Weed Control Begins With Proper Management

Proper management practices that encourage a dense, thriving turf are the best method of weed control. Healthy turf shades the soil so sunlight can't reach weed seeds ready to germinate. A thick turf also minimizes the physical space available for weeds to become established. There are several management practices that will promote a healthy, dense grass.

Weed Control Begins With Proper Management:

 

Proper management practices that encourage a dense, thriving turf are the best method of weed control. Healthy turf shades the soil so sunlight can't reach weed seeds ready to germinate. A thick turf also minimizes the physical space available for weeds to become established. There are several management practices that will promote a healthy, dense grass.

Proper Turfgrass Selection:

Proper management begins with selection of the best turf species or variety for a particular area. For example, heavily shaded areas will support only a few turf-grass species. This results in thin, weak turf that is very susceptible to weed invasion. Good grass choices for shady conditions would be certain cultivars of St. Augustine grass, zoysia grass, and to a lesser degree, centipede grass.

Proper Cultural Practices:

Proper fertilization, watering, mowing, and control of other pests are required to produce a dense turf that will prevent weed infestation. If turf is over-or under-watered, over-or under-fertilized, or mowed too low or too infrequently, the turf is weakened and cannot compete with weeds. Damaged areas resulting from using dull blades on lawnmowers increase time needed for turf recovery, allowing for weed invasion. It is very important to understand that weeds don't create a void, they fill a void.

Sanitation:

It is extremely important to prevent the introduction of weeds into lawn areas. A good practice is to wash off mowers and trimmers used in weed-infested areas before mowing or trimming in weed-free areas. Similarly, rototillers should be thoroughly cleaned prior to and after using to minimize dispersal of weed seeds found in the soil. Yard clippings that contain weeds should be properly disposed of or composted to reduce the possibility of unwanted contamination.

Weed Management: Weed Biology

Knowledge of weed growth habit is important for developing an effective weed management program.

Broad Leaves: 

Broadleaves, or dicotyledonous plants, have two cotyledons (seed leaves) when the weed seed germinates. Their true leaves have net-like veins and usually showy flowers. Examples include clovers, lespedeza, plantain, henbit, chickweed, Florida pusley, beggarweed, matchweed, and many others.

Grasses:

Grasses are monocotyledonous plants that have only one cotyledon, or seed leaf, present when seedlings emerge from the soil. Grasses have hollow, rounded stems with nodes (joints), and parallel veins in their true leaves. Examples include crabgrass, goosegrass, crowfootgrass, dallisgrass, bullgrass, annual bluegrass, alexandergrass, cogongrass, torpedograss, and smutgrass.

Sedges and Rushes:

Sedges have stems that are triangular-shaped and solid, while rush stems are round and solid. Both sedges and rushes favor a moist habitat. Economically important members include yellow and purple nutsedge and, to some degree, globe, Texas, annual, and water sedge, plus path and beak rush and perennial kyllinga.

Life Cycles:

Weeds complete their life cycles in either one growing season (annuals), two growing seasons (biennials), or three or more years (perennials). Annuals that complete their life cycles from spring to fall are generally referred to as summer annuals, and those that complete their life cycles from fall to spring are winter annuals.

Copyright ©2011 DMK Administrator

 


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