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This is a reminder for all of you who are seeing this weed (see photo) in your lawn now in late winter/early spring. Circle early September on your calendar as the time to put down a preventer to keep Poa Annua from growing in your lawn next year.
Lawn weeds like Poa Annua (Annual Bluegrass), Common Chickweed, and Henbit are “winter annuals”. This means they germinate in fall, thrive in spring and then die during summer, but not before scattering seed so the cycle can start all over again in fall. (“summer annuals”, like Crabgrass, Foxtail and Barnyardgrass, have the opposite cycle of germinating in spring, thriving in summer and dying just prior to winter, but not before scattering seed so the cycle can start all over again in spring.)
So if you vow now that you want to stop these winter annual weeds from invading your lawn, you need to pick up a bag Scotts Halts or Scotts Turf Builder with Halts so you can treat your lawn around Labor Day. (This is the right product to use even though it says prevents crabgrass. Apply it in early spring to prevent crabgrass and other summer annuals. Apply it in early fall to prevent Poa Annua and other winter annuals.)
The first line of defense against weeds taking over your lawn is to make your lawn denser and thicker by feeding regularly during the year. Three to five feedings a year really helps your grass crowd out young weeds before they get a chance to get a toehold. (Note: Centipede Grass should only be fed two or three times a year.) The second defense is to mow your grass at one of the higher settings on your mower.
Here are options for killing weeds in your Southern lawn:
Option 1: If you want to kill weeds while feeding your lawn here are your product options:
Scotts Bonus S Southern Weed & Feed – use on St. Augustinegrass (including Floratam), Zoysiagrass, Bermudagrass, and Centipedegrass. Apply to a wet or dry lawn, however for best results apply to moist grass. This product has been recently improved and is now the most effective Bonus S ever for controlling Dollarweed and Clover.
Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed – use on all Southern Lawns except St. Augustinegrass. Apply to a moist lawn and do not water for 24 hours after spreading.
Option 2: If you want to kill weeds without feeding your lawn here are product options:
Ortho Nutsedge Killer (this spray kills other weeds beside Nutgrass) – Can be used on any Southern lawn
Ortho Weed-B-Gon MAX for Southern Lawns – Can be used on any Southern lawn except Floratam (a type of St. Augustinegrass)
Ortho Weed-B-Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer – Can be used only on these southern lawns: Bermudagrass and Zoysia.
If you have lawn weed questions contact the Scotts Help Center.
Last year’s crabgrass is dead and gone after any heavy frosts over the past few months. The seeds those plants left behind practically everywhere are raring to grow as your soil warms up. The good news is you can stop them from growing by putting down a Scotts Halts barrier that prevents them from geminating. Even if you live in parts of the deep south and southern California where heavy frosts do not occur, you can prevent new crabgrass plants from growing from seed in your soil.
The big question: When to apply? Experts say crabgrass germination starts when your soil temperature reaches 55 degrees for several days. Here is a link to a soil temperature tracking map that provides you up to date soil temps for your area. You can also look at a 5-day projection of soil temps for your geography by using the pull-down menu at that web site. It is better to get your preventer down too early than too late.
Here are some timing guidelines for those of you living in areas where it is important to spread your preventer over the next several weeks:
For Florida: Apply by Mid-February. If you have dormant (brown-looking) Bermudagrass, Zoysia or Centipede grass you should use Scotts HALTS without the Turf Builder. If you have St. Augustinegrass you should use Scotts Halts now and then feed your lawn later with Scotts Bonus S Weed and Feed.
For other Mid-South States: Apply by March 1. If you have dormant (brown-looking) Bermudagrass, Zoysia or Centipede grass you should use Scotts HALTS without the Turf Builder. If you have Fescue, use Scotts Turf Builder with Halts.
For Texas: Apply by March 1 in South Texas, by March 15 in rest of the state. If you have dormant (brown-looking) Bermudagrass, Zoysia or Centipede grass you should use Scotts HALTS without the Turf Builder. If you have St. Augustinegrass you should use Scotts Halts and then feed your lawn later with Scotts Bonus S Weed and Feed.
For California: Apply by March 1 in Southern California and by March 15 in Northern California. Use Scotts Turf Builder with Halts.
If you have lawn questions here is a link to contact our Scotts Help Center.
These three blog postings were read by the most people during 2014. I am also giving you a link to my favorite blog posting of all time:
Number 1: Kill Weeds without Killing Your Good Grass
“Help! The weeds are winning!” You dig them… they grow back. You treat them… but you killed your good grass too. You put down a crabgrass preventer, but you still got dandelions now. You ask, “So… what’s the secret to killing weeds? (Click here to read more)
Number 2: When Do You Put Down GrubEx?
“If you have ever had grub problems in your lawn, it’s for darn sure you don’t want them again. So this time of year I get the question: “When is the best time to spread GrubEx on my lawn?” (Click here to read more)
Number 3: Feed, Weed or Seed?
“What should I do first: put down seed or kill my weeds? This is the question I get more than any other this time of year. Here is the way I try to layout the options:” (Click here to read more)
My favorite blog posting of all time: Lawn Humor
“I am here to dispel the myth that those of us who have built our life’s work around watching grass grow do not have a sense of humor. We love a good laugh as much as the next person. In fact, the lawn and garden experts who have staffed our Help Center for more than 50 years have told me numerous stories of callers who made them laugh. Here are a few that I think will bring a smile to your face:” (Click here to read more)
Thanks for visiting my blog. Keep coming back this year for more of my lawn and garden tips.
When people come together in a garden, or gather on a green space, something good happens: the world and their place in it becomes more amazing, more special, more powerful. With urban and economic development at an all-time high, we desperately need to protect and grow our collective connection to nature, to the environment and to each other.
Starting in 2011 and through our 150th anniversary in 2018, ScottsMiracle-Gro® is supporting the creation of more than 1,000 community gardens and green spaces in the markets we serve. We’re finding neighborhoods in need of green spaces, schools in need of places to play, and communities in need of beautification and revitalization.
Deadline for this year’s GRO1000 application submission is February 13, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Grants are awarded based on community need, scope of project and long-term sustainability of the green space. Click here for more details.
This Saturday morning around 8:00 am EST, I will be a guest on my friend Tom MacCubbin’s Florida “Better Lawns and Garden” Radio Show. (Click here to open his radio show website where you will be able to listen in.)