Expert Lawn Treatment for Lawn Weeds
Lawn Treatment for Lawn Weeds
The introduction of hormone weedkillers as a lawn treatment has probably been of greater benefit to gardeners than any other invention, as all lawn weeds can now be controlled by the application of one of these.
Admittedly some common lawn weeds are more resistant than others. Daisies are particularly so but, as with other weeds, once the worst of them has been cleared it is worthwhile resorting to spot weeding, which is the treatment of individual weeds or clumps.
A counsel of perfection is to drop some form of indicator when mowing so that when cutting is completed the individual weeds can be effectively treated. A simple method of spot weeding is to mix up a selective hormone weedkiller in a bucket and, with an ordinary soft hand brush, to paint over the surface of the weed or clump with sufficient pressure to damage the protective bloom or patina on the leaf surface. This is to ensure that the effective elements in the weedkiller can reach the more vulnerable part of the leaf.
Some weeds are so well protected that the weedkiller runs off in globules just as water runs off a cabbage leaf. This method is cheaper and less time consuming than watering or spraying isolated weeds or clumps with hormone weedkiller. One reason is that a watering can and its rose has to be thoroughly cleaned out after a hormone weedkiller is used otherwise incalculable damage can be done if it is inadvertently used for watering broad-leaved plants in other parts of the garden.
The best prevention against weeds, especially wind-blown seeds, is a good healthy dense sward so that they cannot reach theto germinate. Bare patches will be quickly covered by moss or provide a seed bed for weeds, so every effort should be made to keep a carpet-like growth of grass. As the years roll by, the treatment, non-treatment, or neglect of a lawn will cause it to change, influencing the character of the grasses and also the weeds which grow in it.
Weeds can be used as soil indicators and nowhere is this seen more clearly than on the lawn. Some plants, particularly of the clover family, like an alkaline (limy) soil. This can come about through habitually allowing the dog to chew bones on the lawn or it may be the result of patches of lime left by the builder or even lime rubble from an old building scattered on the soil and dug in. Therefore, in the case of clover clumps appearing it is of little use killing off the clover unless an attempt is made to acidify the soil and make it less to the liking of the lime-loving plants concerned.
This can be done by treating the area with lawn sand. This will also kill lawn weeds such as daisies, plantains, dandelions and other broad-leaved plants and at the same time will improve the quality of the grass. This lawn treatment is made up as follows:
- 35 parts by weight sulphate of ammonia
- 15 parts by weight calcined sulphate of iron
- 50 parts by weight dry sand
Mix this up thoroughly and apply when the surface of the leaves are damp with dew. For spot weeding just mix the sulphate of ammonia and sulphate of iron and apply a pinch to the centre of the weed.
The application of any fertiliser should be made with an eye kept open for the weather. For example, materials are wasted and the whole operation abortive if rain falls within an hour or two of the application of weedkilling hormones although this is ideal for washing in fertiliser. However, fertilisers should never be applied to wet grass as the powder or granules can lodge and may cause burning. Similarly it is a waste of time applying fertiliser during very dry periods when grasses are not actively growing as scorching can occur.
Changes in soil characteristics influence the type of grass which will flourish or become debilitated and weeds too will follow this pattern. This is why no abrupt changes should be made either up or down the scale. No sudden applications of high concentrations of nitrogen in the form of sulphate of ammonia or attempts to correct acidity by heavy dressings of lime should be made.
With a lawn it is gently, gently all the time; you can’t get away with things in the same way as you do in the vegetable patch, so use your lawn treatment wisely and carefully.