At this time of year we often get many customers asking about weed control applications. Read on below for answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
Hands down, the number one call we get at this time of year is: “I have dandelions on my lawn…why haven’t you been here to treat for them yet?” This is always a tough call for anyone in the lawn care industry, as we know we’ve been hired to make sure our customers’ lawns are free of weeds. At the end of the day, this is how we are judged by our clients. However, the issue at hand is that weed control for broadleaf weeds must be completed after the weeds are up and growing, and those pesky dandelions are always the first broadleaf weeds to pop up — way before any of the others. While we would love to get out and treat every one of our customers first thing, this is not possible, and, in actuality, those customers who wait until later in the application cycle see far superior results. Why, you may ask? Oftentimes, other broadleaf weeds do not germinate as early on in the season as dandelions, and if we treat as soon as yellow flowers start to pop, we end up missing out on controlling many of the other lawn invaders: plantain, oxalis and knotweed, to name a few. The longer we wait, the more likely we are to get all of the weeds in one application. Not to mention that if you wait a bit later to apply weed control, you’ll likely see more suitable weather conditions as well.
The second question we often get is: “My dandelions are now going to seed…isn’t it too late to apply weed control?” In reality, dandelions going to seed is not a concern, as there are thousands of weed seeds already in the soil just waiting to germinate given the right conditions. In fact, when an application of weed control is applied to a lawn, it will actually make the dandelions go to seed anyway. This is because the herbicides used to control broadleaf weeds rely on their ability to mimic the natural growth hormones (known as auxins) found in broadleaf plants. Auxins are absorbed through the leaves of the weed and translocated to the meristems of the plant. Uncontrolled, unsustainable growth ensues, causing the stem to curl over, the leaves to wither, and eventual plant death. In other words, the plant grows very quickly and the stress of this accelerated growth is what leads to the eventual death of the plant.
The third most frequently asked question we receive is: “Under the ‘special instructions’ section on the invoice, it says not to water or cut the lawn for 24-48 hours following a weed control application. What happens when it rains the day after? Will the application still work?” The short answer to this question is yes, absolutely. We build in a lot of extra time to ensure the application has enough time to dry on the plant and work before the homeowner waters or cuts the lawn. Typically, though, the application is rainfast after just a few hours. Customers may also mow their lawns within a few hours of the application (as long as they mow high). Always give it at least 14 days to assess whether or not the application has worked. If the weeds don’t seem to be curling or dying, keep in mind that Weed Man provides a 100% guarantee on our services. Our team will happily come back and retreat the lawn free of charge.
Lastly, a question that we sometimes field after an application of weed control is: “Why is there an area of the lawn that looks like it was burnt by weed control?” It is almost impossible to burn a lawn with weed control, and in all of my twenty years of being in the lawn care industry I’ve yet to personally see turf burned by a herbicide application. So then why is there sometimes a large bleached out area on the lawn following an application? As the season turns from spring to summer or from cooler weather to warmer weather when our weed control is being applied, a very common turf disease called leaf blight may arise. Leaf blight can bleach out large areas of turfgrass very quickly, creating a burnt appearance. This disease will clear up quickly on its own. The best thing a homeowner can do is call Weed Man for a quick diagnosis and advice on how to avoid turfgrass diseases.
Remember: the best defense against weeds is a healthy, thick lawn. If you have any questions about your turf, Weed Man would be happy to help.
Keep those lawns healthy,
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