It is safe to say that when children pick dandelions and gleefully blow on them to watch the seeds float off in the breeze, they probably are not thinking about how many weeds they’re spreading into mommy and daddy’s lawn.
Even without children’s help, dandelions and henbit, a weed with small purple buds, are two common weeds known for their resilience and ability to spread rather quickly if left unchecked.
“Dandelions and henbit are the two earliest weeds we have,” county extension agent Ricky Roberts said. “But we can’t really do anything at this point in the year to kill them.”
Both weeds are in their mature stages right now, so it is hard to control their spread by hand or by using herbicides, he said.
To Roberts, those methods are a losing battle that takes far too much time because the weeds spread much too fast.
“The best you can hope to do right now is mow them down,” he said. “It’s really just an aesthetic issue. If you want a perfect green lawn, those weeds are ugly.”
However, he said a better time to attack such weeds is in the fall.
“You can just apply your herbicide when you fertilize your lawn in the fall,” he said. “We call it ‘weed and feed.’ It’s a much more effective way to care for your lawn.”
Early spring, on or before March 1, is another good time to spray for weeds because weeds typically have not reached their mature stages, he said.
“The beautiful lawns that people see right now are a result of work that has been done before hand,” Roberts said. “A beautiful lawn comes from maintaining it in the fall.”