Well we just got the grass cut for the last time for the season. I have to say, the lawn is looking pretty darn good at this point. Especially considering it's only 2 years old.
This summer was fairly mild and wet (coolest July on record). Definitely do droughts this year. In fact, for most of the summer, I could barely keep up with the mowing.
However, during this growing season, the yard did develop a lot of white clover and various broadleaf weeds. Therefore, my fall mission was to eradicate the weeds.
I did some research online to figure out which weed killer to buy. I didn't want to mess around and only get partial kills only to have the weeds come back next year. I wanted to hit them hard. In addition to looking for something that was strong enough for my liking, I wanted to find something in a concentrate. I have quite a good amount of area to cover and concentrates usually give you more bang for your buck.
If you look at the local big box stores, you will notice that most of the weed killers they sell are not concentrates; they are ready to use. If you look carefully though, you might be able to find one or two options in concentrates.
The other thing you will notice is that most of the weed killers they sell (Weed-B-Gone, etc) have Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2-4D) as the primary active ingredient. I've always heard that 2-4D was a good weed killer, but online research showed that while 2-4D is a good broadleaf weed herbicide, it is actual quite ineffectual against clover.
According to the Iowa State Extension Office
the best weed killer for clover is 2-2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy propionic acid (MCPP). And while MCPP is good at killing clover, it's not great at broadleaf weeds. Therefore, the most effective herbicide for me would be a mix of these two.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any MCPP at the big box stores, and the 2-4D that they had was not very concentrated which did not give me a good feeling about its effectiveness.
In the end I went to a local farm supply store and found Trimec 899
. Not only does it contain 2-4D, MCPP, and Dicamba (good at killing creeping charlie), it was the most concentrated stuff I could find. In fact, the label said that 1 gallon would cover 3 acres. I bought two.
I applied with a hose-end sprayer. I did not feel like shelling out the money for a pull-behind sprayer for my lawn tractor. It took about 2 hours to cover the whole yard. That was about a month ago. There is basically NO clover left in the yard anymore. And the broadleaf weeds are almost all gone too. The ones that remain are all shriveled and appear to be on the way out.
I'm very pleased with the effectiveness of the product and am happy that I have over a gallon left over for the future. If you have common weed problems like these, I'd highly recommend getting yourself some Trimec 899 for a fall application.