Summer Lawn Weeds in Florida: Common Questions & Answers

Weed control can feel like a full-time job. Find out what you should be doing today to prevent weeds from taking over your lawn this summer.

Once weeds take root in your lawn it can be nearly impossible to eliminate them without professional lawn care treatments. Here in Florida, our climate makes the hassle of weed control a year-round chore. As lawn care professionals that help homeowners across Central Florida with their weed and lawn maintenance every day, we wanted to highlight some steps you can take to prevent your lawn from being overrun with weeds.

What Kinds of Weeds Are Common in Central Florida?

The most common weeds in Central Florida are crabgrass, dandelions, goosegrass, and bull thistle. Our professional lawn care technicians are trained to take care of these specific types of weeds. One way to get rid of these weeds is with an herbicide.

If you’re thinking about using herbicides on your lawn you should consult a professional before you spray. Different weeds require different herbicides, and depending on the kind of grass you have the herbicide could kill off your lawn, trees, and plants. But there are preventative measures you can take right now that will discourage weeds from ruining your lawn.

How Do Proper Mowing Technique Prevent Weeds?

Proper mowing is essential to fighting weeds. Mowing too often or not enough will make your lawn stressed, inviting weeds to come and germinate. Mow your lawn on one of the highest settings so your grass will grow thick and shade weed seeds, preventing them from taking root. When you mow, don’t bag the grass. Let the clippings lie on your lawn to make it even harder for weed seeds to grow.

How Do Proper Watering Technique Prevent Weeds?

Deep watering means watering your lawn about once a week and providing it with an inch of water. When your lawn has plenty of water your grass will be encouraged to grow deep into the soil, making the grass more resilient to drought and making it hard for weeds to have a chance to sprout.

When is the Best Time to Pull Weeds? 

An obvious way to fight weeds is to pick them out of the soil. If you only have a few weeds this is easy to do, but if weeds have run rampant across your lawn this won’t be practical. The best time to weed is when the soil’s wet because this allows you to easily pull the weed out by the roots.

How Do I Kill Weeds Growing in Isolated Areas?

If you have weeds growing in areas where you don’t have any grass, there are a few things you can do to kill them off. You can pour boiling water on them, smother them with mulch, or lay down landscape fabric to stop weeds from growing. Again, this should only be done in isolated areas so you don’t kill off your grass.

Can Fertilizer Keep My Lawn Weed-Free?

Like mowing and watering, fertilizer encourages strong, healthy grass, and this helps prevent weeds from sprouting. If you want to fertilize your lawn you need to know what kind of grass you have. Ask a professional which fertilizer you should use and what time of year you should apply it, as different grass types need nutrients at different times of the year. But as a rule of thumb, most Florida grasses need fertilizer in the early spring.

How Do I Help My Lawn Recover From Summer?

The hot temperatures and harsh conditions associated with summer can take a serious toll on your grass. Between the hot weather, excessive foot traffic, and lack of moisture, chances are your lawn is not in the best shape come fall. Fortunately, it's possible to pamper your lawn and help it heal in time to handle the cooler temperatures. Follow these tips for a healthy lawn in the fall!

  • Continue to mow until winter– Weekly mowing throughout the fall will keep your grass healthy. For the last two cuttings of the season, adjust your mower's blade to the lowest setting so the sun can reach the crown. Doing so will keep turf from turning brown during the winter.
  • Fertilize cool-season grasses– The best time to fertilize cool-season grasses such as ryegrass, bluegrass, and fescue is in the fall when the weather begins to cool. This is when grass leaves slow their growth, but grass roots continue to grow quickly. Fall fertilization ensures your grass receives the essential nutrients it needs now–and keeps them on reserve for spring green-up.
  • Apply herbicide for weed control– Attack broadleaf weeds like dandelions now, when they are already in the process of actively absorbing moisture. They will absorb pre-emergents easily, and you will prevent weeds from sprouting in the spring.
  • Aerate your lawn for best results– Heavy use from children playing and pets running loose give your grass quite a beating in the summer. Drought conditions also dry out turf, leading to excessive thatch. Lawn aeration is the process of extracting thousands of small soil plugs to alleviate soil compaction and allow oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach the roots.

Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends

Lawn maintenance can be a lot of work and if you don't stay on top of it, your lawn can quickly grow out of control. To make this even worse, once weeds sprout they want to spread, and you need to know how to fight them off. Luckily, our lawn care professionals are here to help. Contact us today to get started on your path to a healthier, weed-free lawn.