To Weed or Not to Weed — That is the Question!

Advice from Buck’s Backyard

Weeds Are Not Always the “Bad Guys”

It’s Spring! The birds are singing, the air is warm and the grass is green and growing… but so are the weeds. I am constantly asked how to control weeds. According to the Florida Lawn Handbook weeds are defined simply as an unwanted plant or plants growing out of place.

An example of Oxallis/Clover growing in St. Augustine turfgrass

Weeds are probably our biggest issue in lawn care. Hopefully when I am finished with this article we all can have a better understanding of weeds. There are three types of weeds.

  • Broadleaf – which is the easiest to control
  • Sedges – which are somewhat difficult to control
  • Grassy weeds – which are the most difficult to control

Now we know the types of weeds we have in our lawns. The best weed control is proper maintenance practices such as watering correctly and fertilizing correctly, which we work very hard to perform on our customers lawns. But the best weed control is mowing.

Mowing on a regular basis prevents the weeds from forming seed heads. These seed heads left unattended will help the spreading of weeds. Weeds grow for one reason that is to make more weeds. By mowing correctly and keeping the weeds cut it will allow the grass to get thick and full and eventually choke the weeds out.

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My Front Yard with over 300 “weeds” in it.

That being said, this is not an overnight task! This could take some time, so patience is a good thing. We have taken over the care of some lawns and the weeds outnumber the grass. We tell the customer if you give us time we can make this a thick and full lawn again in time. This could take up to a year but it can and will work.

Now for the customer that wants immediate results, we can do that also by using the dreaded HERBICIDE. (Even the word even sounds bad!) Herbicides do work and we do use them as a last resort. We here at Harmony Care do not believe in blanket coverage of herbicides. That means coating the fertilizer with an herbicide or spraying the entire lawn with an herbicide, which in my book is a cardinal sin.

Herbicides do work and they work in numerous ways. However the method they use still impacts the grass. That’s because grass and weeds are very closely related. So when an herbicide is used it also hurts the grass. If the lawn is weak or under any stress at all herbicides can stunt the growth or even kill the grass. So when we do use herbicides we only spot treat where the weeds are in the lawn. This accomplishes several things. It takes the fight directly to the weed and prevents run off such as into sewers where we all nowhere they drain to. We do use herbicides on a selective basis here at Harmony Care. But be assured out Personal growers will not ever abuse them. In fact, if they think there is even the slightest chance of harming the grass they will not apply any herbicides.

The same Oxallis/Clover “weed” intentionally planted in a potted plant!

I have taken numerous photos of a lawn with weeds and planters with weeds, and depending on the type and variety, they can sometimes blend well. Proof in point, there are plants that are sold at a nursery for good money, that when in your lawn can be considered weeds! Look at these photos and see if you can have “weeds” in your lawn and it still look good. I think they can. Our goal is to create and maintain healthy, vibrant and attractive lawns with an emphasis on care, nutrition and prevention rather than chemical treatment. It might take more time, but we believe in the end it’s worth it. All these photos are from my yard. I am State Certified in Lawn and Ornamentals and have done this for years. I don’t use herbicides in my lawn. See what you think.

Screenshot 2014-03-13 15.53.51About the Author:

Buck Moon serves as the Certified Pest Control Operator for Harmony Care. In this role, he supervises field personnel and ensures all operations proceed in a safe and effective manner. He writes regularly on best practices for maintaining a healthy vibrant lawn in his home state of Florida.

Got a question? Just ask one of our experts! Need a free lawn care quote? Just call Harmony Care at (941) 840-1491.


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