Preparing Your Yard For A Weed Spray Application
To get the best results for a pre and post emergent lawn weed spray application, it's critical that our clients prepare the yard before our arrival. There are several things that can be done to ensure that we get the best initial kill of existing weeds as well as get the most out of the pre-emergent.
Clean Up The Lawn & Bed Areas
Spring and Fall applications generally require a yard clean up of dead leaves, limbs, trash, and other debris. This is an important step especially for pre-emergent but also to expose weeds to the broadleaf herbicide. The more pre-emergent we can get to the lawn surface and the most weed killer we can get on the leaf surface, the better.
Mowing the lawn real short isn't necessary and can often hinder good results of the broadleaf herbicide application. The more weed leaf surface we can apply herbicide to the more the plant can absorb. If you mow the weeds down to where there is no leaf surface, the plants will absorb very little herbicide resulting in a low percentage of a kill. If the lawn is seriously overgrown and some weeds are very tall, mowing high to pick up debris and expose the weeds will be helpful.
Water Before The Application
Watering the lawn at least a week before we arrive will be helpful. This serves a few purposes. First, it prepares the soil by softening it up and settling the dry dust that can accumulate over the Winter and drought conditions of a rainless Summer. Second, it makes the weeds alive and growing which will result in a better kill. A weed must be actively growing in order to kill it.
Here's a little science behind the necessity of watering -
In order to survive drought conditions, weeds and other plants shut down growth. This can happen both in Winter and Summer if there isn't enough moisture. Most folks overlook this especially in Winter because, well..., it's Winter. Weeds and other plants in a drought or stressed condition can also create a waxy coating to prevent evaporation and ensure survival. Once this waxy coating is on the plants, the herbicides have a very difficult time penetrating into the plant. Watering to get the weeds growing and lose the waxy coat is a critical step to a better percentage kill.
Timing Of Weed Control Applications
Timing is everything. We recommend at least two sprays a year and sometimes three for certain infestations. The time of year we spray is dependent on either the time of the last spray, the type of weeds we're trying to control, or as in spring applications, soil temperature. We use the soil temperature map to give us an accurate idea of the best time to apply pre-emergents. This is generally once the soil is at 55 degrees for five days in a row. at this point many weeds seeds begin to germinate.