The rise of winter weeds in lawn

Author: Stefan Palm   Date Posted: 24 May 2016 

Autumn, leading into winter is a prime time for weeds to begin emerging in your lawn. With the extra moisture around and with less competition from summer active lawns (as they go into winter dormancy), weeds find the conditions irresistible. As the weather cools down, weed seeds and bulbs stored in the soil from previous seasons germinate and grow, reminding you once again how persistent they can be!

The most common winter weeds are winter grass, sour sobs and of course, the common broad leaf weeds like thistle, dandelion, creeping oxalis, clover and bindi eye.

There are some things that encourage excessive weeds like very low mowing, insufficient fertiliser and inadequate watering which can weaken the stand resulting in any bare spaces quickly being colonised by weeds. Ineffective control measures in previous years can also lead to weed numbers increasing. They do this by flowering and dropping their seeds in the soil, ready to germinate when the conditions are right.

Most weeds in a lawn containing couch, buffalo or kikuyu grass are easily controlled by spraying the stand with a selective herbicide. The type of herbicide you use will depend on the weed you are targeting. For broad leaf weeds, use a product containing MCPA and Bromoxynil such as Paul Munns B6. This sort of chemical will target the weeds and will not affect the grass you are spraying. Many (but not all) of the winter growing grassy weeds can also be controlled by using a selective herbicide containing propyzamide such as David Grays Winter Grass Killer. Follow the instructions carefully and make sure you spray evenly over the area. As this chemical is soil activated, it is important that the sprayed area is watered within 24 hours of spraying.

To some degree, weeds will always be an uninvited guest in your lawn at different times of the year but with some vigilance, you can get on top of them. For more advice on controlling or identifying weeds, give us a call on 8298 0555


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