Winter Weed Control

Weed control may not seem to be a high priority in the winter as it is in summer, but it's actually one of the best times to eliminate and prevent future growth. During the fall and winter seasons, weeds germinate and revive, often resulting in a surplus of weeds come spring.  

Help keep your yard free of weeds and prevent them from spreading to new areas of your yard with these winter weed control tips.

Know Your Opponent

It's important to understand that there is a wide variety of weeds - some of which germinate later than others. Removal can vary from weed to weed.

Three of the most common lawn weeds worth treating during the cool seasons are crabgrass, annual bluegrass and burrweed. Crabgrass is one of the more difficult weeds to control as it sets seed throughout the entire growing season, continuously germinating and growing. Burrweed is a winter annual whose spurred seeds can make a walk in the front yard painful for family and pets.

While most rapid-growth perennial weeds like dandelion, knotweed and clover germinate in spring and summer, eliminating any lingerers can help reduce the quantity of weeds next spring.

In the garden, wild onion and garlic can run rampant - especially if you're not actively growing any late-season crops - so it's best to monitor closely and remove immediately at the sign of growth.

Treat Weeds Individually

As with any job, you must rely on specific tools to accomplish each task. In many cases, weeds are no different. Most professionals recommend different pre- and post-emergent herbicides for common winter weeds, but you can also rely on natural options to deal with winter weeds.

Boiling water is one of the single-most effective natural weed killers. While boiling water may not be easy to apply on your lawn, it can be used very effectively to destroy garden weeds like wild onion and garlic. Boling water is able to seep into the roots and kill the source of these weeds' growth.

For low-growing weeds like crabgrass, newspaper works to effectively smother the plant, preventing sunlight and blocking wide-spread germination. You can also buy calcium by the bag and spread it overtop your lawn for a similar effect. Crabgrass growth is often a sign of low calcium in your soil. Test a small patch of grass before spreading over your entire lawn.

For deeply rooted weeds like dandelion and knotweed, spray or pour vinegar or leftover pickle juice on them.

When next spring rolls around, you can admire your lawn and garden, knowing you'll have much less work lying ahead.  

The Dirt from Troy-Bilt®
November/December 2016