The funny thing about weeds is that some of them don’t even look like weeds. They’re actually quite pretty and might add an element of character to your yard. This being said, weeds are bad news for your garden, with a select few being the most problematic out of dozens of variations.
While it may tempting to douse common lawn weeds in a chemical killing agent, some variations are hardy and will keep coming back for more. This is simply because not all weed variations respond to these chemicals — which can also be dangerous to your health and that of your pets.
Here are some of the most common weeds to look out for and how to keep them under control.
Take Control of These Common Lawn Weeds
Lawn weeds should be a major priority when trying to keep your garden in top shape. They have a way of suffocating healthy grass and plants, and before you know it, you could be left with a dead lawn that’s been smothered by a seemingly harmless weed.
Whether you choose to DIY the control of your weeds or hire a professional for the job (such as this company), make sure you nip a weed problem in the bud (so-to-speak) before it gets out of control.
1. Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion)
Dandelions are bright yellow, pretty-looking flowers and seem quite harmless, but they are one of the common weeds to appear in a homeowner’s garden. As part of the aster family, this weed originates from Europe but is now a common lawn weed in North America and many other parts of the world.
What makes the dandelion so unique is that it’s a perennial plant — meaning that it’s tenacious and tends to hang on all-year-round. It has a long taproot that extends deep into the soil, which means it can also withstand many different weather conditions.
The good news is that dandelions are not poisonous or harmful, they’re just a lingering pest. One of the best ways to eradicate them is with a simple solution of pulling them out of the ground by hand and pouring vinegar into the growth spot.
2. Rumex Crispus (Yellow Dock)
Also called curly dock, this weed is easy to identify because of its dried flower head that looks like coffee grounds. The yellow dock can grow quite tall when it’s mature, so it might look like part of a tree, but it actually originates from tiny seeds in your lawn.
These seeds sprout into small plants and generally grow along fence lines. They tend to grow quickly and get out-of-control if you don’t manage or trim your fence line on a regular basis.
This weed has a large tap root, meaning it’s also hardy to all types of weather conditions. The best way to get rid of it is to dig up the root system, but you have to thorough about it! Otherwise, you can dab a touch of Roundup (glyphosate) to the leaves if the plant is big enough.
3. Glechoma Hederacea (Creeping Charlie)
While this weed may smell quite pleasant, it’s still a common lawn weed that can be unhealthy for your garden. You may notice the fragrance of this weed after mowing your lawn as it tends to grow in-between lawn grass.
As a member of the mint family, creeping Charlie has shallow roots, making it a stubborn weed that can re-grow quickly. If you have the patience, you can pull the weed by hand as soon as it crops up. Otherwise, you can use non-chemical control in the form of household borax to stamp it out.
4. Trifolium (Clover)
Clover is a versatile weed with many different species. It’s also a stubborn, hardy type of plant that loves to proliferate within your lawn grass. Contrary to what most homeowners think, this is the one weed that is not bad for your lawn.
In fact, it’s quite healthy for your grass as it resists pets, aerates, and adds nitrogen to your soil, being a member of the pea family, and all. For a healthier lawn, you may want to foster a good percentage of turf-grass versus clover. Some of the most common clover variations found in and amongst lawn grass include red clover and white clover.
However, if you’re a stickler for the aesthetic look of your grass and want to get rid of clover growth, the best way to do so is with a broadleaf herbicide. But make sure to choose a herbicide for the type of turf-grass you’re growing. Once you have eradicated the clover, make sure to feed your grass extra nitrogen in the form of compost or granular fertilizer.
5. Plantago Major (Common Plantain)
This is a common garden weed that is often eaten by small critters, such as rabbits. Common plantain is also edible by human standards and can be used in salads or even cooked up in a stir-fry dish.
This is a broadleaf weed, but also has a grass-like foliage cousin, known as buckthorn plantain and ribgrass. Common plantain is easy to remove — you can dig up the shallow roots and discard the plant. But be sure to get all of the root systems, as it’s a perennial plant and will re-grow if anything is left behind.
6. Ambrosia Artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed)
If you’re an allergy-prone person, or anyone in your family is, this is not a weed you want growing in your garden. This is one of the most common forms of this ragweed and it’s indigenous to North America.
Luckily, it’s an easy weed to eradicate and keep at bay. It has shallow roots and can simply be pulled out. They also tend to grow in poor-quality soil. So by keeping your lawn in good shape, you can avoid the growth of this weed.
7. Digitaria (Crabgrass)
While some weeds may look attractive, have bright flowers, or even a pleasant smell, crabgrass offers none of these qualities. It’s a tough weed to eradicate and prevent because it’s an annual grass that can produce up to 150,000 seeds per plant.
The reality is that most broadleaf herbicides just don’t work with crabgrass. If you choose a turf-grass chemical, it’s likely that the chemical will kill your grass, before it kills off the crabgrass.
It’s best to use a pre-emergent type of herbicide, which is specifically designed for this type of weed. Make sure to keep your turf-grass well-fed, thick, and healthy as crabgrass likes to grow in poor, bare soil areas.
Stock up on Home DIY Knowledge
These are just a few of the many common lawn weeds that you can find in most homeowner’s yards across America. One of the best tactics when it comes to weed care is prevention. Know what to look for and always nip the problem early on!
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