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How Late Can You Kill Lawn Weeds in Fall?

October 7, 2013

I have had great success killing lawn weeds in fall.  As long as your daily temps are reaching a high of 45 degrees or more the day you spray, you can kill pesky perennial weeds like Dandelion, Clover and Ground Ivy (Creeping Charlie), as well as annual weeds like Chickweed and Henbit.  Kill them this fall and they will not be in your lawn next spring.

There are various Ortho Weed-B-Gon products depending on where you live.  Click here to see your options.

Note:  If you planted grass seed this fall, it is best to wait until the new seedlings have been mowed 4 times before you apply weed killers.

Fall is a great time to kill Ground Ivy, also known as Creeping Charlie

Fall is a great time to kill Ground Ivy, also known as Creeping Charlie

 

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16 Comments
  1. Anthony permalink

    Hello when is the latest you can spread Scotts Winterguard Fall Fertilizer plus Weed Control? I live in Rhode Island.

    • Hi Anthony… You can spread WinterGuard plus Weed Control on any day that the high temps are going to be at least 50 degrees. It is best to apply to moist foliage on a day when rain is not forecasted.

  2. Dave Hampel permalink

    Hello Ashton:
    We bought a foreclosed home that was empty for 2 years. The clover and crab grass has taken over the lawn. In the spring I seeded with Scotts grass seed and the patch seed. My neighbor is seeding his lawn now. We are in Pennsylvania and the temps are in the 70s still. I read that Scotts crab grass anti-emerging treatment is good to apply in early Spring but what should I do now? Oct. 10th. I have found on other lawns that Fall grass seed works well and is strong by the Spring but I am afraid a good seeding is not going to be enough to drown out the clover.
    Thanks in adavnce for your help.
    Dave

    • Hi Dave
      Your crabgrass will die with the first killing frost. Your clover will continue to thrive. It is getting late to seed now in your area even though you still have warm temps. The reason is you would really want some good root growth prior to cold weather. Since it is late to seed and since grass seed does not like weed controls, take the approach of feeding your lawn now using Turf Builder WinterGuard with Weed Control. This will help knock back your clover while feeding. Apply to moist foliage first thing in the morning on a day when rain is not expected. You could do a second feeding just prior to Thanksgiving with WinterGuard. I think you will be surprised at how your good grass fills in with two feedings before winter. Then next spring you can prevent your crabgrass using either Turf Builder with Halts (can not be used when seeding in spring) OR Starter Lawn Food with Weed Preventer (can be used when seeding in spring).

      • Dave Hampel permalink

        thank you very much for a plan of attack and for taking the time to address the question. I will do exactly what you recommend and in sping use the turf building starter lawn food with weed preventor and seed it again.
        Kind Regards

  3. Dixie Ball permalink

    I want to replace my whole back yard grass. Is it best to remove the grass now before the snow or wait and do everything In the spring? The lawn is 25 years old not level and full of weeds and now I’ve seen slugs also.

    • Hi Dixie
      Tell me where you are located and I can give you more specific suggestions.

      • Dixie Ball permalink

        Hi we live in Ottawa Canada and over the last couple of years the grass has got a lot more weeds manyly because we can’t spray anything usefull any more on them. Also my husband has often commentes as it’s a pain to cut as the ground is uneven. Now it is a very small yard.

      • Hi Dixie… Thanks for telling me where you are located. You should wait to remove your existing lawn next spring prior to sodding or seeding. That way you will not end up with a big muddy mess over the winter.

      • Dixie Ball permalink

        Ok thanks I will check back in the spring to find out what we need to do and use so we can once again have a nice yard.

  4. Addison permalink

    Ashton,

    I live in Oklahoma and I seeded my lawn with fescue and fertilized the first week of october. The house we live in has only been ours for 6 months and creeping charlie and crab grass is an issue. I used the weed-b-gone max crabgrasskiller in august and have seen a lot of it die but the creeping charlie is still looming, but not as much. Should I do another feeding in Novemember with some sort of weed killer in it or should I just stand pat until spring and use HALTS?

    • Hi Addison
      Yes, it would be a good idea to feed your new fescue around mid-Nov with Turf Builder WinterGuard. Once your new grass has been mowed 4 times you can spot spray your Ground Ivy again with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX. Plan on feeding in early spring around the time of your first mowing with Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer. Good luck with your new lawn.

  5. Chris N. permalink

    Hey Ashton,

    I put down Scotts Turf Builder Winterguard with plus 2 weed control about 4 weeks ago. I noticed a lot of my weeds turned purple and I think that’s the weed control taking shape. But being in Arkansas the weather can act funny and it’s not gotten cold here yet. I believe the Charlie weed is appearing in my lawn now (mainly on the unsodded side of the yard as the house is 4months old). Should I go ahead and pull all these weeds or simply trust the winterguard to do it’s job?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Chris N… I have seen Ground Ivy and other weeds turn purple with weed controls applied this time of year and the weeds did not come back in spring. If you have some that are still green, you can spot spray them with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer.

  6. Jessica permalink

    I know this is an old post, hopefully you get this. But its still goin to be cool for a bit and I am wanting to put more gravel in my driveway but want to kill the grass first. My neighbor’s yard is taking my driveway, and the rest is a big muddy mess spotted with more grass and weeds. I was wanting to use the salt method to kill the soil but wasn’t sure how cold it cani be for it to work or if rain will make it not work also. I’m really wanting to kill the stuff before I lay more gravel but I can’t wait to lay the gravel. I like to take the non toxic approach to dealing with stuff like this whenever possible. I’m located in Southern Indiana. Thanks for any help you can give me on this if you get this. :)

    • Hi Jessica
      The most effective method would be to spray any existing grasses and weeds with Roundup Extended Control Grass & Weed Killer when the mid day temps start to get into the 50’s on a regular basis. This product not only kills existing weeds when they are growing (that is why it is best to have higher temps than you get in winter in Indiana), it also has a preventer to kill weed and grass seeds as they sprout. Not sure how well the salt method would work. If you put it down heavy enough to kill existing growth and keep new plants from germinating, I would think you may get some runoff when the salt dissolves that could injure other plants in the area. Good Luck.

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