By DoMyOwn staff
Weed control is a major part of any lawn rehab program. In this episode, Paul learns how to do his own pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicide application to prevent and knock down lawn weeds.
The time has arrived to start killing some weeds! Before I put down any pre and/or post emergents, let's talk about a few other things. For starters, let's talk about how depressing this yard looks! I mean it is terrible. So I cannot wait for Spring to get here, and this thing green up.
Now I had mentioned this in the last video, but I want to circle back to it and discuss it a little further. When it comes to applying pre and/or post emergents, timing really is everything. Where I live here in the south, my window for applying pre emergents February to March. Somewhere in there. Coming out of Winter, going into Spring. We want to try and hit it before the grass really greens up and weeds really start to germinate.
After Summer, going into Fall, my window's roughly August to October. Somewhere in there. It all depends on the weather patterns, and what's happening. I could have saved myself a whole bunch of work if I had put down and application of pre emergents going into the Fall. But like I had mentioned before, I missed that boat, missed that window of opportunity and that's ok. Again, I'll just have to work extra hard in the Spring and Summer to really keep my lawn beautiful and healthy.
Now for my application today, I am going to be applying Pre Emergents and Post Emergents! Yes, you can apply both together, mixed up in the same tank. But use caution here. Whatever products you are going to be using or thinking about using, read the product label! Remember, LABEL...IS...LAW! The product label will tell you how much you have to mix, in the tank, to cover your area.
See, I'm just getting started in my yard, which means I have thriving weeds, already established that I need to kill off. I have no idea if anybody has really treated this yard, or what's been done to it. For that reason, I am going to be mixing up my post emergent with my pre emergent.
Think about it like this, pre emergents are going to prevent weeds from growing. It will kill them before they have a chance to germinate, and grow in your yard. Post emergents is for after they have already grown and are thriving in your yard. It's for the here and now. Now the pre and post emergents that I am going to be using in my yard, are made specifically for dormant Bermuda grass. So it's safe to spray on it in its current state. I can target a lot of weeds without damaging what existing Bermuda I have.
Let me just also re-emphasis something here! I don't fully know what I am doing. This is all new to me. I'm learning as I go. I'm really leaning on our customer service staff to guide me along in the process. I'm reading product labels. I'm doing my research. Really trying to understand what it is and what it takes to do my own lawn care and you can do the same to!
Don't be afraid to try and grow a green thumb! Unless it's infected. Then you should probably go to a hospital, or go see a doctor!
Now before we start talking about mixing ratios, how much product to put into my tank, how much water, all that good stuff. There's one other thing I want to do before I do all of that! Every sprayer is going to be calibrated differently. Mainly pump sprayers like this one are not going to be exact. They put out a slow fine mist. All that means is that I have to walk slower to get a nice even coverage. A nice slow pace is key to achieve that. How fast I'm going to walk can also be determined by how much is coming out of the sprayer. So how do we figure that out? Well... First we grab our sprayer...
A bucket...one preferably that can hold a gallon.
And a water hose! Good old bucket test!
So the idea is, I'm going to fill up my sprayer, and I'm going to pump it up, pressurize it. And see how long it takes to empty out 1 gallon. Which right there, is the one gallon mark.
Ready to go!
So the basic idea behind a bucket test, is I'm going to sit here and spray out to that 1 gallon mark, and time it on my phone. Once I know how long it takes to spray out a gallon, I'll know how long it should take me to cover 1,000 square feet with that one gallon, with this particular sprayer.
Ok, to spray out 1 gallon from this backpack sprayer at about 20 pounds per square inch, that took me about two and a half minutes. So if it takes me two and a half minutes to spray out 1 gallon, and 1 gallon typically treats 1,000 square feet; I've got 6,400 square feet, so that's two and a half minutes for 1 gallon, 4 gallons will be about ten minutes, so I'm looking at roughly somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes that it should take me to treat all 6,400 square feet of my yard.
A Lot of your lawn products, your pre and post emergents and your herbicides, are going to state on their label that you need x amount per 1,000 square feet. And one gallon of water should treat 1,000 feet. In my case, I'm going to need an ounce of my post emergent, and roughly about .3 ounces of my pre emergent for every gallon, and that one gallon should cover 1,000 square feet. Now I know all of that seems a little bit confusing, heck it's still confusing for me. I still have to call our customer service staff, "Hey, is this how I do it? That's it? OK, moving forward!"
Also, if you're concerned, can I spray out 1 gallon in 1,000 square feet. What does that look like? How do I get the gist of that? Well here's something you can do to practice. If you can, mark off an area in your driveway. Use some bricks, landscaping stones, or scrap wood, whatever you got laying around. Mark off ten feet by 100 feet. Fill up your sprayer with one gallon of water only. Pressurize that and spray it out in the area that you marked off.
Now the reason I say use your driveway is, after you're done spraying your water out of your sprayer, you can see on your drive way, where you've sprayed, and how much you've covered. If you're empty and you've covered that whole area, that's a 1,000 square feet and now you've got a general feel for what it's like to spray out one gallon in 1,000 square feet.
But I also feel it's important to say this. You want to make sure the weeds are wet. Don't drench it. Don't soak it to the point of run off. A Lot of the labels will even tell you that. But you want to make sure you're getting them wet. Nice good even coverage. So walk slow, nice steady even pace. And make sure that even coverage is getting on your yard.
Now comes the really fun part! Post Emergent, Pre Emergent, Marking Dye. Let's talk about all three.
Just to state it again, Pre Emergents should be put down coming out of Winter, going into Spring, before the lawn wakes up. And, coming out of Summer, going into Fall, just before things start to go dormant. For me here in the South, I'm applying here at the end of February before my lawn really starts to Spring up. Get it? Going into Spring, Spring up...
I'm also going to be mixing a Post Emergent with it, because I want to kill off any of the thriving weeds that I already have and have already germinated and established themselves. I can mix these two, my Post and Pre Emergents in the same tank.But, again, read the labels and make sure that you can do that. Each one of these products state specifically on their label that it is ok for me to mix them in the same tank. I'm also going to be adding a marking dye, right here, it's messy so I keep it sealed up in a bag. I'm going to add that into my tank to just keep track of where I'm spraying.
With all three mixed up in my tank, I'm going to walk backwards at a nice slow pace so that I get a good even coverage. I can't preach that enough. You want to get a good even coverage over the yard so that we make sure our weeds are getting nice and wet. Now once I've spread these products in the yard, I'm going to let them sit and do their thing. I'm going to avoid walking through the areas that I've sprayed. Especially with my marking dye, I don't want to get that all over my boots. It's really messy, it can do that. You can risk tracking that all over the place.
Let's talk about mixing all of this stuff up. The marking dye is easy. It's just one ounce per one gallon of water. For my pre emergent, they recommend .3 ounces per every 1,000 square feet, and I should use one gallon of water to carry that .3 ounces for every 1,000 square feet. For my Post emergent, it says on the label, I should use one ounce per 1,000 square feet. And I'll need one gallon to treat 1,000 square feet with that one ounce.
My Pre Emergent I'm looking at about one ounce for four gallons. I'm looking at four ounces for four gallons, and four ounces for four gallons. Got these little measuring cups to visually see one ounce. So, let's get to it.
Notice the PPE? Make sure you have it on!
Must sprayers have an indicator line. This one's right here on the back to let you know when you've got to four gallons. What I'm going to do first, is I'm going to fill it up halfway with water, then I'll add in all my product, fill it all the way up with four gallons, and mix it all up.
Got all the mixes in there, now I'm going to put in the rest of my water.
Make sure it's nice and tight.
Agitate it, mix it up.
And we're off to the races!
Here's my yard after the first weed application. I'm definitely going to have to do it again, but you can tell the difference between my neighbors yard and my yard. That blue dye really does help, and really does show you where you got and where you didn't get.
So it's a few days after my first application, I busted my old sunglasses, I had to get new ones, and I learned that I'm going to have to re-treat this yard. But that's ok.
I might do some spot treatments throughout the Summer. But I might just wait to do an all over application again, coming out of Summer going into Fall when I should put down my next full application of Pre Emergents.
Which brings up a really good point. This isn't a one and done type of situation. We don't do just one broadcast spray to control out weeds. It takes re-applications, timing, thought. It takes a lot of work to gain control of the weeds in your yard. It also might take a combination of different products to gain control. I mean, certain weeds might not react to the pre and post emergents that I put down. I'll have to wait and figure that out and see when my yard starts to green up what weeds are left over, identify them, and really probably specifically target them with a different product.
So, there's not a, uh, it's not a one size fits all. There's not one product that's going to take care of everything in one application. It's going to take work.
When it comes to re-seeding or overseeding, I would hold off on doing it before your pre emergent application. Because, if you throw down new seed and then spray your pre emergent over that, it's probably, most likely going to kill the seeds that you put down. Again, keep in mind, pre emergents are designed to stop things from germinating. So, if you throw down new seeds, then you spray a pre emergent, it's going to kill it and burn those seeds up.
Now as far as overseeding my yard, my pre and post emergents say I need to wait six to eight weeks before I can actually do that. That's fine for me. That period I'm going to have to wait because I still need to take some soil samples to figure out what my soil needs for my grass to really thrive. I'm going to have to aerate, and there's still some other kind of, you know, yard clean up items that I'm going to have to take care of.
The other things that I realized after doing this first weed application; I'm probably going to have to break up my rehab program. Meaning I'm not going to be able to take care of my entire yard. I'm probably going to focus on my front and my left side of my yard, where most of my Bermuda is at. And then focus on the back and right side where my Bradford Pears are. The reason for that is, I realized, there's tons of moss in my back and side where my Bradford Pears are. So, that's going to be a completely different animal. I'm realizing it's going to take some different products, some different treatment methods, and clean up procedures to really get all of that out of there, and over seed, and, you know bring that back to life.
So this was good to walk around my property, and make an application, and just kind of take stock of where I'm at and what I need to do to really get my yard looking good and beautiful. So that's where we're at! We've made our first weed application. I'm going to have to wait until Spring gets here to really see how effective it was. See what weeds I killed off, and what remains before I can move forward with, you know, controlling the weeds, or, you know, taking care of that part of my rehab program. The next video in the series, soil samples! We're going to talk all about it. Where to take them, how to take them, where you take the samples after you've taken them. All of that good stuff is going to be coming up in the next video.
I hope I answered some major questions when it comes to pre and post emergents and weed control applications. If you have any more, contact our customer service staff by picking up the phone, giving them a call, or shooting an email. Also, you can leave any kind of questions or comments in the comments section below of this video.
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