April's Ag Advice by April Borders Fall is an excellent time to attack broadleaf weeds in the lawns, gardens and fields, (especially to control noxious weeds). The fall is the time of year when pesticide use is generally more effective. Summer is not a good time to try to control weeds. Why? Mainly because the chemicals never gets to the root because the plant is too busy trying to grow and produce seed.
In the fall, the plant is processing nutrients and directing the flow of materials to the roots. By using fall applications of herbicides the plant absorbs the chemicals and moves them into their root system and is generally killed. A single fall application is often more effective than multiple summer applications for control of dandelions and thistle.
A light frost will not decrease the effectiveness of the control, but a hard frost will cause the plants to shut down for the year. Due to the dry summer weather, many weeds were slow to get started but now that we have had cooler weather and rain, we will see both annuals and perennials having a growth flush. Take a look at the weeds to find out if there is new or active growth.
There must be active growth with enough leaf area to allow for good herbicide contact. If we get a nice warm fall with temperatures in the 60s to 70s we will have a great opportunity to control perennial weeds.
Standard weed control products that contain 2,4-D or 2,4-D and dicamba, or Trimec (2,4-D, MCPP and dicamba) are great for homeowners to use. These chemicals are available at most hardware and garden stores. Herbicides that work well for pastures, CRP and non-crop areas would be 2,4-D, or 2,4-D and Tordon. Plateau can also be used in pastures and range to help control leafy spurge.
Shelterbelts and tree plantings can use Princep. Consult the label before using for a list of approved tree species and approved rates. Other available herbicides are Casoron, Kar-mex, and Treflan. They all have different restrictions and it is best to consult with your local dealer to find out which product will work best for you.
Whenever applying chemicals always make sure that you have correctly identified the pest or problem. Do a little research into the best method of control. Remember to check weather conditions before applying any chemical. Pesticides can move away from their original site if you are applying them under windy conditions.
Drift from the target site may injure wildlife, pets, sensitive plants and people. Damage from drift is an unfortunate situation and can be costly. Always read the label if applying a chemical. Always READ THE LABEL and use only according to the manufactures recommendations.
For more information on fall weed control call the Extension Office at 677-7111.