Weeds – Identifying, Preventing, Eliminating

Weeds are a problem to any lawn because they cause damage to your lawn by choking out grass. They do so by  stealing all the nutrients and water your grass needs to thrive. Whether they have already taken over, are starting to, or if you want to prevent them from gaining any additional ground, please read on. The best defense against any weed is good grass and regular lawn maintenance.

Name What They Are How to Get Rid of Them. Picture
Oxalis Perennial Weed. It is heart-shaped leaflets, 3 per leaf that resemble clover. It produces 1/2 inch long yellow flowers with five petals from spring through summer. Plants can be 4-12 inches high. The leaves fold down at night, and open in the day to harvest sunlight. The mature seed capsules open explosively when disturbed.Oxalis thrives in dry, open places but can also be a problem in moist, well-fed lawns. It will often invade lawns that are thin from insect, disease, or maintenance problems. Regular feedings, 2-4 times per year, provide the nutrients your lawn needs to grow thick and strong and help crowd out weeds. Mowing at a height best for your lawn allows the grass to grow thick and develop a deep root system. Grass clippings recycle plant nutrients back into the soil.  Oxalis
Clover Clover is a perennial weed that grows easily in moist areas. This shallow – rooted weed is also performs well in nitrogen – depleted soil.There are many kinds of this low – growing perennial weed that set up shop in yards across the country. The most common is white clover. Consider applying a fertilizer application to help keep it from coming back.  Clover
Creeping Charlie Creeping Charlie is a perennial, evergreen weed in the mint family. A native of Europe, it spreads by seeds and rhizomes. It prefers moist, shady areas, but can tolerate sun. You might find patches of Creeping Charlie under trees, in garden plots, and other parts of your yard. Maintaining your lawn with regular feeding, proper watering, and periodic aerating.  Creeping Charlie
Dandelions Dandelions are a broadleaf perennial that can grow in any soil and are most numerous in full sunlight. In the early spring, new sprouts will emerge from the taproot, which can be 2 to 3 feet deep in the soil. They grow yellow flowers that mature and turn into white puffballs that contain seeds that spread with the wind to other lawns. Even though they disappear in the fall, the taproot survives deep in the soil to start the cycle again in the spring. To keep dandelions out of your yard, this root has to be killed. Don’t hand pull them, as they will grow right back unless the tap root (often 2-3 feet deep) is completely removed. A thick lawn is the best method for preventing dandelions and other broadleaf weeds in the lawn. Mow your lawn at a high setting on your mower, and follow a regular feeding program to achieve a lawn that is thick enough to keep weeds like dandelions from establishing in the first place.  
Spotted Spurge In addition to its signature red spots, spotted spurge can be distinguished by the milky sap that is emitted when any plant part is split open. Once established, each bright green plant forms a thick mat that can be up to 3 feet in diameter. Its hairy, reddish stems branch out from a central point and carry many tiny, oval leaves. After germinating in mid-spring, the plant’s inconspicuous, green flowers bloom from June until September.This Speckled Weed Thrives in the Heat of Summer
Spotted spurge is not only an unsightly nuisance in the lawn, taking up residence in weak areas of the turf, but also invades landscaping beds, sidewalk cracks and vegetable gardens. You can also find spotted spurge in citrus groves, creating hiding spots for insects that can destroy your crop.
Spotted spurge spreads quickly throughout weak areas in your lawn by producing several thousand seeds per plant. Even though it is a summer annual, late-season seeds can sprout next spring after lying dormant during cold temperatures. This warm- weather pest begins seed production a mere 5 weeks after germination, so early detection and treatment is key.An easy way to prevent an infestation is to weed your garden before spotted spurge begins to produce seed. Make sure your lawnmower and garden tools are clean. Keep a dense, green turf to ensure that this non-competitive plant won’t have room to grow. When these weeds do pop up, pull them out before they have time to produce seed.  Spotted Spurge
Dollarweed Dollarweed, or pennywort, is an aquatic or water loving perennial that thrives in warm temperate regions. It is a member of the parsley family that was introduced to the Mid-Atlantic region from Asia.  It is a perennial weed that has bright green, rounded leaves with wavy margins. Small, white flowers bloom from July to August. The creeping stems root wherever their nodes touch the soil, increasing the number of plants. Dollarweed grows in moist shady lawns, gardens, and unplanted areas. ·         Regular feedings, 2-4 times per year, provide the nutrients your lawn needs to grow thick and strong and help crowd out weeds. Mowing at a height best for your lawn allows the grass to grow thick and develop a deep root system. Grass clippings recycle plant nutrients back into the soil. Your lawn will begin to wilt when water is needed. 1″ of water per week is all that your lawn needs.  Dollarweed
Barnyardgrass Barnyardgrass is an annual grassy weed found throughout North America. It prefers moist, nutrient-rich soils like those found in lawns and garden beds. It is a coarse, sprawling, purple-tinged annual grassy weed. The grass blades are flat with a prominent vein in the middle, and can also be sparsely hairy. If not mowed, it can reach a height of 1 to 4 feet tall. It is a vigorous grower and can quickly remove important nutrients that your lawn needs, like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, from the soil. Use these easy tips to help control it. Since Barnyardgrass is an annual grass, which means it will die off with the first fall frost, and doesn’t have deep roots, so you can simple pull it out by hand. However, if you have a large problem with barnyardgrass, this may be impractical. A healthy, dense lawn can help prevent barnyardgrass from becoming established. Feeding your lawn every 6-8 weeks, 4 times a year will help your lawn stay thick and lush and crowd out weeds like barnyardgrass.  Barnyardgrass
Poa Annua/Bluegrass Poa Annua, or annual bluegrass, is an annual weed that looks similar to a regular lawn grass for a short while. It looks a little like Kentucky bluegrass, except it has a lighter shade of green, shallower roots, and develops a short seed head early in the season. It dies off when the weather gets hot, leaving big empty patches in your lawn. To keep it out of your lawn spread a crabgrass preventer in late summer, before seeds can sprout in the fall. Poa annua loves damp, shady areas. Fight the weed by watering deeply and infrequently. Its shallow roots can’t reach down to where the moisture is. Poa annua is short. When you mow your grass high, between 3-4 inches, you make it hard for annual bluegrass to survive. Lawns with taller grass tend to have very few Poa annua problems.  Poa Annua Bluegrass
Crabgrass Crabgrass gets its name because it sprawls from a central root low across the ground. It can become a problem quickly during the summer because it is able to grow vigorously in hot, dry conditions. Before dying in the fall, a single weed can distribute thousands of seeds that will be ready to germinate the following spring. You can take care of crabgrass in your lawn easily with our plan. ·         You can discourage crabgrass by mowing at the proper height for your grass type. Higher mowing, usually at one of the top two setting on your mower, encourages lawn grasses to shade soil which helps prevent the germination of crabgrass seeds. A thick, full lawn seldom contains much crabgrass.Weeds are better adapted to adverse growing conditions than most lawn grasses. Shallow and infrequent watering will only weaken the roots of your grass, while allowing the crabgrass to thrive and take over. Water lawns deeply and less frequently. When you water, wet the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches. This usually requires the equivalent of ½-1 inch of rainfall.  Crabgrass
Chickweed Chickweed, also known as starwort, satin flower, and other names, is an annual that grows from seeds that sprout in the fall. It is found throughout North America most commonly as a lawn weed. In lawns, it rarely grows taller than 2 inches along the ground and forms a thick, dense mat that produces small, white flowers. Chickweed has a shallow root system and like most annual weeds it is best controlled in the spring or fall. Here’s how. The best way to prevent future chickweed problems is to maintain a thick, healthy lawn. This is accomplished by feeding 4 times a year – two times in the spring and two times in the fall. A thick lawn will help prevent chickweed seeds from sprouting and seedlings from becoming established. Deep, infrequent watering will also help discourage chickweed since they prefer damp soil.  Chickweed
Nutsedge This grassy weed is not technically a grass; It’s a Sedge and is very difficult to control
Nutsedge, also known as Nutgrass, is a perennial, grass-like weed that seeks out the moist, poorly drained sections of your yard or garden and grows faster in hot weather than our lawns. Its leaves are grasslike and yellow-green, while the spiky head is purple or yellow. It’s a tough weed to control because it grows from tiny tubers, or nutlets, that form on roots that can grow 8-14 inches deep in the soil. Pull out the roots and some tubers will stay behind to grow. Individual nutsedge plants may eventually form patches of 10 feet or more in diameter.
Depending on your turf type and latitude, you can help control nutsedge or nutgrass by changing the way you mow. Mowing your lawn at the proper height, which in most cases is one of the 2 highest settings on your mower, lets the grass crowd out nutsedge and other weeds. Mowing short stimulates nutsedge.
You can help prevent nutsedge by regularly feeding your lawn. A healthy, maintained lawn is the first defense against nutsedge. A well-fed lawn grows thick and is better able to crowd out weeds
 Nutsedge
Broadleaf Weeds Broadleaf weeds can be tough, aggressive plants that pounce on any weak areas in your lawn. Broadleaf weeds are easily identified in the lawn because they do not resemble grass. Examples of broadleaf weeds include dandelions, chickweed, and plantain. The best way to fight them is to learn how they grow and what they like, then deprive them. The best defense against weeds is a thick lawn that is properly cared for, well-fed and never scalped by mowing. A thick lawn will be better able to choke out weeds and not allow them room to establish. You can promote a thick, healthy lawn by mowing at the right height (usually one of the 2 highest settings on your mower) and feeding your lawn 4 times a year. Also make sure that you patch any bare spots with overseeding before weeds can become established in that bare spot.  Broadleaf Weeds

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