Probably 90% of all attempts to kill lawn weeds are made in the spring. I can understand why, after all that’s when we see the oceans of sunny yellow flowers spreading across the lawns in the neighborhood. But Spring is not the best time to spray for dandelions and other lawn weeds. It’s just the most popular time. If you spray while they are blooming in the spring they likely will go to seed before dieing, leaving you with an even bigger problem the next year.
In addition, herbicides are more effective this time of year, for two other reasons. First, in September the dandelions begin preparing for winter by storing massive amounts of “food” in their big carrot-like roots as an energy reserve to draw on when they start growing again in the spring. So when you spray this time of year the plant will pull the absorbed weed killer deep into the root, killing root and all. Second, if you spray now, not only will you kill the older established weeds that you can see, you will also get the young little seedlings that sprouted this summer that you can’t see.
That’s why, contrary to most lawn programs, I recommend applying weed & feed in the fall. So now is the time to apply your weed & feed or, if you prefer, spray for lawn weeds. And that’s exactly what I will be doing this week. I will apply Fertilome Weed-Out plus Lawn Food to my lawn. I always apply it early in the morning when the dew is heavy so the granules will stick to the leaves better. Then I don’t mow or water for at least 24 hours to allow the chemical time to be fully absorbed by the leaf.
That’s not to say I don’t do some minor spot spraying in the spring, because I do. And I always use Fertilome Weed Free Zone. It is super fast-acting, usually killing dandelions within two days, and it works well in cooler temperatures so I can spray before they begin to bloom. But that’s just to get those few that I miss in the fall.