Weed control during the summer months is much more of a science than what the average person would ever imagine. When the temperature starts to rise, weeds have evolved far enough to know that they need to do something to conserve water. Most weeds have found the most efficient way to accomplish this is to close their pores so that they can keep the moisture that they have inside them, and minimize the evaporation that would steal away the life giving element.
Now this isn’t just a fun trivia fact it is also the reason why the effectiveness of weed killing greatly diminishes when temperatures are regularly above 80° F. Those pores that close up when the temperature rises are the same pores that you want to be open so that when you spray a weed that the liquid will permeate through the pores and into the weed and start killing it.
Last week I sprayed part of my back field with weed killer at 10:30 pm, when the temperature was 74° F. That night the temperature got down to 53° and didn’t get back up to 80° until after 11:30 am the next day. I basically had 13 hours with the weeds keeping their pores open. Right next to the area that I sprayed the night before I sprayed the exact same thing on a spot of weeds at 9:30 am the next day when the temperature was 77° F, so that gave the weeds two hours with their pores open to be able to absorb the spray. After three days this is a photo of what the spot in my field looks like:
The part that was sprayed when the temperatures were starting to get hot looks as green and lush as it has all summer, and the spot that was sprayed when the temperatures were cooler is as dead as can be, and was easily able to be removed with a simple lawn rake and thrown into the burn pile. If you wait until the hot summer months to try and control your weeds, you are going to find yourself in a world of hurt (unless you are spraying them at 10:30 at night). The best way to control your weeds is to make sure that you are taking care of them way before the temperatures get too hot for someone to effectively spray them. This means that you need to be thinking about it during the spring, and especially using a pre-emergent so that you can stop any of the weed seeds from germinating in the first place.
If you waited too long this year and are just now getting around to spraying your weeds, then there is still some hope. You can spot treat certain weeds with a stronger formulation of weed killer, however if you do use this tactic, just know that it can be harmful to your lawn and could actually cause it to burn up, so it needs to be done sparingly. When the temperatures start falling this year and stay under 80° on a regular basis, get the weeds sprayed as soon as possible so that you can minimize the effect that they could have on your lawn. The other thing that you can do to help your lawn kill weeds naturally even during the hot months of the summer, is to make sure that you are creating a healthy soil base for your grass to grow. There are few more effective ways to have a beautiful lawn than to make sure that your soil is healthy and promotes the growth of your lawn naturally so that your grass can overrun the weeds instead of the other way around. This is done by regularly recharging your soil with organic materials instead of with chemicals that just put a temporary band-aid on your lawn problems.
Still Having Issues? Call a Professional Lawn Care Company
If you need help with controlling your weeds or recharging your soil just contact our office. Organic Solutions, Inc! has over 20 years of experience making lawns in the Treasure Valley look better, and weeds in the Treasure Valley look worse. Organic Solutions is your best choice for lawn care in the Treasure Valley!