Is your Omaha lawn care plan battle-ready against weeds?
Omaha lawn care can be tricky, especially when it feels like a different season each day. Easter weekend was a prime example. Saturday, April 11th was a beautiful 70-degree day. Neighbors were out doing yard work and several commented that they were out to mow before the snow. You heard that right. Snow. Sunday’s temperatures were 30-40 degrees colder with 50+ mile winds and snow flurries. Although we can’t be certain about the weather from day-to-day, we can trust that days are getting longer; the soil is getting warmer and weeds will soon start to appear.
Now is the time to prepare to battle weeds. To have an advantage, it is good to arm yourself with knowledge about weeds common in the Omaha metro area. By learning how to identify common Midwest weeds as well as what you can do to protect your lawn, you can win the battle against weeds!
Omaha lawn care battle preparation – knowledge is the key to success
Weeds are simply plants that are growing where they don’t belong. Some weeds are Annuals and only around for the season. Others, known as Perennials, are more permanent in nature and may recur year-after-year. As tempting as it may be to just pluck a weed when you come across it, you would be wise to first determine the weed type so that you can eliminate it permanently.
Annuals are spread each season through seeds. Paradise Lawns offers your best defense with a pre-emergent application in the Spring to prevent germination. When you stop the seed from sprouting, you avoid having weeds litter your yard and stop future seeds from dispersing.
- Crabgrass – “Keeping a low profile in the lawn, crabgrass eludes the mower blade when we mow the lawn.” Crabgrass appears in early summer, so it is best to have Paradise Lawns apply a Spring pre-emergent to prevent development.
- Foxtail – This weed can be a danger to your dog. By having Paradise Lawns apply a pre-emergent in the spring, you can keep foxtail growth to a minimum. If you spot foxtail in your yard, “pull off the seed heads to prevent the plant from repopulating the area. Dig deeply to get the long roots, using a long slender weeding tool.”
- Chickweed – This weed is why knowing your soil’s pH level is important. Chickweed thrives in neutral pH soil and poorly in lower pH levels. Considered a “winter annual” it is best to hand pull chickweed during fall and winter. Since we are moving away from winter, it is best to call Paradise Lawns for a pH soil test and custom plan to keep it from thriving.
Perennials establish a deep root system and reappear year-after-year if left unchecked. Unfortunately, pulling a perennial weed will not eliminate the problem. Call Paradise Lawns to customize a plan that will go below the surface and get to the root of the matter.
- Nutsedge – grows at a faster rate than grass, so it is often mistaken for a blade of grass that the mower missed. They are prominent in the spring because they thrive in damp soil conditions. If you spot it right away, pluck it. Otherwise, it is best to call Paradise Lawns to tackle the tuber system that develops under the surface.
- Thistle – designed to keep animals from munching on it, thistle is prickly and can be painful if you try to pluck with your bare hand. This weed provides nectar to butterflies and other pollinators, so we don’t recommend spraying with chemicals. Instead, dig up the thistle before it reaches maturity and the flower blooms.
- Dandelion – a great food source for bees and other pollinators, we don’t recommend spraying dandelions with chemicals. Your best bet is “a vigorous (and competitive) lawn. Dense turfgrass and ornamentals shade the soil surface, reducing the establishment of new dandelion seedlings.”
- Volunteer Tree Saplings – known by children as “whirly twirlies” or “helicopters” maple tree saplings zig and zag through the sky on windy spring days. Once they land in soil, they quickly begin the germination and sprouting process. It is best to pluck or mow over volunteer trees as soon as they start to develop.
- Unknown – Uncertain what type of weed you are dealing with? Check out MSU’s lawn weed identification & research resource site. The Douglas County Extension Office is another good resource for determining what type of weed you have in your lawn. You can also take pictures and note distinguishing features about your mystery weed to send to Paradise Lawns. Our knowledgeable crew will help you figure out what you are dealing with and solutions.
Five ways to defend against weeds
- Mow at a higher level for fewer weeds. Longer, well-maintained lawns have fewer weeds and a stronger root system than lawns mowed at a shorter height or left unattended.
- Water deeply and infrequently. This promotes deeper roots for your grass and less room for weeds.
- Apply grass seed to bare patches. A lawn full of grass means less space for weeds.
- Know what type of weed you are trying to eliminate before picking it. Weeds with root systems like nutsedge or dandelions require a different approach.
- Make sure your pH is balanced in your soil. Healthy soil will deter and minimize seed growth.
Call in the reinforcements – the Omaha Lawn Care Pros at Paradise Lawns
If you live in the Omaha metro area, the time to act is now. You don’t have to fight this battle alone – call Paradise Lawns to learn more about our lawn care services. We provide free pH soil testing to all new customers and have a 6 Step Fertilization program that will target weeds as they try to take over your yard. So, don’t delay – call Dave and the lawn care warriors at Paradise Lawns today at 402-612-1527 or click here to prepare to win the battle against weeds!