Mouse ear/Wild strawberries in lawn?

theyardbird(z7 OK, TTTF)November 12, 2007

Good evening,

I overseeded my TTTF lawn in late September. Everything came up great and is looking really healthy now. In the last few days, I've had lots of leaves come down from my several mature pecan trees. Today, I mulch mowed the leaves/grass and was bummed to see lots of new growth of mouse ear/chickweed, as well as something that looks like wild strawberries.

Last spring was the first time I'd seen so much mouse ear in my lawn. I did spread some barricade down before it started coming up, but from what I hear, it was too late to do any good for me last spring/early summer (apparently the mouse ear germinates in winter?). Anyway, I need suggestions on how to handle the stuff now. It has spread amazingly fast - from not seeing it just over a week ago to lots today.

So I have two questions...

1) How do I get rid of the stuff I see now? I'm a bit worried about using a post-emergence herbicide (like Bayer all in one or Ortho Weed B Gone) on the new seedlings.

2) Is it too late to prevent more from coming up? As I said above, I used Barricade in early spring but that did jack diddly for the late spring popup of mouse ear.

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Fortunately, these are broadleaf weeds, so the solution is simple: as you say, it's either the Bayer, or the Weed B Gone. The real question is WHEN?

I would do a test plot: stake out an area about ten by ten, with some weeds and some new seedlings in it: your new seedlings aren't THAT new anymore, if you seeded in September. Spray the test area. If it works out fine, spray the whole lawn a week later.

Here's the deal: with the Weed B Gone, you're not going to SOAK anything. You're going to keep that sprayer (and, I presume, attached hose) moving, moving, moving. Move right along. You just want to get the leaves of the weeds wet, and move along. That little bit of chemical, on the leaf, will kill the weed. Any chemical that flows off the leaf, and onto the soil, is wasted, as the chemical is only effective when it sits on the leaf and is absorbed by the leaf.

Likewise, if there's a hose attached to the sprayer, keep the hose behind you, so the hose doesn't knock the liquid off the leaves. My preferred technique is to stretch the hose all the way out to the road, always facing the road, keep my back to the house, and spray the farthest points first, and work backward toward the house, still facing the road, tossing the excess hose toward the house as I work backward, so that, starting at the road, that area has spray, but no walking on it, and no hose dragging on it, nothing knocks those drops off the leaves, and the spray sits right there, on the leaves, and everything works just fine.

I sprayed my whole yard, after a complete re-seeding this August, after the second mowing, with no new grass damage, and the weeds are gone.

If after the test area, you're still nervous, just wait 'til spring, it's no big deal, but you'll have more weeds to deal with.

Let us know, here, what you do and how it works out.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 2:44AM
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Major +1 to Philes.

I shot my weeds in October and did have some incidental losses on the new grass (not enough to really worry about--maybe 5% of what was struck in the spots).

Now, in November, I'd be tempted to pull out the greenery by hand if I could, and wait until spring to spray. Since it sounds like you have too much to do that, spot spray it in the suggested test patch. If that's working, go for it.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 7:08AM
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theyardbird(z7 OK, TTTF)

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I will try spraying a small test plot to see if the stuff has any adverse effect on the newer grass. Is there one product (Ortho, Bayer, something else) you prefer over the others? And is using the kind you attach to a hose better/worse than just mixing some up and spraying from a portable sprayer? All I know is using a portable sprayer is much more work (pump pump spray spray pump pump spray spray). Heh.

Morph, I tried pulling the stuff up by hand last spring. The thing with mouse ear is that it intertwines with the grass. So when you pull it up, you invariably pull up some grass as well. Man, I hate the stuff!

One last question...should I put some pre emergence herbicide down on my lawn soon to try and control it better for next spring? Or is it too late already?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 12:30PM
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For me, it's Weed B Gone. I've used the newer Weed B Gone MAX and noticed no difference whatever. So if it's improved, hey, great. But I've never tried the Bayer product. I've been married for a lot of years, too. She's just right for me, totally predictable, and I can't imagine why I'd switch. So I stick with the Weed B Gone.

And the hose end sprayer, the weed b gone brand, set at 2oz to the gallon, is exactly right. I'm not mixing, pumping, mixing, pumping, etc, etc.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 3:54PM
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theyardbird(z7 OK, TTTF)

Thanks. I've never used the hose-end sprayer, but will try it this weekend. I'll post back here in a couple weeks to let you know how it goes.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 6:38PM
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Do you know if you have the common chickweed or the mouse ear chickweed? The common chickweed is considered a winter annual and the mouse ear(Very hairy leaves) is considered a perennial, but I have heard it can act as a winter annual in Oklahoma sometimes. But, being a perennial may explain why it still came up even though you put a pre emergent down. It may have stopped more seeds from germinating though.

It seems like I have seen the weed germinate in early spring, die out in the summer, and then germinate again in the fall and then be winter killed or stay green through the winter. About the time you were re-seeding should have been the time to be putting down the Barricade, but we know you cannot do that and re-seed at the same time. Oct-Nov is about the time chickweed germinates.

I would try a test patch as philes and morph mention above and you could put down some more Barricade as long as your TTTF is established. If there are any more seeds, it will keep them from germinating. It may also keep crabgrass from germinating early next spring.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 11:13PM
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I like the Ortho Weed-B-Gone myself and I've had excellent results. My bluegrass doesn't even blink, but the weeds sure do.

I've never tried Bayer but I can't imagine it's a bad product.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 7:24AM
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theyardbird(z7 OK, TTTF)

I thought chickweed and mouse ear were different names for the same plant. Thanks for pointing out the differences; I'll take a look and see which one I have.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 11:36AM
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theyardbird(z7 OK, TTTF)

I took a look at some of the plants over lunch time today. The leaves don't appear to have 'hair' on them, but the stems do.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 4:55PM
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That would be the common chickweed.

I would try a test with the Ortho, since the Bayer all in one is for grassy weeds also, and the Ortho may be a little more easy on the new grass. Some of the chickweed may be winter killed also.

I have never used Barricade, but you could probably put a little down now and then again around Feb 1st. to keep the seeds from germinating again. I know Barricade does have long lasting residual activity, depending on how much you put down.

I live in Central Oklahoma, and from trial and error, have come to realize that you have to have your pre emergent down around Jan 20-Feb 1st (the soil temps warm up fast) and then down again about every 4 months thereafter to continue the cycle.

But, I have Bermuda and you have TTTF and if you can get a foothold on it with the use of both pre and post emergents, you will eventually eradicate it.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 3:36PM
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theyardbird(z7 OK, TTTF)

Well, here's an update. I bought some Weed B Gone not long after I wrote the original post and sprayed a small area. After a couple of weeks, the chickweed looked distressed, but did not die. I hit it again harder (just sprayed longer than the first time). Same thing...looked distressed, but did not kill it.

I just forgot about it for a couple months. About a week ago, I was out in the yard and "renoticed" it, so I bought a small spray bottle of premixed Weed B Gone and sprayed a few clumps pretty heavily. Same thing - distresses the chickweed, but does not kill it.

The evening temps are freezing, but we had over a week of days in the 50s (up to 70 one day). The instructions say to apply when daytime temps are below 90. Is it possible that it just needs to be warmer for this stuff to work correctly?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 8:48AM
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As long as the weeds are actively growing, the Weed B Gone should work. Does it say it works on chickweed? I don't know for sure, but I think they have a separate product for chickweed (or maybe chickweed and a few other weeds).

I checked their website and I think the WBG Max says it works on chickweed, but they also have something that's aimed at chickweed.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 6:53PM
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theyardbird(z7 OK, TTTF)


I took a look online at their product that is specifically for chickweed (HERE). Its active ingredient is: 8.0% Triclopyr

The active ingredients of Weed B Gone are: 1.56% Triclopyr 13.72% MCPA 1.35% Dicamba

It looks like the dedicated chickweed killer just has a higher concentration of Triclopyr than their Weed B Gone product. It might be worth it for me to try it out, as chickweed is by far the most dominant weed in my lawn.

I find it puzzling that some of the thickest infestations of chickweed are in areas that are very thick with TTTF that appeared to be healthy (now it's just all intertwined).

I'm just thinking out loud here... I wonder if I got the chickweed in the soybean meal. I've only been using SBM for the last two falls - before that I virtually had no chickweed for the prior 3 years. Is there a chance that the seeds were in the SBM?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 1:08PM
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