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Beware the Sneaky Fall Weed Cycle

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

Ah, the sights and sounds of fall. Children scrambling aboard school buses, leaves beginning to turn, a hint of chill in the air, and that broad patch of winter annual weeds germinating on your lawn. You may have been diligent in weeding and lawn care through the summer, but just as you think the job's done, think again. Fall's the right time to bring on the post-emergence herbicides.

Most lawn care experts will tell you that there are significant pre-emptive strategies for quelling winter weeds. The first is proper mowing, watering, and hand weeding of your lawn during the spring and summer months to maintain a solid turf cover. If you've lacked diligence, then you may be looking for the chemical cure.
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Fall Weed Herbicides and Lawn Care

There are two standard types of weed killers that most homeowners deploy during the year, pre- and post-emergence herbicides. If by fall, you have a healthy crop of broadleaf weeds gently nodding in the breeze, you'll need the post-emergence application. Broadleaf weeds include button weed, wild garlic or onion, match weed, plantains, pennywort, and clover. Fall is also prime time for propagation of Japanese knotweed, trumpet creeper, and blackberry.

If you have a choice in the matter, it's safer all around to deploy selective post-emergence herbicides. With these, you spot-treat the broad-leaved weeds without damaging your lawn or nearby plants or trees you want to preserve -- that is, if you're extremely careful about applying it precisely on weeds in windless conditions.

Ingredients featuring 2,4-D are relatively safe for your lawn, but follow container directions to the letter. Apply the herbicide when your weeds are between two and four inches high, and re-apply about three weeks later to catch any seedlings that have plopped onto the lawn.



About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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