The Sensible Gardener

The right plant in the right location with the right conditions

Lawn weeds

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A lawn weed that spreads like fire

A lawn weed that spreads like fire

Lawn weeds can spread much faster than you think. They are fierce competitors that can rob your grass of water, light and nutrients. Faced with this harsh competition, your turf-grass may start to look bad and be on the loosing side of the battle. In fact, weeds can eventually choke your grass lawn and take over most of your yard.

So you should have a plan to get rid of these weeds, or at least control them, before they get rid of your grass lawn.

There are hundreds of types of lawn weeds, most of them much stronger and more aggressive then lawn grass. Some of them, like dandelion, have long roots that are hard to take out of the ground and that can survive a lot of hardship. Others have stems that grow horizontally on the ground and that take root so the plant can multiply itself exponentially. Most of them produce seeds by the thousands and thousands. So weed control is not an easy game.

Plantain

Plantain

Plantain is not a very aggressive weed, plus it is quite easy to remove. The seeds are easy to see and to remove as well. Dandelion, on the other hand is quite aggressive and very hard to uproot. And if you leave the root in the ground, the plant will shoot new leaves in a matter of days.

All lawn weeds are not equal

There are plants that may be mixed in with your grass that may actually be desirable. Creeping thyme, for instance, is one of them. If you have a very sunny and dry spot somewhere, try growing this with your lawn. If it likes the spot, it will gradually take over the place and choke out the grass, but it is a very good looking plant that is extremely drought resistant and that can be mowed and walked on just like grass. Plus it smells great when you do walk on it.

English Daisies

English Daisies

English daisies can also look good in a grass lawn. They give a rustic, country style look to your lawn. They generally remain short and have much smaller flowers than the common daisies.

Weed control

There are weed control products that are not so toxic and that will give your broad leaf weeds a hard time. Some use iron to kill the weeds, some even use microscopic mushrooms. They may do the job if well applied, but they do have some restrictions. They must be used exactly as prescribed and some cannot be used on new grass. So if your lawn is new or if you over-seeded recently, you can’t use them. Some green fertilizers may also be of help when fighting weeds.

When it comes to lawn weeds, nothing is as effective and natural as manual removal. Of course, if you do choose to do this, be prepared to work until you drop. It may take days to take out all the weeds from a medium size yard if you really want to do the job well. That’s when you will realize how many weeds you had on your yard. Don’t be surprised if you end up filling up a large garbage bin.

By the way, weeds can be composted easily. Just don’t use the compost on your yard before it is completely composted, otherwise you may sow your old weeds back on your yard.

There are good weeding tools on the market nowadays. Ones that will make the job much more comfortable and much more effective.

Dense and high

Once you have gotten rid of most of your lawn weeds, the best defense is to keep your turf-grass healthy, dense and high. Regular watering and natural fertilization will make your grass healthy and over-seeding will make it dense. Finally, keep your lawn grass as high as possible, so the seeds blown by the wind will not be able to touch ground and germinate.

The weed world wide web

There are many very well documented sites on the web that will help you identify your weed precisely and that may give you good tips on how to control them. We have listed a few of them below.

Lawns are not always easy to keep top shape. To maximize your chances, you must have a comprehensive lawn care program.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you, I now realize that all of the hours that I have spent digging the plantain out of my lawn may be worth it. What should I do after I remove most of them to prevent them from coming back? It is mid August. Is it OK to put on some sort of weed and feed in September?

    • NickTheGardener

      August 25, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      It’s a very good idea to add some fertilizer in mid- to late fall. Choose one that is rich is phosphorous. That would be the second of the three numbers of the container. So a formula like 10-25-10 would be a good choice. Plants become more or less dormant in the fall, so you do not want a fertilizer that will stimulate plant growth. You want a formula that will feed the roots and get the plant ready for the next growing season. Good luck with your projects.

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