Winter weed control is one of the most important steps you can take to keep your lawn healthy. By preventing weeds before they have a chance to prod their roots into your yard, you are doing the future of your grass a huge favor. Weeds are extremely competitive with grass because both plants need water, nutrients and sunlight for growth. If you notice clover or other weeds popping up in your lawn, it’s time to take action before these weeds spread quickly.
Take these easy steps when applying weed control in winter for your lawn
Step 1: Identify type of weed
The first step when applying weed control in winter is always to identify what type of weed you are fighting. If you aren’t sure, take a few clippings of the suspicious weeds and place them in Ziploc bag with water. Then, let them sit overnight to see what type of weed seed they sprout into the next morning. Many types of weeds can be identified by their leaves or their seedlings, but some may need to be tested before properly identifying it.
Step 2: Get your supplies ready
Get your supplies ready! For winter weeds, it’s best to use products that consist primarily of Triclopyr as this chemical is designed to quickly kill broadleaf weed grasses. The same chemicals that treat for dandelions should also work well on your lawn in wintertime since both types grow from similar seeds and require similar treatments. You’ll also want to get a few spray bottles to mix your chemicals in and some rubber gloves if you’re worried about getting the chemicals on hands or clothes.
Step 3: Be grass friendly
Make sure all surrounding plants are safe before applying weed control in winter. Some chemical sprays can cause damage to nearby flowers or bushes so it’s important to do your research beforehand and make sure nothing is growing near where you plan on spraying this chemical mixture. If any shrubs look like they may be impacted by the weed control, use a shovel instead to remove them entirely.
Step 4: Weather forecast
At this point, it’s best to check the weather forecast for the day ahead since it doesn’t hurt for this job to wait one day but also isn’t effective for it to be applied when there is no sun. If you’re worried, err with the side of caution and just wait until another day.
Step 5: Prepare before hand
Just before bedtime, create your mixture with these steps in mind: For every gallon of water in your spray bottle, add 1/2 tsp Triclopyr and 1 tbsp Vinegar. If you have a sprayer that attaches directly to the bottle, great! This will make life easier because all you’ll need to do is fill up the tank with this mixture and get spraying; it’s that simple. Yet if not, simply pour down your mixture into enough small cups or bowls that can hold about one cup each (or use more than one cup if necessary).
Step 6: Apply the solution
The following morning, apply the solution to your common weed areas. For best results, it’s very important that you spray the mixture early in the day when there is ample sunlight because this chemical works best when exposed to light for several hours. You’ll know it is working if your tips of leaves start turning brown and unusual smell will follow so simply do a quick sniff test before you continue with treatment.
Step 7: Repeat the process
Repeat this process throughout March and April to keep weeds out of your lawn! With so many seeds sprouting up at this time of year, it’s tough not to notice some popping up even after treating them with weed control. That’s why continuing with this process every month or two is recommended by most gardeners.
Step 8: Wait and watch
After applying weed control in winter to your lawn, it should take about a week or two before the weeds and grasses will start looking noticeably different (weeds will turn brown first and then eventually disappear while grass will look greener). If you have trouble seeing these changes, consider digging up a few random patches of soil from the treated area to see if the roots of those weeds survived being sprayed. Be careful when doing so because dirt can easily get inside gloves and shoes, but also please note that your shovel may also break through any thin layers of plastic underneath if they have been buried for this long.
Step 9: Reseed dead spots
Using weed control in winter might cause some dead spots on your lawn since it kills all vegetation being sprayed. You can try simply mowing over them, but it’s best to consider some seeding in the late summer months if the spots are large enough and thick enough soil is underneath.