Dealing with weeds in the heat

StedmanJune 28, 2011

I just moved into a house recently. The yard looks to be a fescue/bluegrass/rye mix (I guess). There are quite a few spots with large bits of white clover, and then this week I have discovered a lot of clumps of a dark green looking grass that grows twice as fast as the rest of my lawn. Is this Bermuda grass?

Anyways, my main question is, I would like to do something to get rid of this white clover, but all the products I look at say "Do not apply when daily temps are near 90 degrees." Well, seeing as July is about to start, that is going to be the next 2-3 months. Do I just need to wait until the Fall to start dealing with this stuff? I have zero tree cover and they are calling for a dry Summer so I am expecting my lawn to take a beating as it is. I certainly don't want to burn it.

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Yep. Wait until fall.

Hopefully it doesn't completely take over your yard in the mean time. If it does, you may end up having to bite the bullet, spray the yard to get rid of the weeds, and over-seed in the fall.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 10:06AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Proper lawn care can help you a lot. Clover is a symptom of infertility. You cannot use chemical fertilizers this time of year, either, but you can use the heck out of organic fertilizers. I would look at my local feed store for the cheapest ground grain you can find. It is going to be either alfalfa pellets (Purina Rabbit Chow) or soy bean meal. Apply those once a month at a rate of 20-30 pounds per 1,000 square feet and in 2 months your grass will be in control. The color will be very dark green and you'll be very happy with the health of the soil (worms and things).

Also be sure your watering is under control (as much as Mother Nature allows). Try to water no more than once per week but apply all the water your lawn will need. Typically that is one inch per week. Measure that with a tuna can.

Also mow at the proper height. Most grasses should be mowed at the mower's highest setting (usually 4 inches) to discourage weeds. Kentucky bluegrass can be mowed at 3 inches. Bermuda, centipede, and bentgrass can be mowed at the mower's lowest setting (1 to 1.5 inches).

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 9:53PM
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I cannot tell you if the mystery grass is Bermuda or not without seeing it, but I do not need to see it.

Bermuda is extremely easy to identify. Just GOOGLE it (images) and look at pictures of it.

If it is Bermuda you got a bit of a problem.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 11:02PM
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Doing some research, it does not appear to be Bermuda grass. It looks just like a regular, thick grass, but it is a dark green and is coming up in clumps about 8" wide at various parts of my backyard. The only reason I even noticed it was because about 3-4 days after mowing, it was a good 2" taller than the rest of the grass. I may try to get some photos of it this weekend.

Thanks for all the tips, dchall. I will give them a shot.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 9:10AM
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It comes down to whether you desire the Bermuda...or the white clover. I think not.
The use of any amendment on a lawn does have some 'wait a minute' advice. At 90ú, any lawn is better protected by providing as much shade as you can to prevent loss of moisture. So the first thing to do is to let your grass grow higher than normal....normal being what you usually leave it at.
That will do two things; keep more moisture in the ground....and will shade what neighbors the grass blade has.
White clover does not do well in shade--its a sun lover.
While the temperatures are high during the day, surely they go down somewhat at night.
Wanting to get rid of a weed should not hold a homeowner hostage all summer, there has to be a way to get rid of it.
Weeds are best attacked when they are growing and weeds too know when high is too high...namely, 90ú stops growing at lower temperatures.
So should you try to kill it when its not growing---if not, why not.

Use a hand-held sprayer and spray the weed when you figure the soil temperature is not so high....say, early early in the a.m., or at night, letting the poison act through the night. Then in the later morning, give your lawn a watering. But don't water in the high heat of the loses what you give it to evaporation and dries the ground.
White clover can be killed by the use of any broadleafed weed killer.
Saying that, sure, its better to treat a weed in lower temperatures....and that naturally comes in the fall.
Its also a great time to overseed lawns.
But you cant use seed if you are using weed killers....what would be the point.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 2:08PM
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Doing some research, it does not appear to be Bermuda grass. It looks just like a regular, thick grass, but it is a dark green and is coming up in clumps about 8" wide at various parts of my backyard.

GOOGLE "DALLISGRASS and CRAB GRASS and see if it matches.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 3:14PM
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