When your beautiful green lawn becomes invaded by weeds, we understand how frustrating it can be. Being able to identify the weeds is the first step to determining what to do about them. We’ve compiled a list of the most common lawn and garden invaders, and how to get rid of them.
Common Types of Weeds
- Dandelions- Yes, you read that right! Dandelions are not a flower; they’re a weed! Dandelion is a broadleaf perennial, disguised by bright yellow flowers and large, flat rosettes of leaves rising from a tall taproot. They commonly favor thin turf.
- Crabgrass is an annual with branching stems, coarse, blue-green and purple leaf blades, and are smooth or hairy depending on the species. There are flower heads with fingerlike spikes.
- Ground Ivy– This weed is another broadleaf perennial with square stems and bright green rounded leaves with scalloped edges. Ground Ivy reproduces by seed and creeping stems that root as they touch the ground. This type of week prefers damp soil and shade.
- White Clover– White Clover is another broadleaf perennial that used to be included in grass seed mixes before it was recognized as a weed. Like any clover, it’s known by three-lobed leaves with a white crescent-shaped band. White Clover prefers and thrives in sparse, undernourished turf with excessive moisture.
How to Get Rid of Them
Crowd Out Weeds
Most weeds are opportunists and will grow wherever they find space that will allow them to grow. However, most weeds won’t stand a chance in healthy grass. A sensible lawn care plan will help stop weed problems before they have a chance to start. So remember, healthy, full grass means little to no weeds.
Fertilize Enough, But Not Too Much
Too little fertilizer will lead to sparse lawn that competes with weeds, and too much fertilizer will promote and nurture certain weed growth. Strike the perfect balance of fertilizer by following the application rates on the bags of fertilizer. Also, use fertilizers with a high percentage of controlled-release nitrogen that provide a slow, steady nutrient supply. The frequency and timing of your fertilizing effort is crucial to lawn health, and therefore weed growth. Make sure to keep up with your fertilizing schedule based on your location and the seasons. Some areas may only need to be fertilized twice a year, while others may need more.
Water Grass Infrequently and Deeply
Frequent, light watering causes shallow roots and helps annual weeds germinate. Instead, provide your lawn with infrequent, deep watering. Typically, lawns need one inch of water per week. This will help promote healthy grass and exterminate any chances weeds may form.
Mowing too low on your lawn causes short, weak grass. It weakens the turf by reducing the ability of a grass leaf to produce nutrients. It also lets light hit the soil surface, which promotes weed growth.
Keeping a healthy lawn can help prevent weeds, but for the weeds that have already grown, hand-weeding is the best defense for small yards. This method is the most effective on broadleaf weeds; pulling them when they’re young before they flower and seed is the best way to keep them from spreading. This is easiest when the soil is damp. Once the weed is out, promptly reseed the area, or the weed will regrow in its place.