Winter Weed Tips

 Pre-emergent Herbicides

  • Pre-emergent Herbicide for Tall Fescue lawns: Prepare to apply 0-0-7 with Stonewall to help create a weed-resistant barrier.
  • Pre-emergent Herbicide for Warm Season lawns: Prepare to apply 0-0-7 with Stonewall to help create a weed resistant barrier WITHOUT nitrogen fertilizer as it’s too early to fertilize warm season turf.

Post-emergent Herbicides

  • Post-emergent Broadleaf Herbicide for Tall Fescue: Weed Out with Q that comes in a concentrate or ready-to-use spray bottle. This is a post-emergent weed control product.
  • Post-emergent Broadleaf Herbicide for dormant well-established warm-season lawns (Zoysia and Bermuda): apply 2,4-D for control of winter broadleaf weeds that have emerged, such as henbit and dandelions. This is also a post-emergent product.

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Watering Schedule for Sod

There are many variables when it comes to the amount of time and schedule to water sod;therefore, we can’t tell you the exact amount of time to water and how frequently. On average you want at least an inch of water (covering all areas of sod) every other morning. How do I measure an inch of water? One way is to set out bowls/small containers(about the size of bowl in kitchen you eat cereal out of)  out in various spots in yard. The amount of time it takes the sprinkler to fill the bowl and inch high in water is the amount of time you want to set your sprinkler to.  If you plan on using a hose and sprinker you my notice one bowl in one part of yard fills faster to an inch, while another bowl in other part of yard isn’t filling up or not filling up as fast. This means you will need to move and/or adjust sprinkler to cover all areas of sod. If you have an installed sprinkler system you may need to adjust the sprinkler heads to better water all areas. If using bowls are not convenient for you, you can visually observe your sprinkler and make any adjustments or relocating sprinkler to cover all areas. You can lift up a piece of sod by the corner and if the bottom of sod (where the roots and dirt are located) is good and saturated then that is the right amount of time to water sod. Make sure you are not overwatering to the point of puddle of water forming. You may see some parts of the yard need less water than other parts. On average it takes 20 to 30 minutes to produce an inch or water.

It is best to water early in the morning and avoid watering later afternoon before dark– leaving grass saturated with water increases the chances of fungus and rot happening; however, watering a night is better than not watering at all. It is best not to water in the middle of day when the sun is the strongest: 1) sun evaporates more in full sun resulting in inefficient usage of water, 2) wet grass in full sun can potentially burn the grass blades. If you are to busy to water manually by physically walking outside to turn on the water, I would suggest getting a timer to attach to your water outlet. You can find a timer at most any home improvement store (Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Lowe’s, or your local gardening supplier) or talk to us prior to sod installation and we can get and install your timer. If you plan on have a large amount of sod installed, 10 or more pallets(5,000 square feet or more), and you don’t have time to manually move the hose/sprinkler setup to water all areas of yard, or not enough water pressure to link addition sprinklers to hose in other parts of yard, then having a sprinkler system would be a good investment.

The time of year and weather condition also effect how you water. You will not have to water as much in fall, winter, and early spring, as you would have to in the hot months. Depending on the amount rain fall you get you will most likely not have to water on rainy days. Timers (as mentioned in previous paragraph) typically have a “rain delay” sensors and can automatically know not to water on rainy days. Advanced sprinkler systems have a similar sensor for rain delays.

Once the root get established you can reduce the frequency of watering. It takes an average of 2 weeks for the grass to root to ground. You can test to see if grass is rooted by pulling up on a piece of sod (if rooted  it is harder to pull from ground and should here a plucking sound of roots pulled out of ground or tearing).

 

Weed Control

A common issue that arrises after installing sod in the first few months is crabgrass and invasion of other types of weeds. Before you invest your money in sod you must realize that weeds are always a threat and need to be prepared to control them either by hand picking them by the roots or using chemicals. Weed infestation does not mean your sod installation failed, it means you need to stay on top of it and keep it to a minimum while creating the conditions for your grass to thrive and choke the weeds out.  If you don’t have time or just hate doing yard work,  hiring a lawn service is the other option to  control weeds and keep them to a minimum. We offer weed control service if you live in a five my radius of our location. Every once in a while I get customers who expect a refund from the sod supplier, or want a refund on our sod installation labor because they see weeds popping up in the grass. Weeds are a part of nature and other plant species are trying to compete for survival;therefore, weed control is a part of ongoing maintenance just as cutting grass is part of normal maintenance. Ask any golf course or neighbor who has the perfect looking lawn, they will tell you that they have to invest in weed control to keep that perfect looking lawn.

Below a photos and descriptions of fertilizers and weed control herbicides I recommend as a last resort to control weeds. I say last resort because I encourage the environmentally conscious  approach to weed control like hand pulling weeds(much more labor intensive) and using vinegar to spray on weeds. Vinegar may take multiple application to have an effect on some weeds but it does work.

 

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Drive XLR8 (in photo above) is industrial grade crabgrass killer. This means instructions have to be followed carefully because it is concentrated and strong and could potentially damage surrounding grass if too strong or spray on surrounding grass.

 

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I use Scott’s Turf Builder (as seen in photo above) for customers who are trying to salvage their lawn. This really does a good job in greening up the grass and putting it in a high growth state helping grass expand and creep over and fill in bare spots. In the initial weed control visit I like to hand pull weeds (unless it is too unmanageable with too many weeds to pull and chemical is the only option) and then apply Turf Builder to help fill any gaps left by weed; as a result, choking out future weeds or at least keeping the weeds to a minimum.

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Image is another good concentrated herbicide used to kill nutsedge, that tall skinny grassy looking weed that pops out of grass, along with other common weeds.

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