Lawn Weed, Disease and Pest Control

For a problem-free lawn and garden

With nearly 100 years of experience, the experts at Earl May know Midwest lawns. At your local store, you’ll find the highest quality products designed to help you control grubs, prevent grassy and broad-leafed weeds and treat common diseases.

Keep your lawn looking its best by following these tips and tricks.

Weeds in new lawns can be sprayed once the lawn has been mowed two or three times. Weeds in established lawns should be treated when they are actively growing. In most cases, this is in the spring and early fall. In the summer, after a wet spell, is also a good time to treat as weeds can easily be killed at this time. Trying to kill weeds when it is too cold (below 60 degrees) or too hot (above 88 degrees) can lead to poor results.

New herbicides like Earl May’s Super Brush and Weed Killer are much more effective at cooler temperatures. For the most difficult-to-control weeds, apply weed killer twice, 10–14 days apart, mixing Turbo Spreader Sticker with the weed killer. A spreader sticker makes the spray solution cover better and stick to the leaves of the weeds. When done in October, weeds will not store energy for winter, causing them to die by the following spring. They may not look dead in the fall after you have sprayed them, but they are dying on the inside.

Before resorting to weed killers, you can reduce the amount of weeds in your lawn by mowing higher in the late spring and summer. This lets the lawn shade the soil which reduces germination of weed seeds. Simply fertilizing a lawn will make it more vigorous, also helping to choke out weeds. Once weeds begin to grow, kill them before they seed for fewer weeds in your lawn next year.

Invest in Crabgrass Preventer BEFORE it strikes. Some products should be put on a lawn before there are even signs of the problems they treat. Crabgrass is much easier to prevent than it is to control.

June and July are months where disease can strike overnight in a lawn. Follow these tips to prevent lawn disease from striking.

  1. Keep you mower blades sharp. Dull blades rip the grass tips instead of cutting. This makes the lawn look off-color and promotes disease problems.
  2. Don’t mow too much at once. As a rule of thumb, never take more than two to three inches of grass off of the top at any time. This reduces the stress on the lawn. And never mow your lawn closer than one inch from the ground. You will inevitably “scalp” areas that are uneven and cause many more problems. As a rule, mow closer in spring and fall (one to two inches from the ground) and taller in summer (three inches from the ground).
  3. Occasionally rake your lawn. Not only does this pick up dead matted grass which may harbor diseases, it can also help prevent mushrooms. Sticks and twigs can work into the soil if not raked. These organic objects create a catalyst for mushroom development when conditions are right. And letting leaves collect and lay on your lawn for extended periods can cause thin spots or even completely kill an area. Maple leaves are large and lay flat and are particularly troublesome.
  4. Aerate your lawn. Compacted soils are another thing that can keep a lawn from being thick and free of thin spots. Another way to prevent too-dense soil is to use co-polymer sprays that change how soil particles are held together. Also, avoid walking on wet lawns as much as possible and do not drive on your lawn if you can avoid it.
Lawns are constantly under threat, not just from weeds and diseases, but also with the presence of lawn damaging insects and their larvae. In some cases, the primary damage may come in the form of these insects eating away at grass blades or from insects chewing the crowns of the grass plant. Alternatively, grub worms may eat the roots of your lawn leaving brown patches and grass that can be rolled up like sod. Use Season Long Grub Control with Merit Insecticide to stop grub damage BEFORE it gets started.

Treating lawn insects should be done regularly BEFORE you see the problem. By the time you notice that grubs are eating your lawn, it could be too late and you may need to re-seed.

Lawn Weed Maintenance CalendarMake sure to stay a step ahead in caring for your lawn by viewing our month-by-month seasonal lawn maintenance calendar.

Expert Lawn Weed Service

Have a question?

Bring any picture, leaf or description into any Earl May location OR ask a question online and get expert advice and answers. Our online Ask the Experts forum allows you to upload a picture of your problem so we can quickly diagnose and provide a solution.

Ask the Experts

DIY Year-round Lawn Care Advice

Lawn Care Programs

Earl May’s step-by-step Lawn Care Programs deliver the best weed, disease and pest control with premium products specially formulated to deliver superior results right here.
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Stop Lawn Weed with Earl May Lawn Care Programs

  • Immediate results
  • Proven best for Midwest lawns
  • Designed to deliver more nutrients
  • Eliminates thin spots

Incorporate a Fertilizing Schedule

After seeding, a regular fertilizing schedule is recommended if you want a great-looking lawn year after year.
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If you had crabgrass last year, apply a product like Earl May’s Crabgrass Preventer Plus Lawn food. In addition to crabgrass, it prevents spurge, foxtail and other annual grassy weeds from germinating.
Earl May’s Summer Lawn food will help keep your lawn green and healthy without any risk of burning.
Apply our Lawn Food during this timeframe for quick greening. Watering in is recommending for better uptake.
Our Fall Lawn Food contains time-released nitrogen and extra nutrients your lawn needs to thrive. Apply at the onset of cooler temperatures and fall rains.

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