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Winter Weeds

Winter is finally on its way here in Central Florida! One would think weeds die when it gets cold. They do but only to make way for winter weeds. Fo
Winter is finally on its way here in Central Florida! One would think weeds die when it gets cold. They do, but only to make way for winter weeds. Fortunately, this is a great time of year to spray for weeds. Pre-emergents are a great option. The most important preventative measures for excessive weed presence are proper cultural control and proper chemical control.

Proper cultural control is accomplished through promoting the best conditions for your turf to grow. Dr. Trenholm from the University of Florida states in her book, the Florida Lawn Handbook, that “the best approach to weed control is a healthy, vigorous lawn.” First, cut your grass at the proper height. St. Augustine grass is often recommended to be cut at a 3-4” height, for example. Zoysia grasses can be cut lower depending on the cultivar. The Florida Lawn Handbook is an excellent reference for recommended mowing heights for Florida turfs. Second, keep your blades sharp! A dull blade chops the leaf blades of your turf and can induce greater pest entry. Third, fertilize and irrigate appropriately. Overwatering can promote certain weed species to grow in a lawn such as dollarweed.

Proper chemical control is accomplished by correctly identifying your weed problem and choosing the appropriate control chemical. This month’s edition of the Scoop, “Winter Weeds,” includes several pictures of common turf weeds here in our area. There are many other sources to help you identify weeds. The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources has an extensive online photo gallery to help identify weeds. Identifying the weeds you need to control is the first step to choosing the appropriate control method. For other winter weed information, read this month's edition of the Scoop.
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