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LET’S TALK GARDENING – Weeds, A Never Ending Story

By Doug Hensel
Doug's Blog

SUMMER IS THE MOST STRESSFUL SEASON OF THE YEAR FOR LAWNS – EXCEPT FOR OUR LAWN WEEDS

Here we are in mid-August. August is an important month in lawn care preparation. September will be here soon. But, we need to use this month to get our lawns in the best position possible before we think of seeding and fertilizing in September.

Have A Plan To Deal With Weeds

Weeding is a never-ending chore. Weeds can grow quickly. It is very important to identify the weed or weeds that you are wanting to control. Some of the more common noxious weeds that we deal with here in Central Virginia are crabgrass, dandelion, nutsedge, poa anna, lespedeza, bittercress, henbit, chickweed, wild violets, spotted spurge, wild onions. As you can see from this shortlist of weeds we have you can see why it is important to understand the life cycle and growth habit of the weed. Having this knowledge will help you determine how to manage it. In our area, the obnoxious weeds in our lawn can be annual, biennial, or perennial. Annual weeds, such as crabgrass, have a life cycle of one year and usually reproduce only by seeds. Biennial weeds live more than one year and less than two years. Perennial weeds, such as Henbit, come back year after year.

Too many homeowners think that everything can be done at the same time—seed, fertilizer, and a weed killer. But, as I have learned over the years you can NOT use any weed-killing herbicide products when seeding and fertilizing because the weed killer will keep the new grass seed from ever germinating.

Prevent Weeds By Keeping Your Lawn Healthy

Keep in mind that having a thick, healthy turf can go a long way with weed control. Weeds tend to grow in bare, spotted areas of the lawn where they have space to grow. A thick, lush turf goes a long way in keeping our weed problem in check.

A part of keeping a lush lawn this time of year is to mow high and keep our turf watered during hot dry periods. Mowing high lets the blades of grass shade the soil and keep the soil cooler which allows roots to remain happy.

Now is a good time to do a SOIL TEST. A soil test will tell you everything about your soil—what it needs to correct in order to establish and maintain a healthy lawn. I can’t stress enough the importance of a soil test. We sell soil test kits here. Come see us for one. Once you put the kit into the mail you should have the results in 7 to 10 days. A pretty quick turnaround.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Next month on Saturday, September 18, as part of our FALL GARDENER’S FAIR, we are conducting a free seminar on lawn care. Our special guests will be Dr. Mike Goatley, Virginia Cooperative Extension Turfgrass Specialist and we will have Mr. Kip Connelly, President of Prescription Soil & Plant Nutrient  Management. The three of us will conduct a great educational opportunity for you on lawn care. This is an event you will not want to miss. Bring a quart-size bag of soil with you and we will help you with the SOIL TEST KIT!! Bring your lawnmower blades as well. One of our special guests will be SHARP AGAIN and they will be here sharpening tools, knives, scissors, mower blades, and more!

Here’s a pro tip: drop off your tools with SHARP AGAIN to be sharpened while you are attending the lawn seminar—a win-win situation!

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4 thoughts on “LET’S TALK GARDENING – Weeds, A Never Ending Story

  1. Hey Doug, will you be restocking trees this fall? I prefer fall planting so the roots can really establish and benefit from fall and winter rains. I put in three small flowering trees this spring from a late March shipment, after a dry June and a lot of watering the rains came and they seem to be thriving.
    Prefer a head start. Looking for Moon Japanese maples and Paperleaf, Norway and Sugar Maples.

  2. Deborah,
    Good Afternoon. FALL IS FOR PLANTING. Yes, we will have trees available for the fall planting season. Maybe not everything you are looking for but we will have a nice selection for you to see. Come see us in a couple of weeks or whenever you are ready to do some planting. Doug

  3. What is best attack on an area where grass is not growing! All around my birdfeeder there is absolutely NO grass! Ok in dry summer, but when it rains it is like a lake! The winter months is bad too because of rain or snow. Thanks for any help

  4. Nancy,
    Good Morning.
    If I had to guess as to what is going on in this area of your lawn is poor draining soil that is too wet and very compacted. Also, it could be nutrients in the soil in this area if not good enough to grow nice, sturdy turf. I would suggest having a soil test done of this area. Right now I would do a core aeration of the soil to help loosen the compaction of the soil that will then allow oxygen to get into your soil. September is the time that you want to over seed and fertilize. But, before you do this I strongly suggest that you get to know you pH level of the soil, do a core aeration, and do a soil test immediately. Let me know if you have any further questions. Doug

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