Green weeds can be really obvious in brown, dormant lawns. LSU AgCenter weed scientist Ron Strahan says it’s OK to spray lawns now with liquid herbicides to control those winter weeds before they become mature and start producing seeds.
Liquid atrazine tests best in winter weed trials and is good for winter weed control in lawns now through April, Strahan says.
Atrazine controls weeds like annual bluegrass, white clover, chickweed, bedstraw and lawn burweed or sticker weed. The herbicide is good but not perfect.
The next best option after atrazine are herbicides that contain 2,4-D as one or more active ingredients. Most herbicides sold to consumers will also have dicamba and mecoprop and possibly carfentrazone as additional active ingredients.
“We usually call these weed killers ‘trimec’-type herbicides,” he says.
Weed control with these trimec herbicides can be improved with follow-up applications two weeks after the initial application.
Avoid weed-and-feed products until the lawn greens up, Strahan says. They’re typically high in nitrogen fertilizer, which, when applied to lawns in late winter, can cause grass to begin growing early, leading to frost injury and brown patch disease susceptibility.
As with all chemicals, be sure to read the label to find out what the chemical is supposed to do and how to use it properly.
Vegetable growers can be active in their gardens in January. Mid-to-late January is the time to transplant broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce and direct seed Irish potatoes into the garden.
It’s also time to start tomato, eggplant and pepper transplants. AgCenter horticulturists say it takes between eight and 10 weeks to germinate and grow into a decent-sized seedling for the garden.
Keep seedlings in a warm and bright area. One week prior to transplanting, move them outside to harden off.
Got a gardening question? Write to GardenNews@agcenter.lsu.edu.