At the beginning of every summer season, you begin to see those prickly, fluffy weeds that seem to grow out of control within weeks. These are called foxtails—and they can quickly fill the air surrounding your home with pollen and seeds that can irritate you and your pets. To keep your yard foxtail-free this summer, use one or more of these three preventative measures:
Use A Pre-Emergent Treatment
Pre-emergent herbicides offer great protection against foxtail growth. By spraying a pre-emergent herbicide across your yard before the summer season, you can prevent foxtail seeds from ever being able to germinate beneath the top layer of your yard.
Pre-emergent herbicides (as their name implies) must be applied well before foxtail seeds begin to waft their way through the air and into your yard. The most optimal time to apply an herbicide is typically around the end of the winter season.
However, herbicides can lose their effectiveness over time. Additionally, frequent watering, high humidity, and other factors can dilute the effectiveness of herbicides. If these factors are present in your area, then consider using multiple applications of herbicide throughout the post-winter and early spring seasons. By doing so, you can ensure that the window of opportunity for foxtail seedling growth is as small as possible.
The best pre-emergent herbicide to use on your yard is Glyphosate herbicide. Since foxtails are technically a grass and not a weed, herbicides that kill broadleaf vegetation are ineffective at fighting foxtail seedlings. For this reason, a non-selective herbicide such as Glyphosate will prove to be more effective.
Although herbicides are intended to kill weeds and other unwanted plant growth, they can still cause damage to your skin and respiratory system. For these reason, make sure you wear a suitable respirator and protective clothing while applying herbicide to your yard. If you don't have access to the safety equipment you'll need to apply herbicide, then leave the job to a professional lawn care specialist.
Spread Mulch Throughout Your Yard
If you were unable to kill off seedling growth in the early spring, then your next best option is to starve the seedlings of essential nutrients. Although there are several ways to deprive foxtail seedlings of nutrients, the most effective and least labor-intensive way is to spread mulch throughout your yard.
Mulch absorbs moisture and prevents sunlight from reaching the surface of your yard. If there are areas of your yard that are beginning to sprout foxtails, then a layer of mulch about two inches thick will make it significantly more difficult for the foxtails to grow.
However, if foxtails are beginning to grow in areas of your yard that already have vegetation, then mulch will also starve the existing vegetation of sorely-needed nutrients. To prevent mulch from killing the entirety of the vegetation in your yard, only spread thin layers of mulch throughout populated areas of your yard.
Additionally, if there are any areas of your yard that don't have vegetation, then they should be coated with mulch. Dead areas of your yard are likely to sprout foxtails since the seedlings don't have to compete with other vegetation.
Plant A Competitor
Your yard only receives a certain amount of nutrients from water and sunlight. Rather than leaving these nutrients available to foxtail seedlings, plant grass and other vegetation in your yard that will absorb these nutrients before they can be used to foster unwanted weeds and vegetation.
If you have trouble applying a pre-emergent herbicide, spreading mulch, or planting a competing form of vegetation, then contact a lawn care specialist to take care of the job for you. By implementing these preventative measures, you can ensure your yard remains free of foxtails all summer long.
Visit a site like http://snydersweedcontrol.com/ for more information on residential weed control.