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Spring Lawn Weed Treatments

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

Spring is an ideal time to take out many types of lawn weeds. You can kill some of them before they even get going, and others, you can wipe out just as they're at the peak of their growth. Here are a few of the types of weeds you should target and what you need to do to send them packing.

Kill the right weeds this spring, and you can spare yourself a lot of trouble come summer and fall. Go after the following.
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Anyone who's dealt with it knows just how persistent and annoying crabgrass can be. You can spend all summer spot treating and digging out the nasty weed, or you can tackle the problem in the spring and spare yourself almost all of the hassle. A pre-emergence herbicide sprayed about two weeks before crabgrass germinates in your area will take care of crabgrass better than anything else.

Check with your local agricultural extension service to find out the right dates for your area if you plan on spraying yourself. If you have a lawn service provider, check to make sure they plan on treating your yard for crabgrass this spring.


Chickweed has virtually the same story as crabgrass. It's a pain if you let it get a foothold, but a good pre-emergence treatment in the spring will largely take care of the problem.

Assorted Annuals

A host of other lawn weeds that crop up annually like crabgrass and chickweed are also best sprayed in the spring. Here are just a few of them: purslane, sandbur, buttercup, goosegrass, witchgrass, and spurge.

Warning: Dandelions, Etc.

Lawn weeds of another variety, broadleaf perennials, like dandelions, also show up vigorously in the spring. While you may want to go after those little annoying yellow flowers at the beginning of the year, the best time to really get at them is the fall, when perennials like dandelions are storing away nutrients for the winter. They'll carry the herbicide right down to their roots and die just the way you want them to. You can fight the problem in the spring, but you won't really win the war until the fall. Get out early and treat the right weeds this spring, and you'll be much happier come summer.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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