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Lets talk weed control theory and methods...

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by JLC, Jan 25, 2002.

  1. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Messages: 467

    Alright, what do you guys think about spot treating weeds on all visits to a lawn each year, as opposed to the big company approach of blanket weed control sprays in the spring and fall.

    Please comment on the effectiveness of keeping the weeds out when spot treating each time you fertilize, versus the blanket weed spray. Last year a did a blanket spray in the spring and fall and it handled the weeds good, but I'd like to try and introduce a little IPM and save on pesticide cost by spot spraying. To me it just doesn't make sense to spray a whole lawn that is in good shape, unless it's a new customer with a weedy lawn. I think this is a waste of product. Has anyone been burned not doing a blanket spray and spot treating weeds as necessary each round instead?

    Lets get a good thread going here.
  2. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Virtually all of our customers receive spot spraying, as opposed to sprayiing the whole lawn. the only exception would be a new fertilizing account which is rather large. then we would use granular weed control made by lesco. following that initial treatment, we would continue the spot spray program.

    During each round of fertilizing, the lawns get spot sprayed, and the mowing crew also carries chemicals to spot spray if they notice any weeds in the lawn. This method works fairly well for us.

    We explain to our customers that we do this for many reasons.

    1.Why douse the entire lawn with chemicals when it doesnt need it.

    2. this method is more time consuming, but there are less health risks involved to both the customer, and employees(and especially for customers who have pets).

    3. 2-4-d, the main chemical in most selective herbicides, goes from supposedly being safe to harmful(cancer) every few years. I honestly dont know how dangerous it really is, because I'm not a scientist. But then again, the media tells us vitually everything causes cancer, so who are we to believe.

    There are other reasos, but i think you get the idea. Eventually we will go to a a large spray tank, or a turf tracker type sprayer. But, until we do, we will continue to use this method.

    Hope this helps you with any questions you may have.
  3. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    I should have included this earlier, but neglected to do so. Most of our accounts range from as small as 5,000 square feet of grass to about 150,000 square feet of grass. Our largest ferilizer account takes 20 minutes to fertilize(we use our powertrac for that instead of walk behind spreader), and about an hour to hour and a half to spray.

    If you have accounts larger than that, I would consder continuing complete spray on those, and spot spray smaller ones. I dont think you would want to spend five hours spot spraying a lawn.
  4. groundsguy1970

    groundsguy1970 Banned
    Messages: 166

    I only spray weeds in the fall......and area size matters as well as amount of weeds for control- as to whether spot or blanket. :cool:
  5. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Messages: 467

    I maybe should give a breakdown on why I want to do this. I want to cost effectively go to granular fert on all apps. Right now in the spring and fall I spray the liquid with fert. I want to get away from sprayed fertilizer so I can use slow release granular. The product costs are about the same, but where you loose the cost effectiveness is in the labor. Doing a lawn under the size to effectively use a ride on of any sort, in my estimation 20,000 sq ft., you will end up pushing a spreader to fert and pulling a hose to treat weeds. Thus, we've double the labor cost.

    My thought is that if a person could effectively have spray and dry on board at the same time so at the push of a button you can zap a weed while you are walking with the spreader, this would be ideal. You would cut the amount of herbicide used drastically, while applying better fertilizer. Would it be effective? The manuverablity of a 80# Lesco spreader will always be tough to beat on a intricate small lawn. If I had a button to zap as I walk when I see a weed that would be awesome, if I get the weed control I need.

    Also think of the cost savings on the big lawns. Having a ride on that has spray on board to zap the weeds as you see them, sometimes leaving it on for most of the lawn if it is full of weeds, is better than a blanket spray environmentally and cost wise. I just want to know if the blanket sprays are done for a reason/it is the only way to get good weed control, or because it's cheaper.

    Maybe I just added confusion.

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 665

    In the past I have done one blanket in the spring and one in the fall and spot treat inbetween.
    Usually there is only one or two around the edges anyway. The thing is that you may only be there once a month. There may be some new weeds that are not yet visible when you are there, but will appear 3 days later. Many customers of mine expect a 99% weed free lawn. That is why I blanket-even if it looks good in May.
    Weed seeds blow around in the air and along streets and walks. They will land in the cracks or edges and pop up. When you blanket lawns, you leave a coating of weed control on the surface that will kill a freshly germinated seed. If it is not there, but plenty of fertile soil is... then you just get a nice healthy weed. Even thick lawns get weeds.
  7. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    I like a blanket in the fall and wing it the rest of the year. Trashy new ones may get 2 blankets ina row.

    The Perma Green rig or ones like it are excellent for this type of applicating. Perma Green is manuverable and small enough for even the smallest lawns.
  8. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 305

    I like to blanket in the fall and split app in feb and apr. during the summer I don't like to even spot treat much because the temps are well above 90. If any spot treating I do it early in the morning. My theory is to get them in fall and spring. It seemed to work out well last year.
  9. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Messages: 467

    Well judging from the replies, I would gather that it would be best to continue with the blanket sprays spring and fall and suck up the extra cost if I want to use granular fert on the weed control rounds. Now I just need to come up with a LIGHT low volume sprayer for the fertilizer spreader.
  10. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    Have you tried slow release liquid fertilizer. Hellena Chemical makes Coron, a slow release liquid fertilizer. I use it twice a year for weed and feed applications. I got burned spot treating a yard last year. We used 6 gal in spring and late summer there were weeds everywhere. I think its nice to have the equip to do both that way you are covered for whatever comes your way.

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