What Kind of Common Weeds are Found in Lawns?
Weeds are plants that grow in areas where they aren’t wanted. They can cause damage to lawns and gardens because they compete with other plants for nutrients and sunlight. Some weeds also spread diseases or attract pests.
Several types of weeds can be found on lawns. The most common weeds include dandelions, clover, crabgrass, and bindweed. These weeds can be easily identified by their leaves, stems, flowers, seeds, and roots. Other weeds such as plantain, thistle, and poison ivy have similar characteristics but look different from the above-mentioned weeds.
1. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelion is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Europe and Asia. It has long taproots and grows up to 1 meter tall. Its small yellow flower clusters appear at the end of its stem during summer. This weed spreads quickly through underground rhizomes. Its leaves are broad and heart-shaped. When it blooms, this weed produces white, pink, or red flowers.
Dandelions are a common weed in the United States. They grow easily and quickly, especially when you have bare soil or poor drainage. But they can also be an invasive species that spreads rapidly and takes over large areas of land.
How to Control Dandelion?
The best way to keep dandelions from growing is to remove them as soon as you see them. You can use hand tools such as pruning shears or clippers to cut down plants. Or you can use a garden hose with a nozzle attachment to spray water on the plant roots.
If you want to kill the whole plant, try digging up the root system before it has time to spread anymore. To prevent new dandelion seeds from sprouting, cover your yard with mulch. This will help keep moisture levels low enough for the grass to stay healthy.
2. Clover (Trifolium spp.)
Clovers are annual herbs that belong to the legume family. There are more than 100 species of clovers worldwide. In North America, there are about 30 species of clovers. All clovers have three leaflets on each leaf. Their flowers are usually blue, purple, or white.
The seeds are tiny and easily overlooked. Once you spot the seedlings, it’s too late. They quickly take over your lawn. You may think that this is just another weed but it’s an invasive species that spreads rapidly.
How to Control Clover?
If you have a problem with clovers in your yard, here are some tips on how to control them:
- Remove the plants from your lawn. This will prevent new ones from growing.
- Apply herbicides such as glyphosate to kill the existing plants.
- Use mulch around the base of the plants to keep their roots moist.
- Keep grass mowed short so that they don’t get enough light to sprout.
- Don’t let your dog walk through your yard because he might eat the seeds.
- Plant native plants that won’t compete for nutrients with the clovers.
- Monitor your lawn closely for signs of infestation.
- Try not to use fertilizers if possible.
- Avoid using any chemicals on your lawn.
- Be patient! As long as you remove the plants when you see them, there should be no more problems.
3. Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis)
Crabgrass is an annual grass that belongs to the Poaceae family. It has many varieties including smooth and hairy crabgrasses. It has narrow leaves with serrated edges. It has two pairs of spikelets per node. Each spikelet contains one floret. Its seed heads are flat and hairless. Its flowers are brownish-green.
Read: Best Crabgrass Killer
How to Control Crabgrass?
Fortunately, there are many effective ways to get rid of crabgrass. One of the most popular methods is using herbicides. These chemicals work by killing the entire plant, including the roots. However, if you’re going to use herbicide, make sure you read the label carefully first.
Some products may damage nearby vegetation or animals. Another option is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide. This type of product works well against crabgrass, but only when applied just before planting.
And finally, you can always pull out the crabgrass by hand. Simply dig around the base of each plant and gently tug at the roots until they come free.
4. Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
Bindweed is a biennial herb that belongs to the Convolvulaceae family. It has gray-green leaves with five lobes. Its flowers are light violet and bell-shaped. It has a thick root system that allows it to survive in poor soil conditions.
Bindweed is sometimes confused with morning glory because it looks similar. Morning glories are vines that climb trees and shrubs. Bindweed does not have a vine-like structure. Instead, it has small leaves that look like little sprigs of green.
How to Control Bindweed?
Like all weeds, bindweed needs to be removed immediately. Handpicking is one of the easiest ways to do so. Just grab hold of the plant and pull it out. You can also use a pair of scissors to snip off its stems. Finally, you can use herbicides to eliminate bindweed. Be careful though; some types of herbicides can harm nearby vegetation.
5. Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
Plantain is a perennial herb that belongs to the Plantaginaceae family. It has alternate leaves and a basal rosette. Its flowers are white, pink, or lavender colored. Its fruit is a capsule containing numerous tiny black seeds.
Plantains grow quickly and can be very invasive, especially when they get established. You may find them growing near your home or on your property. If you want to control plantain, there are several options available.
How to Control Plantain?
The first is to use herbicides. These products will kill off the plants. However, you must read the label of any product before using it. Some herbicides can harm other plants if they are used too close together.
Another option is to dig up the roots of the plantain. This method takes more time but will remove all of the root systems. It is also possible to pull out the entire plant by hand.
Finally, some people have found success with spreading fertilizer around the area where the plantain grows. This should encourage new growth.
6. Thistle (Cirsium sp.)
Thistles are perennial herbs that belong to the Asteraceae family. There are over 200 species of thistles worldwide. Most thistles produce daisy-like flowers. However, some species of thistles have showy flowers. Thistles have opposite leaves and bear flower heads that consist of disc florets and ray florets.
How to Control Thistle?
Thistles are a common weed in the United States, and they can be difficult to control. They grow quickly and have an extensive root system that makes it hard for herbicides to get into the soil. If you want to try to control thistles yourself, here are some tips:
- When you see thistles growing, pull them up by hand. This will help prevent new plants from sprouting. You may also use a hoe or shovel to dig out the roots of existing plants.
- Keep your grass mowed short so that you don’t allow the thistles to spread.
- Use a fertilizer with nitrogen (such as 20-20-20) to encourage the growth of the grass.
- Apply a preemergent herbicide such as glyphosate to kill the thistles before they germinate.
- Try using a mulch to smother the thistles.
- Spray your garden with a foliar spray containing glyphosate to kill the thistle’s leaves.
- Planting annuals between the rows of perennials will keep the thistles away.
7. Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
Poison ivy is a woody vine that belongs to the Anacardiaceae family. It has compound leaves and bears dark green berries. Its leaves contain toxic sap called urushiol. When exposed to this sap, people develop blisters and rashes.
How to Control Poison ivy?
Poison ivy is a common problem for many people. It’s not always easy to control it, but there are some ways that you can do so. You may be able to prevent the spread of poison ivy by using these tips:
- Remove all the plants from your yard. If you see any signs of poison ivy, remove them immediately.
- You can use glyphosate. As this is the most effective way to kill poison ivy.
- Don’t touch poison ivy leaves. If you come into contact with them, wash your hands immediately and thoroughly with soap and water.
- Wear gloves when working around poison ivy plants. This will keep your skin from being exposed to any oils or sap that might cause an allergic reaction.
- Keep children away from poison ivy. Young children often put their fingers in their mouths without realizing what they have touched. They then transfer the oil on their fingertips onto other parts of their body.
8. Creeping Charlie
Creeping Charlie is a plant that grows in the wild and can be found throughout North America. It has been known to cause problems for gardeners since it was first introduced into gardens in the early 1900s. The problem with creeping Charlie is that it spreads quickly, especially when it’s moist. This weed causes damage to turf by pushing up through the soil and growing roots at an alarming rate. This weed can grow as fast as 4 inches per day.
How to Control Creeping Charlie?
- Remove the seedlings from your yard. If you see any signs of new growth on your property, remove them immediately. You don’t want these plants to spread out and take over your entire lawn.
- Use herbicide spray or fertilizer to kill existing plants. When using herbicides, make sure not to get the chemical on your skin or clothes. Also, keep children away from the area where you are applying the chemicals.
- Mow your grass regularly. Cutting down the grass will help prevent seeds from spreading.
- Grow suitable grass on your lawn.
- Keep your lawn mowed short. Longer grass allows more time for the seeds to germinate and sprout.
Chickweed is a common weed in lawns, gardens, and landscaped areas. It can be found growing along sidewalks, parks, and other public places. This plant grows easily from seeds that are carried by wind or water.
The plants grow quickly and have long tap roots which help them to survive in poor soil conditions. They also have large leaves with sharp edges making it difficult for you to mow the grass around the base of these plants. The flowers are small and white and look like daisies. These plants are not harmful but they do cause problems when they grow in your garden.
How to Control Chickweed?
The best way to control chickweed is to use a herbicide called glyphosate. Glyphosate kills both the adult plant and its seedlings. It works well on many types of weeds including chickweed. However, it cannot kill any living organisms so it must be used carefully.
Follow the label directions exactly and apply glyphosate only where it is needed. Do not spray glyphosate directly onto the leaves of your lawn. Instead, spray it at least 6 inches away from the plants.
If you want to prevent chickweed from spreading into your garden, you may need to dig up the entire area and destroy the root system. Then make sure you thoroughly clean the area using a strong weed killer
Pigweed is a common weed in the Midwest. It can be found growing along roadsides, fields, and pastures. The plant has an erect stem that grows up to 3 feet tall. Its leaves are alternate and lance-shaped with serrated edges. The flowers grow singly or in pairs on long stalks. They have five petals and yellow centers.
The seeds of pigweed are tiny and light brown. They are very difficult to remove from soil because they germinate easily. This makes them hard to control.
How To Prevent Pigweed From Growing In Your Lawn?
There are many ways to prevent pigweed from growing on your lawn. You can use herbicides, mowing techniques, and other methods. These will help you keep it under control.
If you’re having problems controlling pigweed, consider cutting back your grass regularly. Mow once every two weeks during the summer months. This will reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the plants’ foliage. Make sure you don’t cut off all the pigweed though; just enough so that the remaining vegetation doesn’t get too much sun.
You may need to apply a post-emergent herbicide if you haven’t already done so. Some people recommend applying a pre-emergence herbicide first, then a post-emergence one. I prefer to do it the opposite way around. That is, I’ll apply a post-emersion herbicide first, and then wait until the next scheduled application before applying a pre-emersion herbicide. This way, I’m not wasting any time waiting for the pre-emergence product to work.
If you decide to use a pre-emergency herbicide, make sure you follow label instructions carefully. Read the label closely and follow all safety precautions. Always wear gloves while handling these products.
Some gardeners report success by planting a cover crop such as rye or oats between their rows of vegetables. Cover crops provide nitrogen to the soil and suppress weeds. However, some growers find that the cover crops themselves become troublesome weeds.
Another method is to add composted manure to the soil. Composting manure helps break down organic matter into nutrients which improves the soil structure and reduces the likelihood of disease.
The best thing to do is to go out and pull it. Pulling it early before it goes to seed is better than pulling it later when it has gone to seed. Pulling it now will give you a chance to kill it before it sets seed.
The problem with pulling it is that it takes a lot of effort and time. There are easier ways to deal with it.
Common weeds are found everywhere. By following all these tips, you can control them easily. Make sure, if you are using any herbicides to kill them. Buy a product that can kill the specific type of common weed. Because the herbicides are effective against a specific type of weeds. Read the label carefully for the best results.