Techniques
While short grass may give off the crisp look of a golf course, it creates the foundation for future lawn issues like broadleaf weed invasion. That’s because repeated short cuts can cause stress to the turf and weaken its energy reserves that provide a layer of defense against weeds.
By only mowing the top ⅓ of grass blades, your lawn will be better equipped to tolerate the stress of environmental conditions (drought and heat included). This can be attributed back to the shade that taller grass provides, which keeps grasses cool and wards off weeds, and a lack of sunlight, which stunts the growth of weeds once they first sprout.
With a well-balanced fertilization program, homeowners can replenish nutrients in their soil and boost the overall health of their lawn. Yet, what often falls under the radar is the importance of timing. After all, applying a fertilizer when temperatures are too warm can further stress lawns and create a more viable home for broadleaf weeds.
When creating a lawn care calendar, make sure to schedule fertilizer applications for periods when grass is actively growing. (Lawn growth naturally slows down when temperatures become very warm.) While early spring is recommended, the most important time to fertilize is in the fall so lawns can absorb nutrients throughout the winter and wake up healthy the next year. In the case of fall fertilization, two treatments are recommended.
How a Preemergence Herbicide Will Benefit Your Lawn
If you’ve hesitated to apply a preemergence herbicide to your Ohio lawn, you’re not alone. Many homeowners are fearful that the same lawn care chemicals they use to fight off broadleaf weeds before they germinate will also cause damage to other plants in their outdoor space.
With selective preemergence herbicides, you avoid this concern. Designed to target specific types of plants like broadleaf weeds, these products establish a chemical barrier that prevents growth of relative weed populations without causing harm to other areas of an established lawn.
In the case of broadleaf weeds, the best time to apply a preemergence herbicide is in early spring. That way, the chemicals are able to take effect before perennial broadleaf weeds like dandelions and broadleaf plantain begin to produce seeds. If you notice winter-annual broadleaf weeds like chickweed and henbit in your yard, we advise you to use a second preemergence herbicide application in the fall, when these weeds first manifest.
Interested in having a team of professionals help keep your Ohio yard weed-free? Reach out to your local Weed Pro provider and learn how we can enhance the look and feel of your lawn.