Even thick, healthy sod can be overtaken by weeds if appropriate preventative actions are not taken. The most effective way to stop weeds from sprouting is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide before laying new sod. Timing is important. It is also important that consumers know the difference between a full-strength herbicide and one that can be applied to a healthy, green turf.
Popular herbicides, like Round Up Quick Pro, are used by weekend gardeners and farmers alike. These easy-to-use treatments contain glyphosate. Glyphosate is gentle enough to use on delicate plants, but strong enough to kill invasive plants that are otherwise difficult to control. During the growing season, these are typically used to kill weeds growing in cracked pavement or unwanted plants on fences.
These glyphosate-based herbicides attack the growth enzyme in all plants. They will kill every plant they encounter, so great care is needed to isolate weeds and avoid spraying healthy sod. However, these herbicides are not considered dangerous to humans in small doses. Families with children and animals can apply herbicides to outdoor plants without fear. It is recommended one protects skin during application and avoids ingesting the chemical.
For weed control, most sod farmers and commercial lawn specialists use a more selective herbicide, such as 2-4-D Amine. This type of per-emergent herbicide has a diluted amount of glyphosate that is effective at stunting weed growth without harming healthy plants near the offending weed.
Widespread weed control should be done during dormant months. Consumers who plan to install new sod should apply herbicides well before new sod is installed. If herbicides are applied too early or right before a rainfall, they may wash away and be ineffective. If they are applied too late, weeds may already be growing. Weeds that have already germinated will not be affected by selective herbicides. Optimal application times vary by location and the length of the growing season.
It is wise to consult a professional for specifics regarding chemical strength and herbicide application times. Following the manufacturer’s instructions is also crucial. Not doing so can cause irreparable damage to an otherwise healthy lawn.