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Wheeler: Weeds in the yard? Start treating now to lessen growth
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If you are like most of us, this is the time of year we all have something growing in the yard other than what we want to be growing.

I think having weeds come into a lawn after you have taken time to make it as pretty and lush as you can is Mother Nature’s way of reminding us that she is still in control.

Right now, the weeds we are seeing are called winter annual weeds. These include henbit, purple deadnettle, annual bluegrass and chickweed. At this point in time, there is not much you can do to kill them because they have already done their damage by producing seed that will germinate next fall.

But you can mow to make them a little less noticeable. The one good thing about all of these weeds is once it gets hot, they will die and not be a problem for the rest of the growing season.

The other group of weeds that are of concern for us in Hall County are the summer annual weeds. These weeds like crabgrass, lespedeza and prostrate knotweed can be prevented now with a good application of a pre-emergent herbicide to the lawn.

If not nipped now, their seeds will germinate in the coming weeks and will be much harder to control later.

A third group of weeds to consider are perennial weeds like Virginia buttonweed. Perennials are much harder to control and usually will take repeated applications of a herbicide.

Many times you will have to resort to digging out as much of the plant — roots and all — in order to get rid of them. Perennials not only reproduce by seed, but they also spread by their root system. This is what makes them very difficult to control.

No matter the type of weed you are trying to remove from your yard, always read and follow the label directions and prescribed rates of application.

If the chemical manufacturer can have you use more of their chemical, then they will because that means more sales of their products.

Also be aware of the weather conditions the day of and the days immediately after application. Applying in the wrong weather conditions can cause a failure of the treatment or contamination to your neighbor’s flowers or Lake Lanier.

Chemical treatments are just one tool for you to use in controlling weeds. Keeping a healthy lawn with a dense canopy will go a long way to reduce weed pressure.

Also, make sure you are mowing your lawn at the proper height. Applying water to your lawn is another way to keep your lawn strong and healthy.

If your grass needs it, water only once a week, applying 1 inch of water. This will encourage a deep root system and a dense carpet of grass.

If you have questions about lawn weed control, give me a call. I will be glad to help with your questions.

Michael Wheeler is county extension coordinator for the UGA Cooperative Extension in Hall County. Contact him at 770-535-8293, His column appears weekly and on