Preventing Broadleaf Weeds

by April Reinhardt
(last updated April 1, 2015)

If you have patches of weeds growing in your lawn, chances are they are of the broadleaf variety. Mild temperatures in the spring stimulate growth of broadleaf weeds such as chickweed, dandelion, and clover. During the hot seasons of summer and early fall, your lawn might become overrun with broadleaf varieties such as button weed and wood sorrel.

Yet some broadleaf weeds are introduced into a lawn area as groundcover since they can thrive even under adverse weather conditions. Such broadleaf weeds include certain clovers, thistle, and ground ivy. When those broadleaf groundcovers start to encroach upon grasses and flower beds, however, you'll need to prevent their growth. Whatever type of broadleaf weeds you find in your yard, there are measures that you can take to prevent them from emerging. Here are some great tips for preventing broadleaf weeds:

  • Fertilizer. Apply fertilizer to your lawn and monitor the water supply to create the most advantageous growing conditions for your lawn, subsequently starving out the weeds.
  • Mowing. Mowing your lawn often, on a schedule, to an appropriate height is an effective means for controlling weed growth. Since each type of grass thrives with an ideal height to encourage strong growth, mow your lawn before it gets too long, but don't mow it too short. That way, the grass will grow better than the weeds, as long as it is fertilized and watered adequately.
  • Dig. If you've only a few weeds to control, simply dig them up, making sure that you remove the entire root system.
  • Pre-Emergent Herbicides. Use a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring and late winter to control clovers. To control thistle, use a pre-emergent herbicide or wait until the thistle dries and then simply pull it. You can control ivy ground cover by pulling them by hand, spot-treating with herbicides, or applying pre-emergent herbicides broadly.
  • Shade. Since most broadleaf weeds thrive in shady areas, consider trimming your tree branches and tall hedges to allow the sunshine to spread over broader portions of your lawn.
  • Post-Emergent Herbicides. If you've already a lawn full of luxuriant broadleaf weeds, it won't do any good to use a pre-emergent herbicide. Instead, use a post-emergent herbicide and apply it all over the entire weed.

When using any type of herbicide, use liquid sprays rather than granular types. Liquids absorb faster through the leaves of existing broadleaf weeds, killing them quicker. When you apply herbicides, use the least amount of water pressure possible when using in conjunction with your water hose and a sprayer. If you use greater water pressure, the chemicals can spill over to your flower beds and other plants, killing them as well as the weeds.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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