Proactive herbicide weed control for lawns is key to remaining weed-free when the turf turns green in the spring.

The most important thing for homeowners when it comes to weed management is to have some predictability on what they may have problems with,” said Dr. Paul Baumann, AgriLife Extension state weed specialist.

“That’s pretty easy because you can just think about what problems you have had in the past: grassy weeds such as grass burrs or crabgrass or broadleaf weeds such as dandelion or the purslanes or something like that,” he said. “And once we know that information, we can oftentimes take a preventative approach in terms of management.”

A primary part of any weed-management program is starting with a good healthy lawn, Baumann said.

“Do the things you need to help the grass grow,” he said, which includes proper fertility based on a soil test, insect and disease control.

“I always use the adage that you can’t fertilize your way out of a weed problem,” he said. “You have to do something remedial once you have the problem. But a good fertility program will minimize the need for a weed-control program, because our warm-season perennial grasses are very competitive and usually out-compete most of the weeds that might become an issue.

“The key is a proactive plan to get those products on before the weeds become an issue in turfgrass – especially the grassy weeds. Grassy weeds are extremely hard to remove chemically from a grass crop once they are up. Your options are very limited, because you are trying to selectively kill a grass weed in a grass crop. Therefore, the use of a pre-emergence herbicide is the best choice for these weeds.”

There are several broadleaf herbicides that can be applied foliar in a remedial approach. A foliar application can take the weeds out of a turfgrass situation without hurting the grass, whether it is in a dormant period and the winter broadleaf weeds have shown up or during the summer growing season.

Hamilton County goat symposium

Texas AgriLife Hamilton County will have a Goat Symposium May 18. Registration will start at 8 a.m. 

Topics will include market trends and demands, parasite control, fecal egg count lab and predator control. 

Cost is $10 per person that will include lecture, lab and lunch. Please RSVP at the Hamilton County Extension Office at 254-386-3919.

Lonnie Jenschke is an Erath County extension agent.