While fall has arrived and winter may be just around the corner in Tennessee and Arkansas, certain broadleaf weeds known as winter annuals are just getting started. Broadleaf weeds have different life cycles broken down into annuals, perennials, and biennials. And annuals are broken down even further into summer and winter. Summer annuals such as crabgrass, goosegrass, spurge, and purslane are coming to the end of their journey and die out in the cooler temperatures. But winter annuals, on the other hand, are just rearing their ugly heads. These bothersome plants are currently seeding, taking root so that they can overwinter in your grass and mature in the spring. Even the most well-kept and manicured lawn can have seeds blown in by the wind or dropped in by other wildlife.
The Broadleaf Weeds That Overwinter In Arkansas and Tennessee
These annoying plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all share one common trait, their leaves. Broadleaf weeds have broad leaves with a large central vein down the center with a bunch of smaller veins branching off. They can be easily identified because they don’t resemble grass. Some of the most common winter broadleaf weeds in Arkansas and Tennessee include:
Fortunately, there are a few ways you can stay ahead of the game and reduce these weeds from invading your turf.
For Prevention of Overwintering Weeds
Maintain a Healthy Turf
The first step to preventing weeds is to maintain a dense, healthy turf. You can do this through proper fertilization and mowing techniques. The healthier and thicker your Tennessee or Arkansas grass, the more it will crowd out weeds, naturally reducing their chances for invasion.
Another great way to help prevent weed growth is through the use of mulch. Spreading down a one-inch layer of mulch throughout your garden beds and around your trees and shrubs will block essential oxygen and sunlight, stopping the essential ingredients weeds need to grow. Not only will mulch help to stop seeds from growing, but the layer will help prevent seeds from landing there in the first place.
Spread Corn Gluten Meal
Spread corn gluten meal over your soil’s surface. A natural, safe material, corn gluten is a by-product of the wet milling process used to produce corn starch and corn syrup from corn. It is approximately 60% protein and 10% nitrogen. While it doesn’t inhibit the growth of mature plants, it will stop the root formation in weeds at the time of germination.
To use, simply sprinkle it around your perennial beds, around trees and shrubs, and anywhere else you need to control weeds.
When the Weeds Get Out of Control
Sometimes, however, no matter what you do, weeds sprout. When this happens, there are a few options. First, depending on the size of your weed growth, start with the traditional methods. If these methods fail, it’s time to bring in the chemicals.
Start With Traditional Methods
When dealing with small areas or a small number of weeds, hand-pulling is your best option. It’s simple and practical. You can use your hands or tools made for this purpose. If weeds have started flowering but haven’t gone to seed yet, use a pair of pruners to cut off the weed seed heads. Drop the seed heads in a plastic bag for disposal or burn them; otherwise, they can spread again and grow back.
Use Pre-Emergent Weed Control
When traditional methods fail, it’s time to bring in the big guns. One of the most effective ways to combat weeds is through the use of fall pre-emergent weed control. It is a spray that is applied to your grass in the fall and early spring. This spray creates a barrier over your lawn, neutralizing the weed seeds before they ever have a chance to sprout. Using pre-emergent in the fall and again in the early spring will decrease the number of weeds that pop up during the summer.
For the Most Effective Weed Control, Get Help From The Professionals at TLC TurfMaster Lawn Care
Servicing commercial and residential lawns throughout Eastern Arkansas and Western Tennessee, we offer professional lawn care service, including highly effective weed control.
In addition, our comprehensive 7-step lawn care program includes both pre-emergent and post-emergent weed control to help keep your lawn well-manicured and weed-free. In the fall, we apply pre-emergent weed control, and if needed, we will also use a post-emergent to clear out any remaining summer weeds.
TLC TurfMaster Lawn Care is the answer to all your lawn care needs, including successful weed control. Learn more now by visiting our website, reaching out to us online, or giving us a call at 901-509-9005.