Don't panic

Don't panic

Spring weeds are popping up early, but don't jump the gun on applications.

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April 26, 2016
Kate Spirgen
Weed Control Essentials

Last fall’s warm fall weather means spring weeds are popping up earlier than usual. The long fall growing season means perennials are already mature, and already blooming.

“We’re even seeing some early plantains, some annual-type plants that germinated last fall, so they’ve made it through the winter and they’re actually a fairly decent size already,” says Chris Lemcke, technical director of Weed Man USA.

But don’t panic, Lemcke says. If you apply herbicide too early, when the weather is cool, weeds will take much longer to die and applications will miss annual weeds that pop up later in the season like oxalis and knotweed. That means revisits and wasted product.

“You need the warmer temperatures to make them disappear quicker so they’re growing very vigorously. I’ve seen people do weed control really early and when you come back at the time you really want to do the weed control, the weeds are still there. They’re sick and they’re dying but they’re still there. It just takes so much longer.”

Lemcke says that because it’s still cool now, it might take weeds a month to disappear. But when the weather warms up more and plants start growing faster, weeds will be gone within a couple of weeks.

Some customers may worry about weeds going to seed, but Lemcke says that’s going to happen regardless of when herbicide goes down. Plus, there are thousands of weed seeds in the average lawn no matter what you do.

"When you do an herbicide application, it will actually make the plant grow very vigorously and it will go to seed regardless," Lemcke says. "So if you're worried about them going to seed, don't worry about that. It's not a big deal."