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Red Deer County News

Posted on: September 9, 2021

Fall Weed Control

Weeds - Dandelions.jpg

There is still time left to control those problem weeds you’ve been struggling with all summer. Fall presents an excellent time of year to get effective progress on removing stubborn perennial weeds. 

With the cooler fall season temperatures coming in, our burnt out grass finally has a chance to recover from the heat stress of summer. Encourage good grass competition during this time to help choke out any lingering weeds. Fertilizing, aerating, top dressing, reseeding, and proper mowing height can all help in a lawn setting. With pastures, rotational grazing, proper stocking rates, seeding/over seeding, and nutrient adjustments all contribute to a good healthy grass stand. Essentially, your grass will benefit from any activity that can help encourage it to build up a healthy root reserve of nutrients to last it through the winter. 

Another thing to keep in mind as you might be deadheading, pruning, or removing built up dead or dying material, is the proper disposal of yard waste. Whether it be weed flowers or seed heads, diseased branches and leaves, or just general plant material be mindful of how and where you might be transporting these undesirables. Many times, weeds will show up in the community yard waste pile and spread out from there, causing problems for many others. Weed flowers/seeds should not be composted. Instead, this plant material should be bagged and burned, or taken to a waste transfer facility. 

Lastly, a fall herbicide application can be an extremely effective technique for resolving perennial weed concerns before they become a problem next growing season. This has to do with the perennial plant’s biology since during the fall, after seed production, all the plant’s resources (including any herbicides) are being diverted down to the root to store up energy reserves to over-winter. This greatly increases the efficiency of the herbicide this time of year. 

To summarize, there’s still time left to act on improving your properties. Even a little effort now can have a much greater impact next growing season.

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