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Spring Lawn Weed Control

Grassclippings - Dandelion FlowerThe weeds will soon be out in great abundance now the sunshine is out, probably on your lawn too! 

You will very shortly see your first Dandelion in flower and surrounding Daisies enjoying the spring sunshine. Soon after, the first crop of Dandelions will go to seed, these seeds blowing in the wind, settling in your lawn, ready to develop into the next crop of weeds.

Spring weather has arrived a little later early this year, but the RHS state that the growing cycle of garden plants is almost two weeks compared to last year.

While March 21st is traditionally the first day of spring, the astronomical event that marks the turn of the seasons – the Vernal Equinox – will be on Saturday Friday the 20th March.

As their name suggests, the two equinoxes of spring and autumn are the points when day and night are of equal length – at least north or south of the equator, where light and dark are a lways in balance.

Everything starts to gather speed now. The grass is finally colouring up and putting on its' spring growth spurt and the weeds are out of their winter slumber. Time to get to grips with your weed control.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 April 27, 1882) was a famous American essayist and one of America's most influential thinkers and writers. His famous quote is 'What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered'.

If you have a lot of weeds that have over wintered, now is the time to think about controlling the weeds in your lawn. You normally get two periods of weed activity in a normal year. The broadleaf weeds such as Cat's Ear, Plantains, Daisies, Dandelions to name a view of them will easily over winter in the turf. These need to be killed early on before the second turf weed season starts when you get the Red, White Clovers, Yellow Suckling Clovers and Trefoils appearing in around May time. You could use Vitax Lawn Clear or Verdone Extra as a foliar weed killer to control the many weeds in your lawn. Repeat the application six weeks apart and do not mow three days before or up to 5 days after to get better results. If you have a problem seeing where you are applying the selective weed killer application, why not consider using a Spray Indicator Dye which will mark the area where the lawn weed killer has been applied or not applied - a bit like painting by numbers. Always read the product label and remember to wear non absorbant gloves if using pesticides, especially when using the dye!

I was asked over the weekend by a neighbour why selective herbicides kill weeds and not the grass. I told him that the biologial make up of weeds and grasses is different. The weeds, like trees and shrubs have Cambium Cells. These cells provide support in the main trunk and branches of the tree or weed. The selective weed killer is a growth hormone that mimics the actual growth hormone 'Gibberelline' - the plant hormone responsible for secondary thickening. The selective turf herbicide is absorbed by the weeds and after a while, the weeds go into super growth, with their stems twisting and distorting. The weeds actually outgrow themselves and when their overall structure has literally had it, they die. Grasses do not have Cambium Cells so although they might absorb some of the chemical, it has no affect - if applied correctly in the first place!

One of the other early flowering turf weeds is Slender Speedwell, which exhibits tiny blue flowers. It is a challenge to kill it and early application of a selective herbicide such as Vitax Lawn Clear for this particular weed is advisable. Once it has finished flowering, control is said to be too late.

If you are responsible for large areas of turf or grass that required selective weed control, please visit Weed Free. Should you need your lawns treated, please visit our Lawn Shop or The Lawn Company who will both be able to assist you.

Don't get a weed habit - keep at them with the correct control product until you are weed-free. I would like to be famous one day for my quote 'You should have nothing in your lawns except turf grasses'


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