Spring and summer are the seasons when you see homeowners working hard in their yards, attempting to counteract the invasion of weeds in their quest for green, weed-free lawns. Weeds are defined as wild plants growing where they are not wanted. Weeds compete with grass plants for water, sunlight and other vital nutrients; and they thrive best in thin, weak or damaged areas mainly due to the lack of competition. A healthy, thick lawn will always be your best defense against weed invasions. Dense, vigorous turf can successfully compete with weeds, making it difficult for weeds to dominate like they always do in thin/weak areas. If you are experiencing weed issues in your lawn, the first step to managing them is to properly identify what weed you are dealing with. Weeds can be classified as broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions, or weed grasses, such as crabgrass. Identifying the type of weed is important because you can then understand the weed’s growth habit, and you can develop the most effective method of weed control/management. Any method of weed control/management begins with improving your lawn’s condition through proper maintenance practices. This will encourage a dense, thriving turf. To produce a thick lawn, proper fertilization, watering, mowing and controlling other lawn pests are all essential. Other cultural practices, such as aeration and over seeding, will also help improve your lawn’s health and density. It is important to know that when you produce a thick, healthy lawn, you will essentially minimize the space available for weeds to become established. When there are only a few weeds present, manually removing weeds by hand can be the most efficient and effective method of weed control. Before you start hand-weeding you should ensure that the weed plants you are removing have prominent taproots, such as dandelions. To properly remove a weed plant, you must make sure that you remove at least 10-15 centimetres of the root, and you should dispose of all the plant material removed. Also, the best time to manually remove weeds is when the soil is moist. Helpful hand-weeding tools can be purchased at your local hardware store or garden centre. These tools typically leave a hole where the weed plant is removed. We recommend that you fill such holes with a mixture of soil and grass seed to prevent weeds from reestablishing in that area. Unfortunately, for most lawns, hand-weeding is not a practical weed control method. When that is the case, federally & provincially registered herbicides provide a more realistic tool to controlling weeds. Weed Man technicians are licensed, trained professionals who will always apply the best products available on the market, while adhering to all applicable regulations. All weed control products used have been thoroughly tested, and have been registered with Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). Provincial regulations can sometimes further reduce the number of available products. Regardless, Weed Man always uses the best equipment to properly apply the correct amount of product, as set out on the label, to control or manage weed populations. Lawns with a few patches of weeds can be spot treated. However, if a weed infestation is more severe, then a blanket application may be required. Weed seeds will forever be present in our soil. However, weed invasions occur only when they are given the opportunity to flourish. A thick, vigorous lawn will always be the best prevention against weed invasions. For further information and assistance with weed control, contact your local Weed Man professional. You can also visit our website, www.weedmancanada.com for helpful fact sheets regarding weeds, as well as control services available in your area.