Controlling winter weeds doesn’t have to be difficult

Published 3:26 pm Friday, January 30, 2009

Now is the time to put out a pre-emergent herbicide to control weed seeds. A pre-emergent herbicide is a weed killer that stops weed seeds from germinating.

Pre-emergent herbicides should be applied in late February or early March and in September to control summer and winter weeds. If you have a history of winter weed, then now is the time to take action. Avoid using weed and feed products that combine herbicides with fertilizers this time of year. Always read and follow pesticide labels before using them. Application rates can be found on the labels and should be followed.

Any time you use an herbicide make sure it is labeled for the grass you have. Below is a list of active commonly used pre-emergent herbicides. The grasses that you can apply it to and the winter weeds it controls.

The active ingredient Atrazine works on Centipede and St. Augustine grasses to control annual bluegrass and many broadleaf weeds including dandelions. Benefin plus trifluralin as active ingredients work with Bermuda, Centipede, St. Augustine and Zoysia grasses to eliminate annual bluegrass, chickweed and henbit, as do both Dithiopyr and Pendimenthalin. If the active ingredient in the weed killer is Bensulide you can get rid of annual bluegrass and henbit that springs up in Bermuda, Centipede, St. Augustine or Zoysia grasses. Osoxaben also helps to rid your yard or garden of winter annual broadleaf weeds.

*May require rainfall or irrigation for consistent control so be sure to read label.

For additional information on this and other home gardening topics please visit the Alabama Cooperative Extension System Home and Garden website ( ) .