How To Stop Fall Weeds From Invading Your Maryland Lawn
Nothing ruins the look of a lawn more than those sneaky, pesky vile weeds. They creep up out of nowhere and take over your lush, green turf like a wine stain on a white carpet. These persistent, ugly plants rob your grass and garden beds of vital nutrients they need to survive. And though the temperatures outside are getting cooler here in Maryland, broadleaf weeds are getting their second wind. It is during this time of year they have their second bloom. The seeds can come from previous weeds already there, from bird droppings, or even blown in by the wind from neighboring yards. Regardless of how they came, these thieves are waiting till the warm temperatures return next spring to invade your lawn.
These annoying plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all share one common trait, their leaves. Broadleaf weeds have broad leaves with a large central vein down the center with a bunch of smaller veins branching off from that. They can be easily identified because they don’t resemble grass.
Common Broadleaf Weeds Found in Maryland
Fortunately, there are a few ways you can get ahead of the weeds and make next year’s spring lawn care a bit easier. Here are a few fall weed control tips to help you reduce the number of weeds in your lawn and prevent future crops from sprouting up.
Weed Control Tips
Stop Weeds From Germinating
If you have weeds that have already started flowering and gone to seed but haven’t yet dropped their seed heads, now is the time to head out to the garden and remove the seed heads. Use a pair of pruners to cut off weed seed heads and drop them in a plastic bag for disposal or burning. Don’t use them for composting because they will spread again and could regrow.
Spread Corn Gluten Meal
Corn gluten meal is a by-product of corn processing. When distributed over the soil’s surface, it forms a barrier that prevents seeds from germinating and growing. Sprinkle corn gluten meal around your perennial beds, in shrub and tree beds, and anywhere else you need to control weed growth. Don’t use it in any of your vegetable gardens because it could stop those seeds from growing as well. Ideally, corn gluten meal works best when applied in both spring and fall when the soil temperatures are around 55 degrees.
Using mulch is a great way to help combat and prevent weeds. It acts as a barrier and smothers out existing weeds by cutting off their air supply and preventing sunlight from getting through. In the same way, it also helps to prevent new weeds from forming because they do not have sunlight or oxygen to grow.
If you rake and collect your own leaves, you can use them as mulch in your flower gardens. First, cut down any existing weeds as close to the ground as possible. Next, spread the newspaper on the ground around your garden. Then, shred your leaves and pile them two to three inches thick on top of the newspaper. Acting as a layer of mulch, it will smother out existing weeds and prevent new ones from germinating.
Pre-Emergent Weed Control
One of the most effective ways to combat weeds is through the use of fall pre-emergent weed control. It is a spray that is applied to your grass in the fall and early spring. This spray creates a barrier over your lawn, neutralizing the weed seeds before they ever have a chance to sprout. As the name suggests, pre-emergent weed control only works on weeds before they emerge. It will not work on weeds that already exist. Using pre-emergent in the fall and again in the early spring will decrease the number of weeds that pop up in the coming spring.
Stop Fighting Weeds and Allow Royal Greens To Win the Battle With Comprehensive Lawn Care
Royal Greens Professional Lawn Care knows and understands the different weeds that grow here in Maryland and how to prevent and control them. We offer several different lawn care programs, both traditional and organic. Our traditional lawn care programs are broken up into three packages, each containing control of broadleaf weeds. Our three organic programs do not contain broadleaf weed control for obvious reasons. However, two of them contain corn gluten. And for an additional charge, we can spot treat weeds as needed.