A Weed Free Lawn is Not Sold in a Bottle


By Rick Orr
APL Pest Control Tech Spraying Healthy Lawn next to weak weedy lawn
The Lawn on the Left is Weed Free because it is a healthy thick lawn

Killing Weeds does not Make a Lawn Beautiful

Many homeowners believe that if they just kill the weeds, their lawn will be beautiful again. A beautiful lawn is not beautiful because it has few weeds, it is beautiful because it is tall and thick. A tall thick lawn has few (if any) weeds. Therefore, the best way to control weeds in your lawn is to have a tall thick lawn.

A Tall Thick Lawn Prevents Weeds

Many of the right conditions for weeds already exist in the lawn – soil, moisture, fertility, and weed seeds. However, the tall thick St Augustine lawn eliminates one important condition – sunlight. Even if a weed sprouts, it will likely run out of energy before it escapes above the tall canopy. And should the weed emerge above the canopy it is already stressed and will likely perish in the hot Florida sun. Should it manage to survive, a dose of herbicide will further stress it to the point of failure.

When to Use Herbicides

There are some weeds that are difficult to control even in a tall thick St Augustine lawn – sedges, dayflower and dollar weed are the top offenders. Keeping these offenders out of sight requires a healthy lawn to keep the weeds under stress and frequent applications of herbicides to knock them out.

DIY’er and Herbicides

Often, herbicides in the hands of an amateur ends in disaster. The variables that you must consider before applying an herbicide are legion: species, growth stage, season, temperature, humidity, soil temperatures, mode of action, effects on desirable species yada, yada, yada. In addition, you can only use the herbicide as directed by the label. The bottom line is that killing weeds without killing a lawn requires a lot of knowledge and experience. For lawns with sedges, dayflower, and dollar weed, it may be wise to hire a professional to reduce these noxious weeds.

Weeds are not the End of Your Lawn

Weeds are not lethal – weeds do not kill your lawn, choke out your lawn or destroy your lawn. Poor irrigation, low mowing, and chinch bugs will damage or kill your lawn allowing weeds to invade the lawn. Turf Tip: Focus more on keeping your lawn tall and thick and less on getting rid of weeds and you will achieve both.

A Tall Thick Lawn is Your Best Weed Control

A tall thick St Augustine lawn is the best way to control weeds. Not only does a tall healthy lawn deter weeds, it also stresses existing weeds through competition for valuable resources – air, light, and nutrients.

Raising the mower and improving the irrigation system will control more weeds than anything sold in a bottle. In short, keep it tall, keep it wet and you will have a beautiful lawn.

Rick Orr Owner-Staff Agronomist Barefoot Grassl/Creator of ILOVETURF.COM
Staff Agronomist at Barefoot Grass

Since 1995, Rick Orr has worked in Pinellas County providing turf management and pest control. Rick Orr is a graduate of VA Tech in Agronomy (Turf Ecology) and the creator of Iloveturf.com. 

Since graduating from VA Tech in 1979, Rick worked in the green industry, mostly with golf courses, resorts, and large communities. Rick has obtained certifications in arboriculture, landscape, irrigation, and taught Environmental Horticulture at St Petersburg College. 

Currently, Rick is the Staff Agronomist at Barefoot Grass in Largo, FL. To learn more about Barefoot Grass https://www.barefootgrass.com/ Free Price Quote from Barefoot Grass for Home Pest Control and/or Lawn Care https://www.barefootgrass.com/contact-weed-control/ 

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