By, the Old Guy with the Pony Tail
Weeds come in many shapes and sizes but more importantly, they have different growth habits. These growth habits determine the timing and best means of control. Some, such as crabgrass, are summer annuals which germinate, grow, and die within the same year. Others are winter annuals, such as annual bluegrass, that germinate in the late summer, live through the winter, reseed themselves, and die out the following summer.
These annual grassy weeds are best controlled with preemergent products applied prior to seed germination. Most products designed to control weed seed germination also interfere with the germination of desirable grass seed. There are, however, a few products available that are specifically designed to be applied at the time of lawn seeding and prevent or minimize the germination of grassy weeds.
Crabgrass is considered one of the most prevalent grassy weeds in the home lawn. It is effectively controlled with an early spring application of a preemergent product. This product may or may not be incorporated with fertilizer depending on the program desired. Split applications are sometimes recommended if heavy infestations of crabgrass are anticipated.
Perennial weeds are weeds that return and increase their populations by reseeding year after year. These weeds include broadleaf weeds such as dandelions and plantain. Other broadleaf weeds, such as ground ivy, sometimes referred to as Creeping Charlie, and white clover spread by rhizomes, or horizontal underground shoots, which spread and create new plants. These weeds have extensive root systems and require the appropriate product. Vines, such as poison ivy, are usually controlled with the same products. The most environmentally friendly way to minimize lawn weeds always has been and always will be managing a healthy soil to promote a thick lush lawn.