The Summer is almost over and the temperatures in the daytime are starting to come down. Taking care of the garden and your lawn is less of a chore and it almost seems nice to get outside for a while.
If you are like most of us you have been battling weeds. My home abuts a large field that is full of weeds and lucky for me the wind normally blows from that direction bringing an amazing amount of weed seeds along with it. You can’t really blame the owner and they normally take general care of the field but as someone who has a residential property next to it the amount of weeds that grow in my yard can be daunting.
So, basically you do your best. In the spring I use a pre-emergent crabgrass killer that comes in a pellet along with fertilizer that I distribute with a fertilizer spreader. Its not a hard thing to do but it does take as long as cutting the grass maybe a little longer. I figure I spend about $70 in the spring and normally have a small amount of it left.
In the mid-summer you are really not suppose to treat your lawn for weeds because once the heat gets high enough to reduce the growth of the grass you can cause harm to it by putting chemicals on it. However when you see large patches of clover or other weeds you can spot spray your yard with a pump up sprayer.
The best time to begin treating again is when overnight temperatures are in the low 70’s to 60’s and daytime temperatures are in the mid 80’s with a rare 90f day here and there.
At the end of the summer when your vegetable garden is on its last harvest you are likely to see that a large amount of crabgrass and other weeds have started to take over your yard again. This is because the first few rains at the end of summer and the cooler temperatures allow the weeds to grow faster than the grass that you want to keep.
Treating weeds at the end of summer will reduce the problem for next spring. It also allows your regular grass to take back your lawn from the weeds before the growing season ends. Grass will continue to grow from mid August to October. While weeds will die off early and turn your lawn brown. At that point there is nothing you can do until spring.
The best way to treat weeds at the end of summer is to spray them with a herbicide that will kill a variety of pest grasses. Pelletized crabgrass killer will not have the same effect because the chemicals in dry weed killer are best used for stopping the growth of seeds rather than killing off established plants.
How to apply liquid weed killer on your lawn
Applying liquid weed killer is not very difficult but you can expect to take a few hours for the average yard. Additionally you have two choices you can make when applying liquid weed killer. The traditional method which I use means buying concentrate weed killer and diluting it in a garden sprayer.
When you use a garden sprayer for killing weeds on your entire lawn you want to buy a canister that is large enough to carry a good amount of solution and one that is small enough that you are not throwing your back out as you are carrying it for a few hours.
I like to buy the 2 gallon sized sprayers because they give me the best weight to benefit ratio. Honestly if you carry a two gallon container around your yard for a few hours it will begin to pull on your shoulder and back so you might want to go with a smaller 1.5 gallon or even a 1 gallon or you can buy the larger 2 gallon one and only fill it half way.
Concentrate is purchased at your garden center but I have found that big box retailers often have the same brands for at least a few dollars less. It is important to look at the contents part on the label and read the Percentages of active ingredients. Since weed killer is watered down by you it is in your best interest to buy the one that has the highest percentage of weed killer. Unfortunately they don’t put that on price tags like they do in the grocery section.. (7.2 cents an ounce) you have to do the math yourself. I have found some cheaper brands are often higher in concentration. Probably to get people to try them.
Once you find the right brand of concentrate you can dilute it and apply it.
I always cut my lawn before I begin applying any weed killer and then do not cut it for at least 4 days. It will take at least 4 days for the weeds to start browning up and letting you know the killer is doing its work. You want to leave it on the weed as long as you can so it gets sucked down into the roots.
I suggest that you pick a point in the corner of your yard and walk backwards as you apply the weed killer. This will reduce the amount of overspray that gets on your face, legs, clothes and shoes. It is best to find the wind direction too and start at the point in your yard where wind is blowing away and walk back from there.
Concentrate in a garden hose adapter is another choice. It eliminates the need to purchase a garden sprayer. This is an option for many people but I do not like the fact that so much water is used during the application. I have found much better results with a concentrate and sprayer however this method goes much faster and could be used on lawns that are in serious trouble just to get the weed killing process started.
Killing weeds in your yard seems like a never ending chore. Many people just give up on it and others just don’t care if their lawn is 100 percent weeds as long as its green in the summer.
The problem you face with weeds vs grass is grass is a higher quality plant that has been grown for hundreds of years to give the best properties for your lawn.
Grass will grow shorter than weeds and slower that means less cutting your yard. It is also more attractive because it is a uniform blade and color. And one of the biggest benefits is that your yard doesn’t brown out early in the fall and later into the spring.
If your yard is brown when other people have nice green grass that means its full of weeds.
Late Summer application should begin when the temperatures start to fall. It doesn’t need to be a perfect 70F outside but when you feel it cooling off it is good to get at it.