Post-emergent Broadleaf weeds

Dealing With Spring Broadleaf Weeds

Spring is a great time to control summer annuals and perennial broadleaf weeds – applying a herbicide just as these weeds green up from winter dormancy or when they are young, newly germinated plants catches them at their weakest point and gets the job done easier. In the end that’s less of your time spent caring for the lawn, more time enjoying it- and less herbicide needed in the long run. has a great selection of post-emergent weed control products, and we can help you get the right one to control your lawn’s weeds.

Which weeds are Summer Annuals?
Summer annual weeds are those which do not survive or go dormant over the winter months. Each spring new plants germinate from seed and they flower in the summer or early fall (winter annuals germinate in the fall and complete their flowering in the spring).

Because annuals aren’t designed to survive in the long term they are typically the easier weeds to remove when targeted at the right time of year. In the spring many broadleaf herbicides will be adequate for controlling summer annuals – but once temperatures start to really warm up controlling them becomes much more difficult.

Examples of summer annual weeds:
Black medic
Common mallow (also considered a biennial)

Which weeds are Perennials?
Perennial weeds are those which are capable of surviving over the winter in some form or by going dormant (there are some which go the other direction and go dormant to survive the heat of summer). These survival structures (like a tap root, large root system, rhizomes , hardened stems etc.) make controlling these weeds more difficult.

If you have perennial weeds in your lawn, you’ll want to be sure it’s properly identified as broadleaf herbicides can be very specific in which perennial weeds they can control. In general, perennial weed control will require more than one application, but you should always read and follow the label of your herbicide to be sure you use it properly to maximize control.

Examples of Perennials:
Chickweeds (some chickweeds are annuals)
Common yarrow
Ground ivy
Canada thistle
Musk thistle
Wild violet
Wood sorrel

Which herbicide is best for my lawn?
A great place to start for broadleaf herbicides in lawns it to find one that:
• works quickly (you’ll see browning in controlled plants as soon as 24-48hrs after application)
• is safe for use in cool and warm season grasses (tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, Common bermudagrass, and zoysia among others- see label for complete list)
• provides a broad spectrum of control (covering many summer annuals and perennials)

4 Speed XT does all this! 4 Speed XT has 4 different active herbicides to cover a wide variety of broadleaf weeds – and specifically targets some very difficult to control perennials like common yarrow, clover, ground ivy (creeping Charlie), wild violet, and wood sorrel. If you prefer to apply a granular product we have two excellent options Nutriscape Lock Up 15-0-2 or Nutriscape Lock Up 0-0-7

Plus, 4 Speed XT includes the Ester formulation of 2,4-D which provides excellent broadleaf weed control (better than the Amine formulation) and works best in cooler weather (like spring and fall).

Applying your broadleaf herbicide in the spring provides control of most summer annuals because you catch them just as they are germinating and at their weakest. This is also a good time to “knock back” perennial weeds – although tough perennials, like clover, violets, and ground ivy will likely need additional applications in the fall will to get the best control.

The key to getting the most effective herbicide application is first to follow your label directions and apply the proper amount of herbicide. But you’ll also want to remember:
• apply broadleaf herbicides to healthy, actively growing weeds (fully emerged, germinated or “greened up”)
• irrigate the lawn (and especially the weeds) a day or so before making your herbicide application to boost the weeds’ health which improves the herbicide’s activity
• do not mow your lawn more than a few days before making the herbicide application- be sure to have active leaves available for the herbicide to land on
• if the label allows or recommends it, be ready to make a second application 2-4 weeks later
• when dealing with stubborn perennials (like clover, ground ivy, wild violet and others) expect to make more applications in the fall as well – stay subscribed to our newsletter and we’ll remind you! has over 40 options for broadleaf weed control in lawns – you can customize the sort of care you’re looking for to precisely match your situation. And if you’d like help in getting just the right product call or email us, we have a staff of lawn and garden professionals ready to answer any broadleaf weed or other questions you have.