How to Get Rid of Henbit Without Killing Grass

henbit patch with small lavender flowersHenbit is an annual weed that typically germinates in the fall or winter. This means you’re most likely to see it cropping up next spring if you don’t take care of it this season. 

As with most weeds, henbit is opportunistic. It is going to settle into thin turfs and dry patches where there isn’t much competition. And as with all weeds, prevention is the best approach when it comes to protecting your lawn.

Let’s take a look at how to recognize, manage, and prevent henbit from propagating in your yard. 

The Basics

Henbit gets its name from the fact that chickens like to snack on its leaves. And yes, it is edible for humans as well! However, unlike its many other cousins in the mint family, it does not have a strong minty flavor.

Henbit can actually inhibit erosion due to the nature of its root growth pattern. This is an asset some people appreciate about it, especially with sloping landscapes.

But because of its invasive nature, many lawn enthusiasts would rather keep it away. 

While some class it as a grassy weed, this sprawling plant is more accurately classed as a broadleaf weed because it produces true leaves on stems instead of slender blades. This information comes in handy if you want to take the right measures this fall to protect your lawn next spring. 

For additional helpful info about fall lawn care, check out Mulching and Pulling Weeds in the Fall.

Prevention 

If you’ve been in the game awhile, you likely already know that keeping a robust, healthy lawn is the best thing you can do to prevent any kind of weeds invading your grass.

A dense, thriving turf simply leaves very little room for interlopers to settle in. And if they do, they’re automatically in a stiff competition for space, air, water, and nutrients.

For this reason, it’s critically important to give your lawn its best chance to stay healthy through the fall and winter. Learn more with Fall Fertilizing and Overseeding Techniques.

More Lawn Tips:  How to Get Rid of Nutsedge / Nutgrass

There are also weed-and-feed products on the market that you can use to fortify your lawn while killing any chances of weed seeds settling in for a long winter’s nap.

Because henbit is a broadleaf weed, you’ll want a pre-emergent product that specifically targets those types of plants. Just keep in mind that broadleaf herbicides can also harm plants you don’t intend to kill, so apply carefully.

Next Spring  

Let’s say you thought you were in the clear this season so you didn’t take any preventative measures. But yet, here comes the springtime and lo and behold…henbit.

Now what?

For this mess, you will want to get a hold of a post-emergent herbicide. Again, it will need to be one that targets leafy plants rather than grasses. 

When treating for broadleaf weeds in your lawn, you want to be careful around shrubs, flowers, and any other leafy plants you don’t want to harm. However, if you use the right product and you use it correctly, it won’t hurt your grass.

Weed prevention isn’t difficult, but it does need to be done right. If you’d rather leave you lawn care to the experts, please visit our Full Service Lawn Care service page to learn more!

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