Tips for Combatting Winter Weeds

January 30, 2023 | Lawn Care, posted by grassoutletppc

Have winter weeds? You’re not alone. Winter weeds are a common, albeit unwelcome, sight for many homeowners during the colder winter months—causing many people to wonder how to get rid of them. Fortunately, with the right products, applied the right way, you can cut down on winter weeds for good.

In this blog, follow along as we share some of our best tips for fighting back against winter weeds, plus some of our best advice for ensuring your yard continues to look its best.

Combating weeds

Pre-Emergent Herbicides: The Most Effective Way To Combat Winter Weeds

The most effective way to control winter weeds, by far, is to treat your lawn with a pre-emergent herbicide in the  spring, summer, and fall before the weeds emerge. Pre-emergent herbicides are “herbicide weed killers” that are applied before weed seeds start to germinate. By creating a top-level barrier that prevents weeds from sprouting after they’ve germinated, pre-emergent herbicides can keep your lawn weed-free throughout a single growing season.

Guidelines for Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Application guidelines for Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Something to know about pre-emergent herbicides is that timing is everything. For the chemicals to work, they must be applied before the weeds emerge, and when the soil temperatures are just right. Moreover, they’re useless on  weeds tha have  sprouted, so it’s better to apply them a few days early than a few days too late.

Note: Ever noticed that stores tend to carry ‘weed and feed’ products—usually in the spring? Keep in mind that these products are not typically recommended for your first spring application because pre-emergents should be applied before your grass begins to come out of dormancy, rendering the fertilizer (feed) portion useless, since fertilizers only benefit actively growing grass.

Live in Central Texas? If so, the best time to install pre-emergents for winter weeds is usually between late August through the beginning of September. Apply a common treatment such as Barricade and make sure to mow your lawn before you do so the granules can reach the soil’s surface.

Post Emergent Herbicides: Total Eradication

While treating your lawn with a pre-emergent herbicide can be super effective at eliminating most weeds from your lawn, doing so might not eliminate all of them. That’s why it’s generally recommended that you treat your yard with a post-emergent herbicide to completely remove any stubborn weeds that may be left over.

Note: Unlike pre-emergent herbicides, post-emergent herbicides work to kill weeds after they’ve already sprouted—by traveling down the stalk into the roots to kill the weed. While they are effective, they can be slightly finicky, and will often work better by adhering to the following tips.

Guidelines for Post-Emergent Herbicides

Application guidelines for Post-Emergent Herbicides

The best time to treat your lawn with post-emergent herbicides is as soon as the weeds emerge, ideally when the soil temperature is above 40 degrees* Fahrenheit (to protect your grass from damage.) You should also check the local forecast, and ensure you’ll have a minimum of up to 24 hours without any rain or substantial wind before you treat your yard. Finally, if your weeds are more mature or go to seed, you may need to repeat the process, ideally under the same conditions.

Note: For newly installed grass, avoid treating until the grass has fully established, primarily with broadcast applications.

In Central Texas? The most common winter weeds in our area include chickweed, henbit, and poa annua (also known as “annual bluegrass”.) The best types of post-emergent herbicides for these types of grass include Atrazine for St. Augustine grass, and Celsius WG Herbicide for Bermuda, Zoysia, and Buffalo grasses.

*Broadleaf weeds are more challenging to treat when ambient temperatures are cooler than 65 and above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get Answers To All Your Grass Questions

We hope this information has helped figure out how to tackle your winter weeds. And, if you have a question about lawn care, we hope you know you can always contact us for help!

At The Grass Outlet, customer satisfaction is our #1 priority, which is why we have a dedicated team of turfgrass experts standing by to help. Whether you need a product recommendation or an answer to a question, you can count on us to provide it.

Contact us today for expert lawn care assistance today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-emergent herbicides are chemical treatments applied before weed seeds germinate. They create a barrier at the soil level that prevents weed seeds from sprouting, effectively keeping your lawn weed-free for a season. Timing and soil temperature are crucial for their effectiveness.

In Central Texas, the optimal time for applying pre-emergent herbicides for winter weeds is late August through the beginning of September. The exact timing may vary based on your specific location and soil temperatures, so it’s essential to monitor these factors closely.

While pre-emergent herbicides are generally safe for many types of grass, it’s important to choose a product suitable for your specific grass type. Always read the label for any restrictions or recommendations regarding grass types.

If weeds have already emerged, you’ll need to use a post-emergent herbicide, which is designed to kill weeds after they’ve sprouted. These herbicides work by being absorbed into the weed’s system, traveling down to the roots to kill the plant.

For optimal effectiveness, apply post-emergent herbicides when soil temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring that you have a window of at least 24 hours without rain or significant wind. Also, consider the ambient temperature, as some herbicides work best within specific temperature ranges.

You should wait until your new grass is fully established before applying broadcast applications of post-emergent herbicides. This precaution helps protect the young grass from potential damage.

Common winter weeds in Central Texas include chickweed, henbit, and poa annua (annual bluegrass). Identifying these weeds is the first step in choosing the appropriate post-emergent herbicide.

Atrazine is recommended for St. Augustine grass, while Celsius WG Herbicide is suitable for Bermuda, Zoysia, and Buffalo grasses. Always follow the product’s instructions and consider the grass type before application.

Always read and follow the label instructions carefully. Wear protective clothing if recommended, and consider the weather conditions and soil temperature before application. If in doubt, consult a lawn care professional or contact a turfgrass expert for advice.

For expert lawn care assistance or product recommendations, contact The Grass Outlet. Our dedicated team of turfgrass experts is ready to help you achieve a pristine, weed-free lawn.