Weed & Feed

Weed & Feed

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Paul Schnare

There are 3 major lawn weeds that show up in lawns at this time of year. They are henbet, chickweed, and wild garlic. Henbet is a weed with small purple flowers. Chickweed has small yellowish leaves with small white flowers.

Both chickweed and henbet are winter annuals. They germinate each fall from seed. In the spring they grow rapidly, set seed, and then die in late spring when temperatures start to rise.

Wild garlic, often called wild onions, develops from bulbs that multiply underground. It is most prominent in the early spring.

Even though these weeds develop differently, they have one thing in common. One post-emergent herbicide, trimec, a combination of three different herbicides, controls all of them. Trimec acts as a plant growth hormone, and makes weeds grow themselves to death. There are several trade names for this herbicide on the market. One of them is fertilome’s Weed Out.

For trimec to be effective, it must enter the weed through its leaves. It is not taken into the plant through its roots.

The most effective way to use trimec is in liquid form. You can spray this herbicide a few minutes before a rain and usually get effective weed control.

You can also apply this herbicide in granular form. You find it packaged as just an herbicide, or in combination with a fertilizer. The combination is commonly called “weed and feed.”

If you use the granular product, you must apply the product when the foliage of the weeds is wet. This is the only way the herbicide granule can stick to foliage, and allow the herbicide to enter into the plant. It shouldn't rain for 24 hours after this application.

When using trimec, apply according to label directions. Trimec does not hurt grasses commonly grown in the Heartland. Do not use this herbicide over flowers, trees, or shrubs, or bulbs.