Spring Weed Control Update

Home Grown  by Keith Reed
Unless we get another freeze, the window for applying pre-emergence crabgrass control has effectively closed as crabgrass is germinating all over Payne County this week. If being crabgrass free is really important to you, you still have one option and that is to look for a product that contains dithiopyr. The most common trade name for this pre-emergent product is Dimension® herbicide. When used correctly, this pre-emergent product will also provide good post-emergent control of crabgrass for the next three weeks or so (while it is still young).

As with all pesticides, please read the label and follow the directions for a proper and safe application. One of my roles as an Extension Educator is to help citizens of Payne County with their garden and landscape problems. Unfortunately, a significant number of the problems I see are a result of a careless disregard for using these products properly. I’ll freely admit that the labels can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, but I’m happy to help you decipher them if you will give me a call or send me an email.
As mentioned in this article a few weeks ago, pre-emergent products form a vapor barrier near the soil surface and kills the plant as it emerges and attempts to grow through the barrier. If the plant is already established, the other products will simply not work-no matter the rate.

A related subject, and one that can’t be talked about too often, is the need to exercise care when using broadleaf weed killers this time of year. These products are troublesome right now because of the “perfect storm” that exists: it’s windy, plants are just emerging or putting on new leaves and are especially sensitive to herbicides now, and the maturing weeds are more resistant to the products.

Lastly, seedlings from Bradford pear tree are getting away from us at an alarming rate. If you have an area that is minimally maintained and are seeing large numbers of these trees, I suggest you make plans to remove them before they overtake your property.

For more information of this or any other horticultural topic, you can contact Keith Reed, the Horticulturist in the Payne County Extension office. Keith can be reached via email at keith.reed@okstate.edu, phone at 405-747-8320, or in person at the Payne County Extension office, located at 315 W. 6th in Stillwater.

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