Identifying Common Lawn Weeds

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When planting your garden in your backyard, the last thing you want is to see a bunch of weeds crop up. These unsightly and invasive plants can ruin the beautiful flowers you worked so hard to grow. In the guide below, we’ll list and describe some common lawn weeds you might see, what they reveal about your lawn’s health and how you can control them.

Dandelion

Chances are, you have probably seen this type of weed before. It is a familiar face in the spring and fall, and has a long thin stem with a yellow flower. Because the weed grows long taproots, the best way to get rid of them is to dig by hand, ensuring that you get at least 2 inches of taproot. Your best defense against this weed is a thick, healthy lawn to prevent the dandelions’ wind-born seeds from taking root. You can also spot-spray dandelions with an herbicide that doesn’t kill grass to ensure that they stop growing.

Crabgrass

Just about as popular as dandelions, crabgrass can also show up frequently on your lawn. It gets its name from the way its leaves form a tight, crab-like circle. This weed will crop up annually, and in weak or bare areas of your lawn. Both over-watering or under-watering will encourage its growth; and the same goes for constantly mowing the grass too short. Prevention is the key to getting rid of it. Treat this type of weed in the spring with a pre-emergence herbicide, and you can keep the seeds from sprouting.

Ground Ivy

This type of weed, also called creepy Charlie, likes shady and wet areas of the grass – however, it can still grow in sunny areas. This perennial plant is tough to beat because of its aggressive nature, but there are certain herbicides that are effective. Be sure to read the instructions carefully on the package of your chosen herbicide. And once the ground ivy is killed and removed, make sure to establish grass in that spot quickly to prevent it from returning.

White/Dutch Clover

This weed used to be a common ingredient in lawn seed blends. However, this perennial weed is now seen as the “bad guy” in most lawns. If your soil is poor and low in nitrogen, then you will most likely see this plant. An effective way o get rid of Dutch clovers is to bring up the soil fertility. You can also apply broadleaf herbicide to get rid of it, but you’ll usually need to make several seasonal applications to fully get rid of it.

Chickweed

If your lawn is thin and experiences poor drainage, then you’ll most likely see chickweed. It prefers shady, moist soil with higher fertility. The best way to eradicate this weed is to pull each plant. You can also use an herbicide to prevent the seeds from germinating in spring and fall. Another trick to kill this weed is to step on the stems and slightly crush them. Then sprinkle lawn fertilizer on the broken plants; the nitrogen will kill the chickweed.

Annual Bluegrass

Like the name suggests, this type of weed is an annual weed. When the soil drains poorly and the lawn is scalped, you will most likely see these weeds. A pre-emergent herbicide application before the summer can prevent seed germination. In the future, consider aerating and adding compost to your soil to improve the drainage.

To help get your lawn in the best shape and get rid of common lawn weeds, Lawnscape provides the expertise you need for a yard you can be proud of. We have been serving Southern California for over 30 years, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike.

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