Do Not Allow Winter Weeds To Destroy Your Lawn

If you are like most homeowners, you breathe a sigh of relief when the cool winds of fall start to roll in. Cooler temperatures often mean less lawn care requirements. While you may not have to mow, you still need to keep an eye out for winter weeds that can wreck havoc on your lawn.

Start Off With A Healthy Foundation

One of the best ways to keep a great lawn throughout the winter, which will lead to the best lawn in the spring, is to start off with a good foundation. Before you start fertilizing in the fall, take time out to have your soil tested.

Soil testing will tell you which nutrients that your lawn is lacking, as well as what you may have too much of. This will allow you to purchase fertilizer that has the correct balance of the nutrients that your lawn may be missing. Most lawn and garden centers offer this service. 

Be On The Lookout For Winter Weeds

When your lawn's nutrients are out of balance, there are some winter weeds that see it as an invitation to move in. When these weeds move in, they will not only crowd out the roots of your grass, but they will consume valuable nutrients that your grass needs. Knowing what to look for will give you a clue of how to treat your winter lawn.

  • Hop Clover - This comes in small leaf, black medic, as well as a large leaf clover. While this is often used to provide coverage on hillsides, pastures, and other no mow areas, it is not something you want to see in your yard. Clover is often indicative of your soil being low in nitrogen, as well as dry. 

It can be controlled by growing a thick turf of grass. The grass will crowd the clover out, cutting off its access to sunlight. Growing your grass thick enough to get rid of your clover, may take you several seasons to see a significant reduction. Use a pre-emergent, or a spot weed killer that will not affect your grass. 

  • Bluegrass - When you spot bluegrass in your winter lawn it can be a sign that your lawn has too much nitrogen, as well as too much moisture. It spreads quickly due to its constant seed production. There are two varieties. One variety is seen primarily during the spring and summer and it dies in the fall, while the other variety is seen all year long.

The best way to eliminate bluegrass is by hand weeding. This keeps you from spreading the seeds through mowing. While hand weeding may be possible when you first see it in one or two spots, it is often impossible if it has gotten a strong toehold.  

If you have a significant amount of it present, you will want to treat it with a pre-emergent herbicide that is designed specifically for this plant. To keep it from spreading further, always clean your lawn care equipment prior to moving to an area that is not affected by this weed. 

  • Moss - In shady, highly compacted areas with poor drainage, you will often see various forms of moss growing in your yard. This grows in yards that are lacking in fertilizer. While this can be a beneficial ground cover in areas that are often very difficult to grow grass in, it can also be a nuisance.  

If you want to get rid of the moss in your yard, you will often have to resort to physical force. You will have to vigorously rake the area to break up, or de-thatch, the tight habitat of tiny plants. You can also purchase de-thatching blades for some types of mowers. This weakens the plant structure, as well as helps to remove the moss. Once you have weakened it, you can apply a chemical herbicide to completely remove it. 

These are only three of the culprits that you have to look out for throughout the winter. There are others. Keeping, and treating your lawn throughout the winter will give you the best start come spring. click here to continue reading more about weed control.