Getting rid of winter weeds

Published 10:06 pm Saturday, October 4, 2008

If you believe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and you hate winter weeds, then listen up. Now’s the time to put out preemergent herbicides to control those unwelcomed winter visitors. A preemergent herbicide is simply a weed killer that stops weed seeds from germinating. Imagine stopping those dandelions before they even have a chance to rear their ugly heads.

Preemergent herbicides are applied in late winter/early spring to control summer weeds and late summer/early fall to control winter weeds. If your yard has a history of winter weed woes then now’s the time to take action. It is getting late in the year to fertilize so avoid using weed and feed products that combine herbicides with fertilizers. Instead reduce your winter weed population by simply applying a preemergent herbicide. Always read and follow pesticide labels correctly. Application rates can be found on the labels and should be followed. Of course, if your lawn does not have a history of winter weed problems then you can breathe a sigh of relief, no need to fix what isn’t broken.

Any time you use an herbicide make sure it can be used on your turfgrass type. It is also important to know what problem weeds you have because different products control different weeds.

At right is a list of active ingredients found in commonly used preemergent herbicides. The turfgrasses to which they can be applied and the winter weeds they control are also listed.

For additional information on this and other home gardening topics please visit the Alabama Cooperative Extension System Home and Garden website ( ) or contact Taylor Hatchett at 205.646.4123 or