Controlling weeds in your fescue lawn prevents them from crowding out the grass and competing for its soil nutrients and water. Homeowners and professional landscapes prefer the look of a uniform, weed-free lawn without having to pull weeds by hand. There are several weed killer products available that effectively control weeds in a fescue lawn.
About Fescue Lawns
Fescue grass tolerates mild to warm temperatures, and it maintains its green color throughout the year. It is a drought and shade-tolerant turf grass species. Fescue grass varieties include tall fescue, hard fescue, creeping red fescue and sheep fescue.
Effects of Weeds
Weeds can grow as annuals or perennials and both can come back and spread season after season. Annual weeds produce seeds that germinate the following season, and perennial weeds produce seeds and develop extended root systems that spread and invade the fescue lawn. If left unattended, the weeds may gradually replace whole sections of the lawn.
Preemergence Weed Killers
Preemergence weed killers prevent weed seeds from germinating and taking root in your fescue lawn. They are available in liquid and granular form. Apply preemergence weed killers in the early spring to prevent weed growth and in the late fall to halt weed seeds from growing next spring.
According to Clemson University Cooperative Extension, pre-emergence weed killers for fescue lawns contain active ingredients such as dithiopyr, pendimethalin and benefin with trifluralin or oryzalin.
Post-emergence Weed Killers
Post-emergence weed killers tackle weeds that have already developed in the fescue lawn. These include broadleaf weeds, crabgrass and dallisgrass. Clemson University recommends postemergence weed killers with quinclorac or fenoxaprop for fescue lawns. The best to apply post-emergence weed killers is after the third mowing of the season when the fescue grass is strong.
Select weed killers specifically formulated for fescue lawns. Moisten the soil before applying the weed killer to activate it and lessen the stress on the grass. Do not apply when it is windy or there is a chance of rain in the next two days.
Do not mow the lawn a day or two before or after applying weed killer so that it covers large areas of the weed for more effectiveness. Repeat applications according to the instructions to increase the effectiveness of the weed killer.
Develop a healthy fescue lawn to prevent weeds from growing. Test and balance your soil with the right balance of fertilizer and lime. Water your lawn regularly to promote healthy growth. Mow the lawn to leave up to 3 inches of grass height to promote dense growth that prevents weed seeds from taking root.