Weed-control Measures for Early 2021

Thanks to the substantial rain and wind we’ve endured over the past two months, the 2021 crop of weeds in your yard and beds could be pretty prolific. So, I’m going to provide you with just about everything I’ve ever compiled to help you get an early handle on them.

And I’m giving you the okay to get out as early as this weekend and get after them before they run rampant.

That’s right … you don’t have to wait until spring to spray herbicides on existing weeds such as clover, oxalis, dollarweed, henbit, spurge, and chickweed. Broadleaf weeds like those pictured are everywhere, and while we are still in the “cool-season” herbicide part of the calendar, you have my permission do some weed-killing right now. Just be sure to follow my basic protocols below.

Secondly, go ahead and get down the pre-emergent herbicide normally scheduled for February 1. Yes, you can do it today! And if you’re wondering if that means you can move the May 1 application of pre-emergent herbicide up to April, you’re spot on! And can you get in additional application of pre-emergent herbicide this year? Yes … just be sure to wait at least 60 days between applications. And remember to never do more than four applications in one year.

I think we can apply pre-emergent herbicides earlier than normal this year because of the recent winds and rain. Even if your pre-emergent application went down on schedule back in November, it has mostly been washed away, and weed seeds have blown in.

But there is one huge caveat: If you applied a pre-emergent in December, wait until the first of February and stay on the normal schedule. If you have questions or need clarification on this, please give me a call this weekend on the radio show. I realize many situations may need to be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

As for weed killing in beds that are soft with moisture or healthily mulched, pull them out right now. No need to spray them and over-chemicalize the soil. And how have the rains affected your mulch? Maybe you just need a new layer to cover emerging baby weeds. In vegetable beds, weeds are probably never easier to pull up than right now. If you must spray them, cover up after with compost or mulch to shield the soil from more weed seeds.

So, as promised, here are some articles I know will help you get control in what will likely be one of the worst weed years we’ve seen. Please start with the 10 Rules of Herbicides.

PHOTOS: Getty Images, Randy Lemmon