Spring weed control requires a special blend of skill and experience to master.
Deciding when to use fertilizer and weed killer for lawns and timing it perfectly to give grass a competitive edge against weeds is vital.
How does one control weeds effectively in a spring lawn?
Fortunately, we have the answers to your weed control questions that are effective and eco-friendly.
What Happens to Your Lawn During the Spring?
In the transitional weeks between winter and spring, abundant moisture and sunlight allow the perfect conditions for vegetation to flourish. However, during the summer less moisture is present and nitrates in the soil begin to be used up.
Weeds soak up nitrates and crowd other plants, making it more difficult for grass to survive. The trick to spring weed control is timing. Specifically, when fertilizer and weed killer is applied.
Every weed killer has different factors regarding when they should be applied.
Pre-emergent herbicides, for example, should be applied earlier in the spring. Always read labels and conduct a little research about which weed killer you’re using to understand the best time for application.
When it comes to weed and feed for lawns, many people like to apply fertilizer early for a lush lawn during the spring. However, fertilizing too early might stunt the roots of the grass and will make it more difficult for grass to compete during the summer.
Fertilizing is most effective in early September, and should be done with nitrogen-potent fertilizer.
Common Spring Weeds in Alberta
The following list of weeds are commonly found in Albertan lawns, and each competes with grass for nitrates, moisture, and sunlight.
Dandelion is one of the most recognizable weed with their bright yellow colours.
The yellow dandelion can easily take over lawns in a few cycles.
After blossoming into yellow flowers, dandelions turn into white puffball seeds that are easily blown away by wind, lawn care activities or foot traffic.
This characteristic makes them a harder weed to control if not taken care of from an early stage.
Once turned into the puffball form, dandelions can produce hundreds of new plants.
Dandelions can be controlled by uprooting each by hand, however, they may leave a small hole after removal.
It is highly recommended to get dandelions taken care of before their seeds develop to avoid aggressive spreading.
Canadian thistles are irritating to the skin but can be relatively easy to control.
Their leaves have a soft green colour with sharp and spear-liked shape.
The prickly parts on the leaves are what can cause irritation to the skin and pain to a barefoot.
When blossom, purple flowers are produced in clusters and similar to dandelions, the flowers become white and fluffy seeds.
To remove these, it is recommended to stomp on the weed and twist it with your heel.
This step helps loosen and makes hand-picking much easier.
Be sure to remove all of the roots to prevent them from growing back.
Broadleaf weed killer for lawns, both natural and chemical, is also an effective method.
Ground ivy is also commonly known as Creeping Charlie.
It is a particularly difficult weed to manage.
This weed favours moisture and can thrive in both shaded and sunny areas.
It is not recommended to remove this weed by hands as their stems and runners can be a few feet long.
Mowing and making sure a lawn is well-fed works as a preventative measure.
However, once the weed is already growing it’s best to use a broadleaf weed killer to treat ground ivy.
White clover grows very close to the ground, making it very difficult to control with mowing.
At blossom, its flowers will grow in white and pink colours.
The flowers will then turn into the commonly know shamrock with the signature 3-oval shaped leaves.
It is quite difficult to spot white clovers before they bloom as they grow under the canopy of the turf.
The weed will require multiple applications of weed killer throughout the season to eradicate.
While some homeowners view white clovers as weeds, some plant white clovers as an alternative for grass.
As it grows densely and low to the ground, it covers the ground well while requires less water, time and money to maintain.
The broadleaf plantain primarily grows between June and September in moist and compacted soil.
This weed has a very deep green with wide leaves that grow low to the ground.
Due to this characteristic and their dense root system, it makes broadleaf plantain a difficult weed to control.
They are best managed with a broadleaf herbicide.
Natural products will not offer the full treatment of removing this weed.
Steps to Treating Lawn Weed
Weeds are incredibly invasive and each lawn has different needs to prevent them.
The first step to lawn treatment is researching which weed killer is the best fit for the lawn, and what the best timing is for feeding and weeding.
Timing is extremely important when it comes to spring weed control as we mentioned above – some weeds are best to be removed before they bloom or thrive.
Next, we recommend mowing regularly and clearing debris from the yard.
It is highly recommended to attack weeds preemptively in Alberta as they’re much easier to manage before weed seeds germinate.
How Yardworx Can Help
Contact us for more information about yard care. Our professionals have in-depth knowledge around any weed problem, and we’re happy to help you achieve a beautiful, lush lawn.