Have weeds been running amok in your lawn this winter?
As tempting as it may be to turn a blind eye and hope they'll disappear when spring arrives, they won’t.
If you don’t treat them now, they’ll go rogue and undo all the hard work you put into getting your lawn into top shape during the warmer months.
The best time to treat winter weeds in your lawn is during winter. By doing so, you’ll have more chance of killing them off before germination, which will stop the weeds from dropping their seeds back into the soil and returning with a vengeance next season.
Why does my lawn have weeds in the winter?
During winter, your lawn growth isn’t as active and therefore turf density can be less effective at blocking out unwanted weeds. Naturally, prevention is better than a cure so try to keep a bit of extra length on your lawn and ensure the ground doesn’t become compacted, particularly during and after periods of heavy rain.
Let’s have a look at some of the most common pesky winter weeds and how to rid your lawn of them once and for all.
Onion weed is a nightmare for us lawn lovers. It especially breaks out in winter because the seeds that form in summer and autumn are spread by wind, in soil and in water. It typically grows in soil with low pH levels, and can be very hard to get rid of. If you pull on the top of the weed, the tiny bulbs in the soil detach and release, resulting in the onion weed multiplying!
There are a few different options for clearing your lawn of onion weed, both naturally and with a powerful herbicide.
How to kill onion weed naturally
- Use a spade or trowel to dig out the entire weed clump, then throw the entire clump away––do not put it in your compost!
- Remove the weed’s source of food by covering the affected area with thick black plastic to cut off sunlight. This option will take months and may leave the surrounding grass and soil undernourished.
- Pour boiling water over the weed multiple times to scald the leaf and leave it unable to photosynthesise.
How to kill onion weed with herbicide
Using a herbicide solution on your onion weed needs to be done by spot weeding. Use a solution of glyphosate, water and a dash of dishwashing liquid to paint each weed with a small brush, careful not to get it on the surrounding lawn. The dishwashing liquid will help break down the waxy coating on the leaf to allow the poison to penetrate. This solution is not a selective herbicide, meaning it will kill anything it touches, so be very careful not to get it anywhere but the weeds!
Winter grass (Poa Annua) is a low growing turf grass with soft, drooping green leaves grown in tufts and triangular shaped seed heads. If you allow winter grass to drop its seeds, next winter it will be back, twice as nasty as the previous year.
How to remove Winter Grass from your lawn
Winter grass can be removed very easily by hand as it doesn’t have deep roots or runners, and grows in simple clumps. You can also use a combination of a pre-emergent like Oxafert and a selective winter grass control at the correct time of year to ensure winter grass is eradicated from your lawn. You could consider using Brek, or an Amgrow Winter Grass Killer is safe to use on Buffalo lawns (including Sir Walter DNA Certified), Couch and Kikuyu varieties.
Broadleaf Weeds and Clover
Broadleaf winter weeds are the most prevalent in lawns at this time of year. Mainly because of their size––they just stand out more. Even though a healthy lawn with dense coverage will help minimise the impact of winter weed invasion, and hence reduce the amount of work to eradicate pesky weeds coming into spring, it is not uncommon that a broadleaf weed with larger foliage will be more obvious when your lawn is less active outside the traditional growing season of warm season grass varieties.
How to remove Broadleaf Weeds and Clover from your lawn
The LSA All Purpose Weed Control is the perfect solution to control most common weeds. This product is a ready-to-use herbicide agent specifically developed for use on home lawns. A 2L pack will cover 200m2. Use for the control of bindii, creeping oxalis, catsear, clover, cudweed, dandelion and other annoying but common lawn weeds. Amgrow Chemspray Bin-Die is also suitable for use on most grasses including Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Lawn, Nullarbor Couch Grass, Eureka Kikuyu, RTF Fescue, Platinum Zoysia and all other lawn types.
One contact and one systemic active will definitely do the job on your broadleaf weeds. You would need to mix this product up in a knapsack and apply at label rates––but, as a guide––a highly concentrated 250ml bottle will cover approx. 400 sq metres.
Bindii is possibly the most annoying weed––due mainly to the pain it causes to our bare feet! Bindii is a low growing summer active weed with a flower at its centre. At maturity, the flower produces a prickly seed pod which is a menace during the warmer months when we are trying to enjoy our lawns.
How to remove Bindii from your lawn
Bindii can be managed by hand or by applying a selective broadleaf herbicide like Bin-Die or LSA All Purpose Weed Control. This will help to eradicate these weeds in all lawn types including Kikuyu and Couch and is safe to use on most varieties of Buffalo except the ST varieties. The best time to target bindii is in winter before it produces the prickly seed pod in summer and spreads further throughout your lawn.
Check out this article for more info on getting rid of bindii!
Creeping oxalis has small, light green heart-shaped leaves, very similar in appearance to clover, except that clover has oval-shaped leaves. The flowers are about 3-4mm in diameter and bright yellow in colour containing five petals. Creeping oxalis quickly runs along the surface of the soil and produces roots from the leaf as it goes. It may look lovely, but don't be fooled. When seed pods mature they dry out and explode, causing the seed to spread super fast.
How to remove creeping Oxalis from your lawn
Once again, a selective herbicide such as LSA All Purpose Weed Control will help to eradicate these weeds in all lawn types including Kikuyu and Couch and is safe to use on most varieties of Buffalo except the ST varieties. Coolabah Turf carries a wide range of weed and pest control products for Buffalo and other lawn varieties. Remember to always follow the manufacturer's instructions on the pack.
For all the best winter weed combatting products and aftercare tips to ensure your lawn is ready for spring, visit our online shop.