Fall Is Best for Control of Tough Weeds

Now is the best time to control the perennial, biennial and winter annual weeds that plagued you this year.

Lincoln Journal Star
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Ready, set, go! Now is the best time of year to control those perennial, biennial and winter annual weeds that have plagued you this year. Did you have pretty purple blooming henbit back in March and April? Or dandelions that popped out with the first warm days in May? Now is when they are most susceptible and most easily controlled.

Fall is the best time of year to control troublesome weeds for several reasons. Perennial weeds, like dandelions, ground ivy, poison ivy, field bindweed, curly dock and Canada thistle, begin moving carbohydrates from the leaves down to the roots for winter storage. If herbicides are applied now, they are transported to the roots along with the carbohydrates killing the entire plant instead of just the leaves. And even if the chemical doesn't completely kill the weed, the plant goes into winter in a weakened condition and is much more susceptible to winter kill.

Biennial weeds, like musk thistle, grow into a small flat rosette of foliage their first year of growth. These rosettes are the ideal stage for herbicide control in fall.

Winter annual weeds, such as henbit, marestail and the mustards (field pennycress, shepherds purse, tansy mustard, blue Mustard, etc.) germinate in the fall, overwinter as a small rosette of foliage and begin growing again very early next spring. In fall, they can be killed as they germinate with pre-emergent herbicides or targeted as young plants with post-emergent products.

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