Turf Weed Control Begins Now

Posted On January 29, 2024— Written By
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

As the New Year rolls around you may be making your Spring to do list or at least thinking about what you may change from last year. Although you may not be mowing grass, but if you hate  to see weeds in your yard in the Spring, this is a good time to begin their control. Generally, you will see winter annuals this time of year. There are numerous species but several of the most common are chickweed, henbit, dandelion and burr weed. These began germination back in the fall and are showing  up now. Post emergence control is possible and it will give you a head start on a weed free lawn this spring. Most winter annuals can be controlled with one of three auxin herbicides, 2,4-D, dicamba or MCPP. Fortunately, these can be purchase in a single 3 way product such as Trimec and Speed Zone for the best control of multiple weeds. For Centipede  and St. Augustine request the Southern formulation as these grasses are more sensitive. Be sure to read and follow the label directions closely to avoid injury to your turf grass.

Proper application is critical for good results. These are contact herbicides and you need good coverage of the plant for best results. Choose the correct nozzle for the application. If you are using a hand sprayer, remember you can adjust the nozzle output by rotating the nozzle on some models. If you are using a pull type sprayer, calibration is a little more involved requiring knowledge of the nozzle size, nozzle spacing and the speed you will be traveling. For more information call the Bertie County Cooperative Extension Office.

Application timing is also important. Best control comes when the weeds are small, so don’t wait too late. Also, some species such as the burrweed will begin to make seed early. Once this happens you may kill the plant but the seed for next year will already be in place and will haunt you next year. Plan to make your application in January or early February at the latest. Most warm season grasses are in full dormancy at this time.

Temperature is also an important component. Wait until the temperature is above 50 degrees before the application. Any lower and the activity of the herbicide is decreased and /or prolonged.

Finally think about your target. These herbicides as well as others are labelled for specific uses. Off target movement of the spray or drift (when mist or spray droplets float in the air and land on unintended plants) can cause injury to adjacent plants and trees or even those of your neighbor. Remember we mentioned that these herbicides belong to a group called auxins. This group will drift easily even under the best conditions. The result can be devastating to you or your neighbor’s garden causing deformation and/or death to plants such as tomatoes,  grapes and even fruit trees. Remember these things to limit drift of your herbicides:

*The more wind the easier the spray droplets move off target. Plan to spray early in the   morning when the wind is generally calm.

*Droplet size matters. Smaller droplets move easier in the wind. Adjust your nozzles to use coarser droplets. Hand sprayers are usually adjustable. For pull type, replace the nozzles with ones that deliver coarser droplets.

*Lower your pressure  higher pressure generally creates smaller droplets. Backing off the pressure will also help reduce droplet size.

*Spray before vulnerable plants are established (i.e. garden) or while they are dormant.