Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Farm and Ranch

February 9, 2012

Stop weeds in your garden before they start


Gardening in Texas is always an adventure. The weather can be wreak havoc on our efforts to have a lovely lawn and garden. The heat and drought of last summer stressed or even killed many North Texas lawns, making them especially vulnerable to a prolific invasion of weeds this spring. 

Even when the weather is constantly changing, one thing that remains constant is that weeds will grow where you least desire them. Nature abhors a vacuum and if there is bare ground with access to sun and water, weeds will sprout.

What is a person to do? Thank goodness a timely application of a preemergent herbicide product can prevent weeds before they start. Unfortunately there is no set date to apply these products. Most products recommend early spring or “before the germination of target weeds” and again in early fall. 

Boy I wish I had a crystal ball so I would know exactly when weeds were going to sprout. A good rule of thumb to follow in spring is to apply when the crocus bulbs begin to bloom or when the yellow forsythia blooms begin to fall. 

Of course these events are dependent on the weather so it is important to pay attention to what is going on outside. It will be necessary to apply earlier than normal this year due to our mild winter and unseasonable warm January temperatures. A good target for this spring’s application would be the first two weeks of February. 

There are two basic categories of weeds, grassy weeds which includes crabgrass and Johnson grass and stickers or grass burs just to name a few and broadleaf weeds which includes dandelion, henbit, chickweed and clover and many others. Preemergent products also come in two different versions, one designed to work on primarily grassy weeds and one that will work on broadleaf weeds. Each product will list the weeds controlled by name on the label. Both can be applied on the same day in separate applications and can be watered in together for protection against both types of weeds. 

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Farm and Ranch
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