Gibson Priest

Gibson Priest

Green lawns seem like a thing of the past, but it will not be too long before we start seeing those green blades start popping up again.

Notice I said green and did not specify that it was grass!

The majority of green that homeowners will see is actually weeds. Although there is little to do for weeds at that point, these are still cool season weeds which will die in May when the nights start to heat up.

That being said, just mow the weeds, collect the clippings and apply pre-emergent herbicides for the summer weed load.

Using pre-emergent herbicides in mid-February and then again 45 days later or first of April will take care of the summer weed load. To best cure your weed problem you have to know what weeds you had last year.

Atrazine works to control broadleaf weeds and can be used on anything but Bermuda grass. If you have a problem with Bermuda grass and want to use Atrazine, make sure it is completely dormant or brown. There are other herbicides that can be used on Bermuda grass that will not cause problems to the lawn.

Pendulum or Pre-M (pendimethalin), Surflan (oryzalin), Balan (benefin) and XL (benefin and oryzalin) all work well on summer grass to control gassy weeds. Make sure and use these herbicides as pre-emergent as they have little effect on grown weeds.

Also, I recommend to put them out after the lawn is green and you have re-seeded any bare spots as the herbicide can cause your grass to slow its growth. If the herbicide is not put out evenly there can be some die back as well in spots of overspread. Use the same time frame as listed earlier for atrazine.

Furthermore, I do not recommend using a pre-emergent herbicide on turf that is less than a year old. It is still growing and establishing a root system so it is too delicate for herbicides.

Also, make sure and follow all label directions in regards to spreading and timing. The old adage, “If your neighbor jumps from the bridge are you going to as well?” still applies!

If you have any questions regarding weed management or weed dentification, you are welcome to contact the extension office at 770-749-2142 or email

For more information and details on upcoming events, check out the Polk County Extension office on Facebook by searching “UGA Extension Polk County.”

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