Weatherford Democrat

Parker County Master Gardeners

March 2, 2014

ASK A MASTER GARDENER: Got weeds? Here’s what to do

Here are this week’s gardening questions and answers, provided by Parker County Master Gardeners. To submit a question, send it to For more information about Parker County Master Gardeners, or to become a member, call 817-598-6096 or visit

I have weeds popping up in my lawn. Is it too early to treat them?

A sudden warm spell during winter can cause weeds to sprout, and I’ve noticed them all across town.

When temperatures are in the 60s, you can apply a broadleaf weed killer to control clover, dandelion, henbit, and other non-grassy weeds. Apply when there is no rain in the 48-hour forecast, and follow all instructions carefully.

The key to a weed-free lawn is a dense, aggressive turfgrass. Weeds simply don’t have room to sprout and grow in a healthy lawn. Raising the mower deck to 3 inches or higher will promote longer roots and a wider spread on your turfgrass.

Watering deeply and less frequently encourages roots to grow deeper into the soil where they are less susceptible to water stress. Healthy roots are the key to healthy grass.

What is a pre-emergent and how does it work?

Pre-emergent is an herbicide that can be applied to your lawn to prevent the growth of annual weeds. When applied at the proper time, a pre-emergent will disrupt the root growth of a newly sprouted seed, killing the plant.

There are two different kinds of annual weeds, requiring two applications of pre-emergent each year. In Parker County, warm season weeds sprout in late February to mid-March when the soil temperature increases to about 50 degrees. Cool season weeds sprout in the fall and winter, beginning in mid-September when the weather begins to cool. In order to be effective,

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