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Control Winter Annual Weeds

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Agent:  Donna Teasley
Date:  October 28, 2021

Hello, this is Donna Teasley, Horticulture Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center.

Winter annual weeds are up and growing by now and if you don’t want to fight chickweed and henbit next spring, it’s time to get rid of them now. Winter annual weeds come up during the fall and flower in late winter. They can take over a good bit of the lawn in the spring, making it look terrible. Then, winter annuals die out with the heat of summer leaving bare spots for crabgrass and wire grass to take over. It’s a vicious cycle!

But, if you act now, most of this problem can be prevented. The trick is to kill the weed before it disperses seeds. Once the seeds have been scattered, next year’s events are already set in motion. Applying herbicides in the spring after weeds have dispersed their seeds is useless. So, spraying in November and again in January will kill out these weeds before they give off seeds.

Using herbicides such as Wed b Gon or Trimec will control most of the winter annuals in your lawn. You can say goodbye to chickweed, henbit, hairy bittercress and prostrate spurge if you schedule your herbicide applications correctly. It is important to remember that perennial weeds such as wild onion, dandelion and wild violet are tougher to control and additional applications at different times of the year are necessary.

This is Donna Teasley with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center. If you would like more information about this program, you can call us at 764-9480.