spray or mow?

Asked April 27, 2020, 8:23 AM EDT

I have buttercups and wild strawberries in my pasture. I aereated and overseeded with rye and fescue in Feb, but the buttercups are higher. Is it safe to spray a mix for broadleaf weeds now or should I just mow very low.? It is now the end of April, and not very warm.

Powhatan County Virginia

1 Response

Good Morning,

Wait until at least 4 months have passed and you have mowed the new grass at least 3 times (at a height of 3 inches for tall fescue) before applying a broadleaf post-emergent herbicide.

You don't say what chemical you are planning to use to control buttercup and wild strawberries. This is important information to know when choosing to do any sort of broadcast herbicide use. Using the correct chemical in the correct amount and at the correct time (especially when there has been a new seeding) is crucial maintaining to a healthy lawn or pasture. Applying a broadleaf herbicide too soon could defeat the purpose of the overseeding. Since you said that you overseeded back in February, not enough time has passed. Wait until the end of May and after you've mowed the fescue (I'm assuming you're talking about tall fescue) down to 3 inches on four different occasions. Avoid cutting more than one third of your desired grass's leaf blade height also.

Here are additional Virginia Tech publications you can use:

Establishing Lawns:
Spring and Summer Lawn Management: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/430/430-532/430-532_pdf.pdf
Pest Management Guide:
Other VT Publications for Lawns: