Homeowners need to be identifying some of their weeds that are giving them trouble in their lawns and come up with a plan for control. Many of these weeds, like dandelions, should be controlled in the fall. Another one that I have seen a lot of is knotweed.
Knotweed thrives in compacted soils, so a thorough aeration is the first step in control. This weed will not compete in a healthy lawn.
Chemically, there are two options. Knotweed is an annual that germinates in late February or early March, so a pre-emergence herbicide can be used in the late fall (about now).
Pendimethalin (Scotts Halts), Surflan (Weed Impede), Barricade, Dimension and XL are labeled for knotweed.
(Note: Pendimethalin, Barricade and Dimension can be used on all Kansas turfgrasses, while Surflan and XL can only be used on tall fescue and warm-season grasses such as buffalograss, zoysiagrass and bermuda).
The other option is to use a combination postemergence product such as Trimec, Weed-Out, Weed-B-Gon or Weed Free Zone after the knotweed has emerged in the spring but is still young.
If spring seeding of the lawn is planned, your options are more limited. Buctril can be used on commercial sites and has a very short residual. It must be used on very young knotweed to get control. Trimec and others require a month before overseeding to thicken up your lawn.
Obviously, don't use a pre-emergence herbicide if you are trying to get new seed established.
For homeowners seeding in the spring, tilling will control knotweed adequately without using a herbicide.
If seeding without tilling (e.g., overseeding using a slicer-seeder), then use a combination product such as one mentioned above just after the knotweed comes up in the spring, and be sure to wait at least a month before seeding.
For more information on fall lawn weed control.
Contact the Ford County Extension Office or visit us online at
Have a great weekend!