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Safe Herbicide for St. Augustinegrass

by Norman

QUESTION: I have a mixture of St Augustine and Centipede grass. Last summer's heat killed a lot of the centipede and weeds have replaced it. I have about 1/2 acre in grass. Is there a speadable weed killer I can use w/o killing the St Augustine?

ANSWER: Yes, there are "spreadable" herbicide products that are labeled for St. Augustinegrass.

***Always read and follow the label when using any pesticide. The label will tell you if the product is safe for your lawn/intended use. It is a violation of federal law to apply any pesticide in a manner that is inconsistent with the label***

I don't recommend granular weed and feed type products because they are not very effective...or I should say dry/granular POST-emergence herbicides are not effective, especially on tough weeds. Yes, granular products are convenient to use but the trade off is in how well they actually control the weeds. The problem with these products is the granular pellets that carry the herbicide need to stick to the weed leaves to work and the granules don't stick to leaves very well. Liquid herbicides are much more effective.

I do recommend using a pre-emergence this spring to prevent weeds and you can find several products that are granular/spreadable and safe for St. Augustine. The pre-emergence herbicides prevent weed seeds from sprouting.

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Herbicide for Newly Seeded Lawn

by John

QUESTION: I just seeded my lawn, it is late February, is there a product I can put down to deter weed growth while seed is down?

ANSWER: No, there is nothing that can be applied to a newly seeded lawn, you have to wait until it is fully established to use any weed control (herbicides).

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Herbicide Damage to Newly Seeded Lawn

(Sacramento, CA)

QUESTION: I planted new seed in the fall. Last week I noticed a lot of new weeds so I sprayed a Weed & Feed product. It said not to use until after you mow the lawn four time, I had mowed twice, maybe three times. The areas I sprayed the product is completely dead, weeds & grass.

What should I do now for the dead areas? Can I put down more seed when the weather warms up?

ANSWER: Yes, those areas can be re-seeded, just seed early enough in the spring so the new grass seedlings have enough time to grow a strong root system before the summer heat.

***Remember to ALWAYS read and follow the label directions of any product that you apply to your lawn.***

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Dormant Zoysia Lawn - Should I Rake the Dead Leaves?

by Adam

QUESTION: My lawn is emerald zoysia and was laid as sod 2 years ago. During the winter, it goes dormant and turns brown/yellow. As spring is approaching, the dead brown/yellow blades are pulling loose from the lawn. Am I best off raking them up and getting rid of them? Mulching them with the lawn mower? leaving them alone? Is last season's grass better off as this season's fertilizer or is it leading to a thatching problem?

ANSWER: "Last season's grass" will not be much of a fertilizer. Freshly clipped green leaves are full of nitrogen and it is good to leave them on the lawn (Grasscycling).

If you want to clean up your lawn this spring, then raking them (power raking) or mowing very short and bagging will be fine. However, it is also OK to keep it simple and let the zoysia do its own thing...

Dead grass leaves contribute very little to thatch build-up, it is the stems and surface roots that make up most of the thatch layer. Over watering and fertilizing is the biggest cause of thatch build-up in zoysia lawns.

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Time to Apply Pre-emergent Weed Control?


QUESTION: With such a warm winter is it already time to fertilize and do a pre-emergence treatment?

ANSWER: You can apply preemergence with fertilizer now. That will control winter annual weeds that germinate in early spring.

If crabgrass is a concern, you will need to apply preemergence again in late May to extend control through the summer. Check the label of the product you will use and look for split application rates.

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Dirt Mounds in Lawn

by Pat

QUESTION: My yard looks like the ground has frozen and pushed up the soil all around the grass, can anyone tell me what it is and how to get rid of the problem. I've had small patches occasionally in the past but this year it it all over my lawn, we have had a very warm winter so i know it isn't from freezing the ground. Help!

ANSWER: Small mounds of dirt? Take a look at the pictures of mole mounds that I have here:

Mole Damage

Moles are active all year long...even through the winter. We have also had a mild winter and I've notice severe mole activity in some areas.

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