Currently our lawn services are limited to broadleaf weed control. Broad leaf weeds include dandelions, thistle, sand mat and most plants that invade lawns other than grasses, woody plants, and fungi (mushrooms).
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Notes about Sand Mat:
Sand mat is an invasive native thorn that commonly invades beach lawns. It prefers nutrient poor soil with broken ground cover. This includes established lawns that have been mown too short.
For heavily infested yards, scraping off existing vegetation and hauling in topsoil may be the most affordable approach.
For moderately to heavily infested yards, applying topsoil over the lawn, called top dressing, along with ample watering and overseeding appears to be the most cost effective means of eliminating sandmat from beach lawns.
Herbicide applications should be reserved for light to moderate infestations or spot treatments. Herbicides can succeed in heavily infested lawns but may take most of a year to achieve desired results and you will need to apply new seed to fill in bare spots.
Simply put, nothing is as effective at keeping sandmat out as a healthy lawn.
Without topsoil and regular watering grasses cannot maintain a robust root system or crowd out sandmat and other weeds.
If you have a mowing service be sure they don’t crop the grass shorter than 3 inches and be sure they aren’t driving around your lawn with tires covered with sandmat seeds from other properties.
One of the most notable things about herbicide use in cool climates is delayed die-off. Plants can receive a lethal dose in the early spring but stand around looking healthy and green until they try to grow. Then they take up the materials and die.
It’s not uncommon for a yard full of dandelions to stand around for 2 weeks then die-off all at once.
With sandmat timing and patience are key. Late fall and early spring treatments get the best results but applications made this year may take until next spring to reveal the full extent of the control. ■