The Benefits of Adopting a Well-Rounded Turf Care Program
The grass is always greener on the other side…or is it? While the grass may appear greener, it may not actually be grass at all. There is one type of green growth many fail to recognize or consider: turf weeds.
So, what’s the big deal? If all the turf areas on my site are green, all is well, right? Not necessarily. Like grass, many turf weeds are, in fact, green. Some are extremely easy to spot, while others may take a trained eye to point out.
You may wonder if weeds in your turf are really an issue. I’ll keep things simple and give you two main reasons why turf weeds are highly undesirable. The first is this: weeds in the turf “steal” available nutrients and water from the healthy, desirable grass. This can cause the grass to weaken and become more susceptible to bigger issues like drought and disease. Another reason is that many turf weeds are just downright unsightly. There is a reason the expression “growing like a weed” exists. Many weeds grow extremely quickly when fueled by a combination of heat and rain, much faster than the grass grows. This can cause a lack of uniformity and makes the turf look disheveled and unkempt between mowing visits, especially if visits are delayed due to rain. Remember, rain plus heat equals weeds.
Luckily, there are ways to combat those pesky weeds. A good turf care program will accomplish three main things: the prevention of new weeds, the elimination of existing weeds, and the strengthening of the healthy turf.
Firstly, a preemergent herbicide should be applied in the early spring to prevent weeds before they even begin to present themselves. This is by far the most efficient way to control weed issues; however, some weeds are bound to make their way through. Also, preemergent will not kill existing weeds.
For existing weeds or weeds that are able to sneak past the preemergent application, selective herbicides should be used to combat and kill the weeds without harming the healthy grass.
In addition to the various herbicide applications, any well-rounded turf program will include multiple rounds of fertilization. Fertilizer contains macronutrients, like nitrogen, which help condition the soil. In turn, the grass is set up for success. The grass will be able to grow a stronger root system, which directly contributes to more efficient water intake. This helps the lawn to grow much thicker and fuller overall, which is an important factor in crowding out/choking out weeds.
A turf program takes time to be completely effective – it is not an overnight wonder or a miracle cure. However, if followed consistently over time, the change in the appearance of your turf can be night and day. You too can have uniform turf that even golf courses would be proud of. If you have never considered a turf care program, it is never too late to start reaping the benefits.