Tackling Troublesome Weeds in Oklahoma: A Lawn Care Guide

January 18, 2024
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Lawn weeds in Oklahoma are a common problem for many of the state’s homeowners. Oklahoma’s diverse climate fosters a vibrant, sometimes frustrating, array of invasive weeds eager to conquer your healthy turf. A vibrant lawn is more than just green grass—it’s a source of pride and joy. But unwanted weeds can steal that joy. At Don’s Lawn, we’re here to help you fight back! We’ll equip you with the knowledge and strategies to reclaim your lawn’s pristine beauty.

Invasive Weeds in Oklahoma Lawns

Before you reach for the herbicide, a little intel goes a long way. Familiarizing yourself with common weeds in Oklahoma lawns equips you to target their weaknesses effectively. Here are five of the most notorious lawn culprits:

Bull Nettle

This prickly foe isn’t just an eyesore; its bristly leaves pack a punch, delivering a painful, itchy rash upon contact. This rash is caused by tiny hairs that release histamine and formic acid and can linger for days, making Bull Nettle a public enemy in Oklahoma’s parks and gardens. Be cautious when weeding, and wear gloves to avoid its sting.

Ragweed

Don’t be fooled by its goldenrod cousin; Ragweed is one of Oklahoma’s most famous allergy offenders. Its wind-borne pollen triggers itchy eyes, runny noses, and sneezing fits, making life miserable for allergy sufferers during late summer and fall. Control Ragweed populations through early mowing and targeted herbicide application.

Dandelions

While these cheerful yellow blossoms may delight children with their wish-granting fluff, they’re unwelcome guests in most Oklahoma lawns. Their taproots will grow large and greedily steal water and nutrients from healthy turf. Their prolific seed production causes a never-ending dandelion population. Persistence is key when tackling these weeds; combining hand-pulling, organic herbicides, and pre-emergent treatments can help keep them away.

Henbit

This winter annual might seem harmless with its delicate purple flowers that carpet the ground, but Henbit can be a sneaky invader. Its low-growing habit chokes out desirable lawn grasses, and its seeds readily germinate in cool weather, making it a persistent nuisance. Early intervention is important with Henbit. Try hand-pulling or applying organic weed control methods before it sets seeds.

Crabgrass

This summer annual weed is the bane of many Oklahoma lawn owners. Its fast-growing, creeping habit smothers desirable turf, leaving behind a patchy, unsightly mess. Crabgrass thrives in hot, sunny conditions and quickly germinates in bare soil, making it a relentless competitor. Pre-emergent herbicides applied in early spring are your best defense against this unwelcome guest. Staying alert and quick action are vital to keeping Crabgrass at bay.

By understanding each weed’s unique characteristics and threats, you can choose the most effective control methods and take back your lawn. For more weed identification in Oklahoma, visit here.

Controlling Lawn Weeds in Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s climate gives rise to three unique weed groups: summer annuals, winter annuals, and perennials. Below, you will find more information on their germination cycles and the most effective herbicide strategies to keep your lawn weed-free year-round.

Summer Annual Weeds: 

These invaders complete their life cycle in one season and return each year. Some summer annuals are crabgrass, goosegrass, foxtail, and sandbur. Knotweed and spurge also grow in the summer. 

Pre-emergence herbicides applied before they sprout (March-May) are your first line of defense. Young weeds can be treated with organic arsenicals (May-June) or 2,4-D combos (safe on bermudagrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and more).

Winter Annual Weeds: 

Annual bluegrass, rescuegrass, downy brome, little barley, chickweed, and henbit invade in late August-early September. Pre-emergence herbicides applied before they strike (two weeks prior) are your best bet. If you cannot care for them during these months, October-November is another good time for post-emergence control with 2,4-D combinations (safe for several turfgrass types). 

Perennial Weeds: 

Dealing with perennial weeds such as Dallisgrass, dandelions, clover, and nutsedge in Oklahoma requires a tailored approach. Multiple treatments are necessary for effective control of Dallisgrass, including pre-and post-emergent applications that attack the weed at different stages of its development. To suppress yellow nutsedge, a pre-emergent herbicide like Pennant applied in March-April can curb its early growth, and a June application of Basagran T/O is practical against mature plants. For dandelions and clover, a combination of 2,4-D-based treatments in October-November, which are compatible with various turfgrass types, is recommended.

Herbicide Types:

  1. Pre-emergence: Control weeds before they germinate.
  2. Postemergence: Control emerged weeds.

Pre-emergence Herbicides:

  • Control crabgrass, foxtails, annual bluegrass, and chickweed.
  • Examples: Dacthal, Balan, Betasan, Princep, Purge, Surflan, Kerb, Devrinol.
  • Apply for crabgrass/foxtails by March-April, and September for annual bluegrass/chickweed.
  • Follow label instructions for timing, application, and safety.

Postemergence Herbicides:

  • Selective: Control specific weeds without harming turf.
  • Non-selective: Kill all green plants.
  • Systemic: Absorbed by plants and moves to all parts.
  • Contact: Kill only plant parts they touch.
  • Examples: 2,4-D, Banvel, MCPP, Kerb, Glyphosate, Diquat, Phytar.
  • Follow label instructions for type, application rate, and safety precautions.

Fix The Lawn Issues, Not Just the Weeds

While weeds may seem like enemies, they can offer insights into your lawn’s health. If herbicide treatments are ineffective, closely examine your lawn’s general health. The presence of weeds can point out nutrient deficiencies, soil compaction, or inadequate watering. 

Please choose the right grass type and nurture it carefully to prevent lawn weeds in Oklahoma

Fertilize:

A well-nourished lawn grows thick and dense, repelling weeds capable of withstanding rough weather. 

Thatch:

Bermudagrass and zoysiagrass can build up a  layer called thatch – undecomposed plant parts that choke out new growth. Proper mowing, watering, and responsible herbicide use keep thatch in check, letting air, water, and nutrients reach the roots for a deeper, healthier lawn.

Aeration:

Compacted soil blocks air and water from reaching the roots, stunting growth and resilience. Aeration pricks holes in this barrier, letting your lawn breathe easy and grow strong, preparing it to handle traffic, heatwaves, and even water shortages.

Overseeding:

Yearly overseeding is essential for maintaining lush, weed-free fescue lawns in Oklahoma. This practice promotes thick, green turf that naturally crowds out weeds. In contrast, due to its inherent resilience, healthy Bermuda grass typically doesn’t require overseeding.

Ready to Wave Goodbye to Weeds?

Don’t wait, Don’s Lawn is here to transform your lawn! Get a free quote today and discover how our weed control in Oklahoma City can transform your lawn into the envy of the neighborhood!


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