Fall herbicide care

Thu. Sep. 24, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Fall herbicide care

Most of you know that I’m not much for chemicals, however, I know that many folks still want a lawn that’s more grass than weeds. Now through late October is the best time to put down a herbicide for those broadleaf weeds.

These plants are actively growing making it a good time to get at them.  The broadleaf weeds include dandelion, plantain lily, white clover and wild violets. 

Plantain lily are the broadleaf plants
In case you didn’t know!
wild violets
My clover lawn 2019 photo by Teri Knight

After treatment, these guys will begin to die off and by Spring, they should be completely gone.

I kind of like the wild violets, and you know about my clover, but oh, those irritating dandelions! Pretty flowers until they’re NOT!  Unless you plan on using the leaves for salad greens or making dandelion root coffee.  There are also a lot of other ways to eat dandelions (sans chemicals!) Allrecipes-dandelion

Should you choose to get rid of the “weeds” with a herbicide, remember to follow directions precisely. That link will take you to Iowa State U Ext. and more on the type of herbicide to use. Be sure to know what those weeds are!

If you want to treat Creeping Charlie, wait till after the first hard frost.  Don’t get nervous if you see Creeping Charlie start to grow again in the Spring, it should die off. Although I won’t guarantee that!  It’s a tenacious one!  Part of me thinks the flowers are very cute and the scalloped leaves add a fun contrast to the blades of grass.  That’s the story I’m sticking to anyway!  PS, I do not recommend using borax, you can kill your lawn for a long time if you don’t do it precisely right.

Creeping Charlie – come on, they do have cute little flowers!

And a reminder that this is NOT the time of year to worry about crabgrass or other annual weedy grasses as the first frost will generally take them out. 

The other nice feature at this time of year is that our perennial lawn grasses ARE still growing which means they have an opportunity to fill in where you’ve killed the broadleaf weeds.  If you use a liquid herbicide you can add a little dishwashing liquid to the mixture.  This will help hold the liquid on the leaves longer providing better coverage.