By Judy Yohe
Landscape maintenance providers have several tools in their toolbox, but one of the most important is herbicides.
The first thing property managers need to understand is weeds are a hardy lot, and there is just no “one shot cures all” solution. Weeds are like a science fiction alien that just won’t die. Some seeds can lay dormant for years before germinating, surviving even drought, flood and fire. And if there was a perfect scenario where your property was completely rid of every variety of weed seed, all it takes is one little wind to blow in a few seeds and the whole process starts over again.
Pre and Post Emergent Herbicides
That’s why there are pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides, and they are applied in several applications throughout the year, along with fertilizers and other chemicals designed to maintain weed-free turf.
Correct timing of the applications is a tricky business, and depends on a host of factors from the native weeds in the area, the recent temperatures, the seasonal forecast, the type of turf, the amount of rainfall (and/or irrigation), and much more. If pre-emergent is applied too soon, weeds may have time to germinate and grow after the initial chemical barrier has begun to break down. If pre-emergent is applied too late, weeds may have already germinated.
Seeds will always be buried under the soil surface, and it is impossible to kill them all. A few will manage to emerge every year. Weeds will only be killed when they germinate and hit the herbicide. Weeds that are already growing will not be affected by a pre-emergent, so a post-emergent is usually applied as well, to inhibit root and shoot development.
Weed control is an endless process. SKB Industries administers all that timing guesswork for you at no charge, as part of your annual maintenance contract.