SPECIAL TOPICS: WEEDS

WEEDS in your St. Augustine Lawn

Weeds, weeds, and more weeds!!! It’s a never ending problem in Florida lawns.

Weeds in our area can be broken down into 3 categories, Broad-Leafed Weeds, Grassy Weeds and Sedges. Each group of weeds takes specific week killers to control the target weeds. The best way to minimize your potential for weed problems is to have your lawn develop as thick as possible. The first step in weed control is getting your lawn to grow as thickly as possible.

The weed killers that are available to control weeds in residential lawns are referred to as selective weed killers. This means that at the labeled rate the product should kill the weeds and not kill the grass. You MUST follow the label directions exactly! At higher than labeled rates weed killers are no longer selective. This means they will kill everything, weeds AND the good grass, so be careful! Many of the wed killers are especially dangerous to you and your grass in high temperatures, especially over 80 degrees. Read and follow all labeled directions carefully!

The most common weeds in lawns in our area are Broad-leafed weeds. Dollar weed, Oxalis, Clover and Match weed are just a few of the common weeds in our area. Virtually all the over the counter (OTC) selective weed killers available in local mass market garden centers target only the Broad-leafed weeds. Despite what you may hear in commercials no one product will control all the weeds that effect our lawns. Many times controlling broad-leafed weeds is a combination of improving growing conditions and chemical weed control. For instance, Dollar Weed grows best in wet, acidic soils, so reducing water or improving drainage is the first step to take for Dollar weed control. Next get your soil tested for pH. If the pH is less than 6.0 you may want to treat with soil sulfur to raise the soil pH. Lastly look to the chemical control options.

Many weeds like Match Weed are very difficult to control with any OTC product. You will very likely need a professional lawn spraying company to control some weeds. Royal Palm Nurseries has a lawn spraying division and we would be happy to provide you with a Free Lawn Analysis and price quote for lawn spraying.

Sedges are present in virtually every lawn in our area and aren’t really a threat to St Augustine lawns. They like moist, highly organic, poorly drained soils so changing these cultural conditions is the best way to get control of Sedges. Effective Sedge control products are not currently available to homeowners. The products that are available are expensive and only marginally effective. We recommend a professional pest control firm for control of Sedges. Royal Palm Nurseries has a lawn spraying division and we would be happy to provide you with a Free Lawn Analysis and price quote for lawn spraying including Sedge control.

For the Grassy weeds Crabgrass (many times incorrectly referred to as Carpet Grass or Blanket Grass) is very common in lawns in our area. The secret to crabgrass control is preventing the weed seed from germinating. Crabgrass is a very tropical weed, so it gets injured or killed in most areas east of US 41 almost every winter in our area. If an effective pre-emergent weed control product is applied to the lawn in the early spring you can prevent the crabgrass seed from germinating. Our lawn spraying program includes 2 pre-emergent weed killer applications each growing season. Royal Palm Nurseries has a lawn spraying division and we would be happy to provide you with a Free Lawn Analysis and price quote for lawn spraying. For more information on Crabgrass control go to Crabgrass Information Sheet for more information.

Hybrid and wild Bermuda grass (very wirey golf course grass) is a serious problem in many St Augustine lawns. Encroachment of Bermuda grass into lawns fronting on golf courses is very common, but most lawns infested with Bermuda grass have been infested when the sod was originally planted in the lawn. There has been a lot of infestation of St Augustine sod with Bermuda at local sod farms. Unfortunately there is no way to kill Bermuda Grass in St Augustine lawns. We recommend killing areas of the lawn that become significantly infested with Bermuda with RoundUp? and sod or plug the area. Several applications of RoundUp? may be necessary to completely kill the Bermuda grass.

Many of the weeds in your lawn come from your flowerbeds, so weed control in the flowerbeds is crucial to keeping weeds out of your lawn area. RoundUp® is the best way to control weeds in your flowerbeds. Regular spraying will go along way toward keeping your lawn grass weed free. Weeds encroaching from vacant lots can also be an issue. Maintaining a 6 inch dead area between the vacant lot and your lawn can help prevent many creeping weeds from invading your lawn.