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When to Spray Lawn for Weeds: Spring, Summer & Fall Timing Guide (2023)

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when to spray lawn for weeds yearly timingYou know the feeling – you walk outside, excited to enjoy your lawn, only to find it speckled with weeds. It can really put a damper on your plans. But there’s good news: with the right timing and techniques, you can get those pesky weeds under control.

Let’s talk timing first. Many folks think spring is the best time to spray for weeds, but that’s not always the case. Summer and fall both offer prime weed spraying opportunities, depending on the type of weeds you’re targeting and whether you want to use a pre-emergent or post-emergent herbicide.

The key is to spray at the right point in the weeds’ life cycles. You’ll get the best results when weeds are young and actively growing.

  • Spring: Spray early spring to target winter annuals and early perennials. Use a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent new weeds.
  • Summer: Hit warm-season annuals and perennials now. Carefully spot treat to avoid harming desired grass.
  • Fall: Your last chance to spray before winter dormancy. Focus on perennials; avoid late applications that could damage desirable plants.

See? With a bit of knowledge and well-timed applications, you can show those weeds who’s boss.

Key Takeaways

  • Apply pre-emergent herbicide in early spring before weeds germinate.
  • Use post-emergent herbicides in spring, summer, and fall on actively growing weeds.
  • Read and follow herbicide label directions exactly for coverage and timing.
  • Consider seasonal differences – control winter annuals in spring, perennials in fall.

Identifying Weeds

Identifying Weeds
You’ll need to identify the weeds accurately before determining the best time to apply a herbicide treatment. Walk your lawn and examine the weed growth closely. Note differences in leaf shapes and growth habits to distinguish broadleaf weeds like dandelions from grassy ones like crabgrass.

Also, check if the weeds are annuals that germinate from seed every year or stubborn perennials that spread from roots and stems.

Proper ID is essential for selecting effective herbicides. Factors like your lawn’s overall condition, mowing practices, soil nutrients, and maintenance play a role too. For instance, pre-emergent herbicides work best on bare soil before weeds sprout from seed, while post-emergent sprays target actively growing plants.

With some diligence, you can correctly diagnose your lawn’s weed issues and time applications for optimal results.

Choosing Herbicides

Choosing Herbicides
When selecting a herbicide, you’ll need to decide between liquid or granular formulations, as well as selective or non-selective products. Liquids provide foliage coverage while granules stick to leaves and stems. For selective herbicides, the chemistry targets specific weeds without harming grass, while non-selective products kill all actively growing vegetation indiscriminately.

Liquid Vs Granular

When tackling weeds, consider if a liquid or granular herbicide best fits your situation. Liquids spray on contact for fast burndown of emerged weeds. But granules spread easily over large areas and last longer in soil to zap newly sprouted weeds.

Match the product to your problem – spot spray liquids on patches of perennials like dandelions. Or apply granules evenly over the lawn before annual weeds like crabgrass germinate. Proper timing and application give the control you need without waste or damage.

Selective Vs Nonselective

Between annihilating everything green or focusing on only the baddies, choose your herbicide wisely, friend. Selective sprays target specific weeds, so spot treatments can eliminate dandelions without harming turf.

But nonselective glyphosate kills all vegetation it touches. Calibrate sprayers, accurately identify weeds, and rotate herbicides for best control. Adjust mowing height and know soil temperatures to time applications appropriately.

With proactive care, you’ll keep crabgrass, nutsedge and other invaders at bay, and enjoy a lush, healthy lawn all season long.

Timing Applications

Timing Applications
Timing is important when spraying your lawn for weeds. Pre-emergent herbicides should be applied before weed seeds germinate, usually early spring. Post-emergent products work on actively growing weeds during spring, summer, and fall.

Pre-Emergent Vs Post-Emergent

Gotta hit those weeds before they poke through the turf with pre-emergents in early spring, otherwise y’all be playin’ whack-a-weed with post-emergents all summer long tryin’ to keep that lawn lookin’ primo.

Perennials emerge from rhizomes, so pre-emergents won’t halt their return. But for annuals, get your granules down when soil hits 55°F to prevent germination, reading rates off the label. Then spot spray any escapers post-emergence, identifying them properly beforehand to pick the right herbicide.

Spring, Summer, Fall

Y’all better be blanketin’ that turf with preventatives before them weeds wake up in spring, hittin’ any escapees when it’s hot and humid all summer, then makin’ one last stand against invaders in the fall before jack frost arrives and puts ’em to bed.

Target weed prevention in spring with pre-emergent herbicide timing based on soil temperature and weed lifecycles, then control specific weeds of concern post-emergence during their optimal growth stage through summer and fall.

Residual herbicides hit emerging annuals, while post-emergents knock back perennial escapes when actively growing.

Application Tips

Application Tips
Before spraying, it’s crucial to read the entire product label and follow directions exactly. During application, aim for complete but not excessive coverage, wetting the leaves without overapplying. After treatment, let the lawn dry completely before mowing again and irrigating.

You’ll want to wait several days for the herbicide to fully translocate within weed plants. Careful timing and proper technique will lead to the best results when using both pre- and post-emergent weed control products over the course of a season.

With some basic preparation, wise application, and proper follow-up, your lawn can become thicker and weed-free.

Before Spraying

You’re gonna want to double check the forecast before grabbing that sprayer.

  1. Check the label directions to make sure you’ve got the right product and application rate for your target weeds and lawn.
  2. Calibrate your sprayer properly so you apply the correct amount – you don’t want to over or under apply.
  3. Make sure conditions are right – avoid windy days so you don’t drift. Early morning’s often best for herbicide applications.

During Spraying

While applying, carefully wet the leaves without oversaturating or allowing runoff to avoid non-target damage. When spot spraying different weeds, follow mixing instructions carefully while wearing proper safety gear to avoid issues like drift that can harm nearby plants and cause water quality concerns.

After Spraying

After spraying, let the herbicides work their magic like a wise old wizard brewing up a potion, then wait a few days before the olde mower disturbs the sorcery.

  • Wait 3-5 days before mowing again to allow herbicides to fully translocate.
  • Avoid irrigation for 24-48 hours to prevent washing herbicides off leaves.
  • Monitor weather forecasts to avoid rain washing away product for 2-4 days after application.

With proper timing, rates, and conditions, herbicides can safely and effectively control weeds without harming surrounding turfgrass when labels are followed.

Best Time of Year?

Best Time of Year
Broadleaf weeds and crabgrass seeds start germinating when soil temperatures reach 55°F. For early season weed prevention in cool-season grasses, apply a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring, usually from March through May depending on your location.

Summer annual and perennial broadleaf weeds can be spot treated or sprayed selectively from April through October.

For fall application of pre-emergent control before winter, spray in October during your last chance to treat before cold weather arrives.

Time applications carefully based on the weed type, product label, and lawn growth stage for best results in your unique climate and lawn care goals.

Best Weather Conditions?

Best Weather Conditions
Lest the scorching sun smite thy verdant lawn, judiciously unleash the elixirs when cloudy.

  • Spray in early morning or evening when temps are under 85°F.
  • Seek moderate humidity, not bone dry nor sopping wet.
  • Let zephyrs lie low, that mists meander not.
  • Blanket broad swaths once, then revisit unreached recesses.
  • On a small patch first test an elixir’s edicts.

Ideally, the soil surface remains receptive, not cracked nor baked. Whilst warm season lawns thrive in the oppressive heat, cool season grasses curl and retreat this time of year. So aim elixirs at distressed areas in dire need of thy diligent remedies. Thus shall thy lawn flourish under temperate conditions, the verdant veil preserved despite summer’s scorching reign.

Treatment Cycles

Treatment Cycles

Pre-Emergent Post-Emergent
Early spring before seeds germinate Summer when weeds actively growing
Fall to stop winter weeds Mid summer for spot treatments

Read those product labels to know recommended times of year. Off label use can damage surrounding landscape plants. Granular herbicides work well when temps are hot. For best results, treat in early morning or evening when between 65-85°F.

Weigh all factors when planning weed control for a healthy lawn. Timing matters.

Gotta time those treatments right, friend. Proper herbicide selection and follow-up treatments are key for weed control.

Hiring a Professional?

Hiring a Professional
Hiring a professional lawn care company can take the guesswork out of weed control. They know the right products and timing for your area and turfgrass type. A reputable company will customize a plan based on your soil pH, desired turf species, and growth stage.

This ensures treatments target weeds at the right time without harming surrounding plants.

You’ll gain flexibility with applications timed through the seasons as needed. Rather than trying to DIY, experts handle proper calibration, spraying techniques, and follow-up.

Compare services and ask about year-round options. Your local extension agent can also provide guidance on fertility, turf selection, and more.

Broadleaf Weed Control

Broadleaf Weed Control
You’ll wanna get that broadleaf under control in early spring before it takes over your lawn. I know it seems easier to just let ’em be, but trust me – takin’ action now prevents a whole lotta headache later.

  1. Apply pre-emergents in early spring to inhibit weed seeds from sprouting.
  2. Attack weeds during their early growth cycle when most vulnerable.
  3. Hand pull isolated weeds before they spread.
  4. Consider organic options like corn gluten meal to block seed germination.
  5. Identify broadleaf weeds accurately for effective removal – misidentification leads to poor results.

Effective weed management requires vigilance. Keeping up with timely control measures tailored to target weeds at their weakest will give you the upper hand in the war against these invasive plants. A lush, weed-free lawn is within your reach with proactive prevention and quick eradication during vulnerable growth stages.

So take control of your turf now and reap the benefits all season long.

Alternative Weed Solutions

Alternative Weed Solutions
Take control of those pesky weeds now with Foamstream’s effective anytime treatments for a perfectly manicured lawn that’ll be the envy of the neighborhood.

Our all-natural foam herbicide smothers broadleaf weeds and crabgrass without chemicals, so you can get rid of those stubborn invaders for good. Simply apply with our custom sprayer whenever weeds appear – no timing restrictions.

The plant-based formula blocks photosynthesis, desiccating weeds at the roots within hours while leaving your grass unharmed. Ditch the chemicals and enjoy a lush, healthy lawn with our innovative foam technology.

We target weeds without disrupting soil biology for long-term ecological harmony in your yard.

Your neighborhood curb appeal awaits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long do I have to wait after applying herbicide before letting my kids and pets play on the lawn?

You’ll need to wait until the lawn is completely dry, typically 24-48 hours, before allowing kids and pets back on treated areas. Always follow label directions for re-entry intervals to ensure herbicides are dry before resuming use.

What kind of protective clothing should I wear when spraying herbicides?

When spraying herbicides, wear gloves, long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes. This protective clothing prevents skin exposure to chemicals. Wearing a mask also reduces inhalation of herbicide vapors. Follow all label precautions to stay safe.

How do I calibrate my sprayer to apply the proper amount of herbicide?

First, measure out a defined area such as 1,000 square feet. Next, fill the spray tank. Then, spray the measured area at your preferred walking speed. Be sure to operate the sprayer as you normally would during an application.

After spraying the area, collect any remaining liquid in the tank to calculate the output rate per 1,000 square feet. If needed, adjust the nozzle type or pressure to achieve your target application rate.

Repeating the calibration process may be necessary until you dial in the ideal output rate. Properly calibrating the sprayer ensures accurate and uniform herbicide application to the desired area.

Can I mix different herbicides together in my sprayer?

You can mix herbicides, but be extremely cautious. First, thoroughly read all labels to ensure compatibility and correct mixing rates. Before spraying your entire lawn, test mix a small batch. Improper mixing can damage turf or trees and lead to unintended environmental impacts.

How do I clean my sprayer after applying herbicide to avoid damaging plants I later spray with the same equipment?

Rinse the tank, hoses, and nozzles thoroughly with clean water after applying any herbicide. Use a tank cleaner product and let the equipment soak for 15 minutes before rinsing again to remove all traces of previous chemicals.


What a difference the right timing makes when bringing weeds to their knees! Preparation is key; from assessing the enemy to having your tools in order, rushing in often leads to defeat. But armed with knowledge of the best times for battle, you’ll gain the upper hand.

Follow seasonal cues, prepare the lawn thoroughly, and make weed control a habit rather than a reaction. Stick to yearly application cycles for the healthiest lawn yet. The key is proper timing for spraying lawn weeds.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.