Let’s talk about the unsung hero of lawn care. In the lawn care community, you hear a lot about the importance of pre-emergence, the hidden hero in weed control. Working when you least expect to stop weeds before they appear.
But sometimes in our efforts to promote the importance of pre-emergent too much, we ignore the major benefits and necessity of post-emergent.
Don’t get us wrong, Pre-emergent is important and an absolute necessity in terms of weed control but preemergent alone will never achieve a weed-free lawn.
It works in tandem with other crucial parts of the process; Pre-emergent, Post Emergent, and regular routine and maintenance.
Each step plays a crucial part. It is important to stay on a consistent mowing and watering schedule in order to keep your lawn healthy and encourage new, healthy growth. It’s important to use preemergent as well.
How does post-emergent work?
In order to understand the importance of post-emergent, it is important to understand how post-emergent works.
Yet, that understanding is made difficult when there are so many different post-emergent options that all act differently.
There is an overwhelming amount of options for post-emergents. If you can see the weed, it’s easy to determine the need to use post-emergent. But then the difficulty is then determining what type of post-emergent will be best suited.
The timing is important when choosing the right type of product to control weeds. Of course, the goal is to have a weed-free lawn.
It would be amazing if pre-emergent stopped all weeds before they even appear, but that is not the reality we live in. Weeds will come up throughout the year even after a full cycle of pre-emergents. At that point, as helpful as that product is, it becomes useless.
This is when post emergents should become your best friend. Only the right post-emergent is going to eliminate the weed before it has a chance to seed and spread across your lawn.
When you are looking at a shelf of products, it’s an all-new set of vocabulary. Here is a list of the main options for post emergents:
Selective vs Non-selective
Selective Post Emergent: Specifically formulated to target specific weeds while leaving your turf grass untouched. An example of selective weed control would be Strike Three weed control. It is specifically targeted to eliminate chickweed, dandelion, spurge, and many more weeds.
It is designed to be extremely effective at eliminating these weeds without harming your lawn. But this product will not eliminate other types of weeds like Nutsedge because it was never formulated to.
The great thing about that is you can broadcast a selective herbicide across your lawn and not risk harming your turfgrass. The negative is it will require a lot more research to determine if it will effective in targeting the weeds currently on your lawn.
Nonselective: Is formulated to eliminate any plant that it comes in contact with. It is extremely effective, but it will also harm your surrounding grass.
Any post-emergent with Glyphosate as an active ingredient, like Round-Up, is going to be non-selective.
The pro of a nonselective herbicide is that it is extremely effective. Nearly everything the product touches will be eliminated. The con is it will eliminate everything, including the turf grasses.
There is also controversy over the safety of specific active ingredients in non-selective herbicides.
Nevertheless, this type of post-emergent is a great post-emergent option to use in flower beds where, typically, both weeds and grass alike are unwanted.
Systemic vs. Topical
Systemic: Designed to be watered into the soil so the product can be absorbed with the root system of the weed.
This is the most common of the two options. It typically is the better option because it eliminates the weed from the root and ensures it won’t return.
But it does require more work since it needs to be watered in. But if you apply this in or right before rainfall, it is less work on your end!
Topical: This type of weed control is sometimes referred to as contact post-emergent.
Because it does not need to be watered in, there are typically quicker results than its systemic alternative but, it only controls the areas the product is directly applied to.
The product usually will only eliminate the visible parts plant itself but will leave the roots untouched.
If the weed only appears annually, like spurge or purslane, this is a viable option. But for perennial weeds like dandelion, dallisgrass, or clover, this would not be a great option.
Granular vs Liquid:
Granular: This refers to the form the product comes in. Granular fertilizer means the product is dry. Sometimes it comes as a powder and other times it is more like small pebbles. Because this product is visible, it is much easier to control the application.
Since the product is dry, it is much more difficult to control the application since there is no adhesion to the plant.
Of the two options, this would be a better option for the beginner DIY yard worker as they learn to control the application but we recommend graduating up to liquid as soon as possible.
Liquid: This refers to the state of the product: liquid. Although this is much more effective than the alternative, it requires quite a bit.
Firstly, it requires proper equipment. It requires a proper distributor to dispense the product. It also requires technique to get a good and effective application.
Don’t expect a miracle
If there was a once-and-done treatment for a lawn, we would be in a much greener world.
How much easier would life be if we could apply post-emergent once and all the weeds respond perfectly and whither away. But alas, that is not the world we live in.
Even with the right selection of weed control, it still is an incredible amount of work to upkeep a lawn and control weeds.
The best defense against weeds is to keep your yard healthy through proper watering, fertilizing, mowing and aeration paired with a great lineup of products and applications.
A healthy and happy turf will do a lot of work in achieving a weed-free lawn.
Let the experts put in the work
The weed control aspect of lawn care requires an enormous amount of effort, time, expertise, and money. It is a lot of work to regularly go out and identify the weed in the lawn, and be out regularly to treat the lawn.
It requires time sacrificed of your day to research products, buy them, and then treat your lawn. It requires the knowledge of the weed, products. And lastly, these products are not cheap, and neither is the equipment. Instead, consider asking a professional to do the work for you.
Gecko Green specializes in Lawn Care specifically in North Texas. We would love to take the burden off your shoulders and deliver amazing results.
All of our technicians have top-of-the-line equipment, years of knowledge, and the best products at their disposal. Call us today for a free quote!