Weeds and Your Lawn
We all know that prevention is better cure, but this
section will help you when lawn weeds have become a problem. Early action is
the key to good weed treatment. Leave the weeds to spread over a season
or two and it will become difficult to repair the damage.
Do not use either lawn sand or chemical weed killer on new lawns. Wait
12 months for seed sown lawns and six months for turf / sod laid lawns.
Where lawn sand or chemical weed killer has been used on grass, do not
use the first cutting on the compost heap. Later cuttings can be used on
the compost heap but the compost should not be used for six months. Do
not use newly treated grass cuttings as a mulch around plants.
Lawn sand is more environmentally friendly than other chemical lawn weed
killers, so this should be the first choice. It is a mixture of ammonium
sulphate, iron sulphate and fine sand. It is used to kill a wide variety
of lawn weeds and is especially good at preventing and killing moss in lawns.
Additionally it provides a long term tonic for your lawn
and has a definite 'greening' effect. It is normally applied in late
spring but where moss is a problem it can also be applied in summer. Apply
when the weather is dry but it is liable to rain in the next day or so.
Water well if rain does not fall.
Lawn sand works because the powder clings to the rough
broad leaf grass and weeds whereas most of it slides off finer grasses.
Where the powder clings to vegetation, it severely scorches it causing
damage. When the powder enters the soil it stimulates growth and causes
the grass to become greener.
Lawn sand is available ready mixed at most
garden centres, just ask for lawn sand. If you need to buy it online (often expensive
because it is heavy), it is available from Wilkinson's (click
here for their UK page).
CHEMICAL WEED KILLER
Some weeds such as dandelion, plantain, hawkweed and buttercups will not
be deterred by lawn sand especially if they are well established. In
these cases you may want to use a chemical weed killer. There are
several varieties on the market and most well-known brands do the job
The best time of the year is late spring to early
summer when the weeds are showing strong growth. Choose a warm day with little or no wind to apply
the treatment. It is important that the leaves of the grass are not wet
at the time of treatment because this will dilute the effect. At the
same time, the soil beneath the grass should be moist not bone dry.
Study the instructions carefully, because some brands recommend that you
do not mown the lawn for a few days beforehand.
at least 3 days after application before cutting your lawn again. For
most weeds a single application is normally sufficient, but some weeds
may need a second application.
SPOT WEED KILLERS
Spot weed killers are useful where the number of weeds is low but they
are difficult to remove entirely by digging them out. They come in handy
applicators which enable the chemicals to be smeared on the surface of
individual weeds or in small spray cans.