Organic Weed Treatments For Lawns

dandelion weedThe first step in managing lawn weeds is to first understand why weeds are present. The appearance of broad leaf weeds in your lawn is usually an indication that there are chemical, biological, and/or cultural (physical) imbalances in the soil. Common conditions that invite unwanted weeds include soil compaction, a pH that is too high or too low, and nutrient deficiencies. If you can adequately address those conditions, the weeds will often go away.

Initially and when needed, through core aeration and over-seeding, we strive to crowd out weeds by growing thick, healthy grass.

But when weeds comprise more than 25-30% of the yard, especially in transitioning lawns, Organic Plant Care has both pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicide treatments available to suppress weeds to a manageable level.

Organic Weed Control for Lawns

Pre-Emergent Crabgrass Suppression

We apply organic corn gluten to your lawn in early spring to suppress crabgrass. The treatment also provides a nutritional boost for rapid spring green-up.

Timing: April

Organic Weed Control for Lawns

Post-Emergent Weed Suppression

This treatment involves the application of an organic, broad-spectrum herbicide when weeds are actively growing. It's used to control a broad range of weeds, including bittercress, chickweed, cinquefoil, crabgrass, dandelion, goosegrass, plantain, thistle and violet.

Timing: Three applications - May, June, July

Pre-Emergent Weed Suppression FAQs

Pre-emergent treatments are critical for lawns. These applications are intended to suppress crabgrass before seeds start to germinate. After they've started growing, it's much more difficult to control crabgrass.

Once the soil temperature reaches 50 degrees, lawn weed seeds start germinating. This usually happens in about mid-April in our part of New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.

That's why the timing for pre-emergent weed suppression is so important. Miss that window of opportunity and it's too late to have a significant impact on the amount of crabgrass growing in your lawn.

Suppressing crabgrass in early spring means fewer seeds which means fewer weeds the following spring. If you keep up with annual pre-emergent treatments, over time your lawn has less and less crabgrass.

We offer a completely organic pre-emergent weed treatment using corn gluten. Because there are no harmful chemicals, it's perfectly safe for you, your family, and your pets to walk on it immediately after treatment (although we recommend giving it a day or two for everything to settle into the lawn).

Our organic lawn treatment has a high nitrogen content (10% nitrogen) so it's also an effective fertilizer that leads to a green, lush lawn. There's no unnecessary phosphorus or potassium that can leach or run off your lawn.

We'll be totally honest here - organic corn gluten does help to suppress crabgrass but it's not quite as effective as synthetic chemicals.

In many cases, however, it's a matter of how much corn gluten is used. We often hear people complaining that the treatments applied by other companies "didn't work". But when we look closer to see how much material was used, we find that they didn't use nearly enough to have a noticeable impact. That's why we always use the full amount recommended for optimum effect.

To ensure that you get the best possible crabgrass suppression, we also offer synthetic crabgrass suppression (we usually recommend it as a rescue treatment). This chemical treatment forms a barrier that "hugs" the soil and prevents weed seeds from germinating.

Under New Jersey state regulations, any time a lawn is treated with synthetic pre-emergent chemicals, we're required to put up a sign warning people and pets to keep off the lawn for 72 hours.

We wear basic protective gear when applying these chemicals and recommend that you abide by the 72-hour exclusion policy.

The success of autumn lawn aeration and overseeding often depends on what happens the following spring.

We recommend you use the synthetic “rescue” treatment if you seeded and aerated the previous fall, rather than using the organic treatment. This will give you a better chance of fully protecting your investment in your lawn.

When it comes to weeds, particularly annual weeds like crabgrass, there's no way to completely prevent or control them other than by taking a "scorched earth" approach that will kill everything around them (and even that's not guaranteed). Even then, annual weeds are tenacious - they'll germinate in even the tiniest crack in a concrete slab as long as there's a little bit of moisture!

We don't want to lead anyone astray by promising something that simply isn't possible. Our treatments are very effective at suppressing weeds. And with regular treatments, you'll see fewer weeds every year. But we cannot promise to prevent all weeds from germinating or to control them entirely. No one can.

Complimentary Weed Control Quote

Click to get started with your organic lawn care program or give us a call at 908-309-6611.

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