Weeds have a contentious nature as they offer benefits and adversities both. However, agriculturists assert that it is better to get rid of weeds before they deteriorate an entire lawn. Expecting a yard to be weed-free forever is an ideological belief, but knowing the type of weeds you deal with will simplify the controlling process. This article summarizes all you need to know about lawn weeds and how to control them.
WHAT ARE LAWN WEEDS?
“A weed plant has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.”– Doug Larsen.
Lawn weeds are plants that grow in unwanted spaces and deteriorate the beauty of a garden. They feed on the nutrients meant for other plants or crops, reducing their desired growth. It is why weeds need to be controlled, prevented, and removed to ensure that the rest of the garden grows beautifully. There are various forms that a weed can take depending on the place where they are growing. Typically, weeds produce many seeds that quicken their spread on a lawn. Let us walk you through the commonly found lawn weeds.
TYPES OF LAWN WEEDS AND HOW TO CONTROL THEM
Knowing the different types of lawn weeds will enable you to identify them if they were to grow in your garden. Understanding the organic and inorganic ways to get rid of them will aid you in preventing and removing weeds whenever necessary. Hence, here are ten commonly found lawn weeds that spread in a garden and how to control them.
Crabgrass is a devious annual weed that grows exponentially in dry and hot conditions. Bare and thin spots in a lawn are typically home to crabgrass. Although crabgrass dies down in autumn, it produces thousands of seeds that can germinate and sprout in the upcoming spring. Its seeds can remain in the soil for years until the soil is disturbed.
- Organic remedy: Consistent over-seeding of a garden creates a dense root system that restricts space for crabgrass to grow. Since crabgrass grows in bare and thin spots on a lawn, it is advisable to mow the yard to a height of 7.5 centimeters. It offers coolness to the soil, which prevents the germination of a crabgrass seed.
- Inorganic remedy: By the time crabgrass is recognizable; it is too late to treat it. For such cases, you need to use fertilizers and pre-emergent herbicides to get rid of them. Contact your local gardening store to purchase one.
💠 Nut Grass
Nut Grass is a lasting, grass-like plant found on a lawn all year. It grows about 20-50 centimeters in height and brings out a web of underground stems with 100-250 centimeter-sized tubers. You can quickly identify this weed by paying attention to its branches with long brown flower spikelets (with hints of red and purple). It is typically 100-250 centimeters long.
- Organic remedy: Take a gardening trowel and dig it deep inside the plant’s roots. The roots of Nut Grass run about 15 inches deep, so drop the idea of going easy on the plant. Dig the trowel inside, take out all of its roots, and ensure to dig it out clean by hand. Often, coating the grass in sugar aids the purpose as well.
- Inorganic remedy: Utilize herbicides that are appropriate for this weed’s prevention. Preferably, select products with a chemical named ‘bentazon.’ It typically works best for Nut Grass prevention. Herbicides are most effective when Nut Grass is thriving. Therefore, let your lawn grow for a couple of days before applying the herbicide.
💠 Dandelion Weeds
Dandelion weeds are green-leafed with vibrant yellow flowers that set them apart and easy to identify. These flowers can be faded to reveal a white puffball. Typically, dandelion weeds grow a thick underground taproot about 10 inches long. If even a piece of its taproot remains underground, it will eventually regrow.
- Organic remedy: Similar to the organic treatment for crabgrass prevention, consistent over-seeding will restrict space for dandelions to grow by forming a dense root system. Deliberately leaving grass clippings around the lawn prevents the dandelion seeds from germinating by acting as mulch. You can also just dig it out by hand to ensure that every piece of root is out.
- Inorganic remedy: Apply broad-leafed herbicides with the ingredient 2-4-D in early autumn. During this time, the leaves are shifting nutrients to the roots. Leaves will absorb the herbicides in autumn and ensure they are taken down to the hearts. That is an inorganic way to get rid of dandelion weeds.
💠 White Clover
White clover, or Dutch Clover, is a kind of an ever-lasting weed that grows low to the ground with leafs growing in sets of three leaflets. It has white-colored flowers with a mixture of brown and green in the middle. When it grows, it extends its roots wherever a stem node meets the terra firma.
- Organic remedy: Manual removal is the simplest form of organic removal. You can ensure to clear it out of your garden’s soil better when you do it yourself with your hands. You can also call professionals to get this job done for you. Alternatively, you can apply Corn Meal Gluten to the plants in spring to ensure that the leaves absorb it. Corn Meal Gluten acts as a pre-emergent herbicide that prevents the germination of white clover seeds. However, this approach restricts you from over-seeding your garden till the following autumn. Hence, the best-recommended remedy is to take it out manually.
- Inorganic remedy: Buy a broad-leafed weed killer to ensure that white clover is removed effectively. They are typically available at local stores. You may also contact professional gardening and landscaping services to let them take care of this.
Bindweed is a thread-like, climbing vine. It wraps itself on any tall object, so it is easy to identify in a garden. It has green leaves and white or pink flowers that grow on the vine eventually. It has a rigid root system that makes it challenging to get rid of the bindweed.
- Organic remedy: Two words: boiled water. All you need to do is boil some water and pour it over the bindweed plant. Since boiled water kills all plants, it will come in handy in this situation. However, this approach requires you to re-seed the area you poured water in.
- Inorganic remedy: Buy a non-selective herbicide that comprises glyphosate and apply it where your bindweed plant resides. However, you will need to re-seed the affected area afterward.
Crowngrass, also known as Paspalum, can be among the most challenging weeds to get rid of. It is an ever-lasting tufted grass with a height of 1.5 meters and has tiny curved, hairless leaf blades. It grows more in warmer months and can be spotted during late spring to autumn. It broadly spreads through sticky seeds that stick onto shoes and pets before relocation.
- Organic remedy: Like many other weeds, it is best to remove Paspalum by hand. It allows you to ensure that the entire root system has been taken out and cleared, leaving no room for the plant to spread and grow.
- Inorganic remedy: You may also use pre-emergent herbicides to control and prevent crowngrass. Ensure that your product has the common active ingredient named ‘prodiamine’ as it stops the expanding crowngrass in a lawn. Contact professionals to take care of this if you are new and confused in this domain.
💠 Winter Grass
Winter Grass is a low-growing grass with triangle-shaped seed heads and soft leaves. It is commonly found during the cooler months. With its germination in May, it emerges in late May or June and then spreads throughout winter and spring. It may take longer than usual to fully eradicate winter grass. Let’s take a look at the two ways to get rid of it:
- Organic remedy: Taking it out by hand is, by far, the most effective way to get rid of winter grass. Alternatively, use a shovel and dig some dirt up to bury the plant. The lack of sunlight will eventually kill it. You can also ensure that your lawn is well-fed with organic fertilizers to prevent such weeds from sprouting.
- Inorganic remedy: The easiest is to utilize pre-emergent products every three months. Consistency in using such products restricts the germination of winter grass altogether. Alternatively, you can use post-emergent products to poison winter grass plants after it has germinated selectively. It may take at least two weeks or up to two months.
Although people may argue that weeds have a few benefits to offer a lawn too, there will always be more undesirable effects than desirable ones. It is best to control weeds whenever possible before it poses a noticeable threat to the aesthetic appeal of a lawn. While it is true that some weeds offer soil stabilization, a nectar for bees, and add organic matter, it is still not enough to risk the overall growth of the rest of the lawn. Weeds feed on the nutrients meant for other crops which make it undesirable for weeds to grow. You can utilize herbicides to take care of overgrowing weed plants or manually take them out – it is your call. However, the finesse in work done by professionals will be matchless. It will also take some responsibility off your shoulders and let you relax while experts do the job for you. Contact professional today to get your weed plants under control.