How do I get rid of deadnettle?

Answered by John Hunt

Purple deadnettle is a common weed that can be a nuisance in cool-season turf. Fortunately, there are several effective methods for getting rid of this pesky plant.

1. Cultural Practices:
Start by improving the overall health of your turf. A dense and healthy lawn can help prevent the establishment and growth of weeds like purple deadnettle. Regular mowing at the appropriate height for your grass species can help promote thick turf and discourage weed growth. Additionally, proper watering and fertilization can ensure your lawn is strong and able to compete with weeds.

2. Hand Pulling:
If you only have a few purple deadnettle plants, hand pulling can be an effective method of control. Make sure to remove the entire plant, including the roots, to prevent regrowth. This method is best suited for small infestations or in areas where herbicides cannot be used, such as near water bodies.

3. Preemergence Herbicides:
Preemergence herbicides can be applied before purple deadnettle germinates to prevent its growth. These herbicides create a barrier in the soil that inhibits weed seed germination. However, preemergence herbicides are most effective when applied in the fall prior to weed seed germination in the spring. Examples of preemergence herbicides that can be effective against purple deadnettle include prodiamine, dithiopyr, and pendimethalin.

4. Postemergence Herbicides:
If purple deadnettle has already emerged, postemergence herbicides can be used to control it. Herbicides containing active ingredients like 2,4-D, dicamba, fluroxypyr, or a combination of these can effectively control purple deadnettle. It’s important to carefully follow the label instructions when using herbicides to ensure proper application and safety.

5. Integrated Weed Management:
Combining multiple control methods can increase the effectiveness of weed management. By implementing a combination of cultural practices, hand pulling, and herbicide use, you can better control purple deadnettle and reduce its impact on your turf. Regular monitoring and early intervention are key to preventing the spread and establishment of purple deadnettle.

Remember, persistence is key when dealing with weeds like purple deadnettle. It may take multiple applications or a combination of control methods to achieve satisfactory results. It’s also important to follow any local regulations and guidelines regarding herbicide use and disposal.

Personal experience: In my own lawn, I have successfully controlled purple deadnettle by combining regular mowing at the appropriate height, proper fertilization, and occasional hand pulling. By maintaining a healthy lawn and addressing any emerging weed growth promptly, I have been able to keep purple deadnettle at bay without the need for herbicides. However, in more severe infestations, the use of postemergence herbicides may be necessary.