February is always a busy month of celebrating special events such as Ground Hog Day, The Super Bowl, Valentine Day, President’s Day and in my case my wife’s birthday as well. Special event days can also be great reminder dates for some specific lawn chores too. For effective lawn weed management February is also the month to take action in controlling existing winter weeds such as clovers, lawn burweed, wild garlic, henbit, chickweed, etc. with post emerge herbicides and for applying pre-emerge herbicides to prevent annual weeds such as crabgrass, goose grass, spurges, etc. from infesting the lawn through spring and summer. Pre-emerge herbicides must be applied prior to weed seed germination, therefore, the Super Bowl should be a reminder to get your pre-emerge herbicide purchased and Valentine Day generally provides the perfect timing for applying it. This is also an ideal time to apply post-emerge herbicides since most warm-season turf species are somewhat dormant and less likely to be injured by the herbicides. The winter weeds are actively growing, and have not been mowed so there is ample leaf area to absorb the herbicides for effective control. Some efficiency can also be gained since the pre-emerge and post-emerge herbicides can be applied in the same application at this time.
With any pesticide you should always READ THE LABEL carefully and completely before applying. The herbicide label will provide a list of where it can safely be applied and the weed species the active ingredient will control and at what rate.
For more detailed information on specific weeds and herbicides for turf applications refer to the turf section of Extension publication #1532 “Weed Control Guidelines for Mississippi” which can be downloaded from the www.MSUcares.com web.
Published January 28, 2013
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. email@example.com