Your lawn needs good soil, water, air and sunshine to grow properly — but weeds thrive under these conditions, too. Contrary to the adage “A weed is but an unloved flower,” weeds are unattractive and aggressive blights on your garden; they soak up nutrients that your lawn needs and break up the beautiful landscape you have worked hard to establish.
Unfortunately, many lawn weeds are difficult for homeowners to identify before it’s exceedingly difficult to intervene. Especially in wet, humid environments where weeds can grow quickly, it’s important that you know what kinds of weeds to look for, so it’s easier to obtain a weed-free lawn.
Bright green and fuzzy, moss is an easily identifiable weed that is only found in moist conditions; homeowners in dry or hot areas of the country rarely need to worry about guarding their lawns against a moss invasion. Additionally, contrary to popular belief, moss and grass do not cohabitate well.
Unlike other weeds, moss tends to grow only in patches of lawn that grass isn’t already covering. In fact, moss is a good indication that conditions are not ideal for your lawn, so to eradicate moss where you want grass to grow, you need to identify what is preventing your grass from growing.
Few homeowners would label mushrooms as a weed, but they are an eyesore and tend to crop up after a spate of wet weather, earning them a spot on this list. Mushrooms thrive on shade and moisture, so it’s common to see them sprout overnight in the mid-spring or fall when clouds and rain are plentiful.
Mushrooms also prefer soil that has plenty of decaying organic matter, so if you are in the habit of allowing thatch to build up on your lawn, you might be unlucky with mushrooms. A quick fix is aerating your soil which allows nutrients and moisture to drain away, so mushrooms don’t have the conditions they prefer.
Nutsedge is a so-called grassy weed, which makes it more difficult for homeowners to identify the problem before the problem is horribly widespread. Also called nut grass, this weed is most plentiful in the Midwest and South — and it is almost impossible to get rid of without professional help.
Lawn care in cities like Memphis, Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis and others is centered around identifying and eradicating nutsedge as quickly as possible. The best offense is a good defense: growing a healthy lawn, avoiding overwatering and encouraging deep grass roots are key steps to keeping nutsedge at bay.
Another grassy weed, bentgrass will quickly take over your lawn, killing your established grass and stealing all your carefully administered nutrients for itself. Some homeowners prefer bentgrass lawns; they tend to be ideal for golf putting greens because of their tolerance of frequent, close mowing and compacted soil.
However, if you like a lusher lawn, you should try to eliminate all signs of bentgrass. This requires manual pulling-up of grass (if the weed crops are small) or administering herbicide and reseeding your preferred grass.
In the 1940s and 1950s, it was trendy to add clover seed to bags of Kentucky bluegrass because clover was beneficial for farmers with livestock. Unfortunately, the intentional spread of clover in pastures lead to an invasion of clover into residential spaces — with the result that clover is now by far the most abundant broad-leaf weed in America.
If the outbreak in your yard is small, you shouldn’t have any trouble removing the weed by hand. You can also try allowing your grass to grow slightly taller, preventing sunshine from reaching low-growing clover and killing it. If neither of these solutions works, a post-emergent, clover-specific herbicide should do the trick.
To non-homeowners, dandelions are nothing more than pretty, yellow flowers (perhaps with some health benefits) but to anyone waging war against these weeds, dandelions are worthy foes.
This is because the entirety of the weed needs to be removed — flower, stem and root system — to prevent it from growing right back. That’s why pulling dandelions never works; you need to administer an aggressive herbicide across your lawn to ensure they die completely and stay dead.
There are weeds for every climate and soil type, so you best believe that these aren’t the only weeds you’ll need to combat to keep your lawn pristine and unspoiled.
If you work to make your lawn as healthy as possible — and avoid creating a moist environment where these weeds thrive — you have a better chance of enjoying a weed-free lawn.
Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.
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