What can I do about all those weeds in my yard now?
This is a call I get quite often this time of year. Our warm season lawns have gone dormant and the only green we see is the spotty appearance of winter weeds popping up throughout the dormant brown colored turf canopy. Most of these weeds are what we term as winter annuals.
Weeds that germinate from seed in the fall and then grow throughout the winter, have quite large producing flowers and seed heads before they die in the spring. They leave a new supply of seed for the next fall. Most typical are annual bluegrass, chickweeds, henbit, and lawn burweed (sticker weed).
Your lawn may also be infested with perennial winter weeds such as wild garlic, dandelions, clover, plantains, etc. which come back each fall from underground plant parts such as bulbs, corms, or rhizomes. Regardless of the winter weeds your lawn may contain, they are much easier to control now while they are small and less noticeable.
There are several good post-emergence type herbicides available to control these winter weeds without any injury to your dormant lawn. For further information on specific herbicides look for the Extension publication Weed Control Guidelines for Mississippi.
Published December 18, 2006
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org