Weeds are unwanted wild plants that compete with other plants or grasses. High-quality premium sod is typically weed free when you receive it. However, almost all lawns end up having some weeds so it is important to establish weed control to maintain a healthy yard. Here are have some tips that will help you should you end up with these unwieldy plants.
- Timing is Key
Fresh sod needs time for its roots to anchor into the soil, spread out, and grow. Sod is vulnerable when you first roll it out and must be protected from damage due to mishaps. Before applying herbicides to sod, give it at least two weeks to establish itself on your lawn. If possible, pull up weeds manually rather than using herbicides during this critical period of growth.
- Maintain a Healthy Lawn
While timing is key, your best defense against weeds is to maintain a healthy, dense canopy of grass that prevents its establishment. The thicker your lawn’s canopy, the less likely weeds will be able to grow. Lawns with open canopies such as St. Augustine grass, or those that are slow to recover from damage like Centipede, expose themselves to weed establishment more than other grasses. Thick canopy grasses like Zoysia and those with more rapid recovery from damage such as Bermuda are better at weed defense.
- Mow Your Lawn
Mowing a weed before it puts up a seed head will eliminate that weed’s ability to spread seeds and propagate the next generation. If your lawn has relatively few weeds, you should consider hand picking them. Be sure to pull out the root if you can. Please note, however, that it is best to wait at least 2-3 weeks before mowing newly laid sod.
- Use Herbicides
Weeds may be inevitable but herbicides are available to help because they control weeds before they germinate or after. For instance, a pre-emergent herbicide is used preventatively to keep weeds from popping up while a post emergent herbicide is used after a weed has already established itself in your lawn. Once you know which type you will need, it is just as important to make sure that the weed killer is labeled for use on the turf species on your lawn. Note: You would not apply a pre-emergent to an area of newly laid turfgrass for at least three weeks.