Help with identifying turf weeds
- Chickweed. (Stellaria Media)
- The weeds are generally 2 inches high. The weed can grow to as high as 4-6 inches. This kind of weed is normally found in gardens with high nitrogen content and a neutral ph level (click here to learn about ph and nitrogen in lawns.) Chickweed can produce quickly and can take over a garden in just days. This weed thrives in the spring time. If an homeowner is tackling this on their own make sure to completely remove the Chickweed roots entirely, this way the plant will not reproduce. Chickweed is also used in medicine and has a few know uses in the medical field.
Corn Speedwell (Veronica Arvensis)
This type of weed can reach 2-8” tall. The stems are light green and quite hairy. It produces a small blue or white flower during the spring. These flowers are in shape of a heart. This type of weed is not that a aggressive compared to other weeds. Once it flowers it normally starts to die off. How to treat Corn Speedwell, simply use a selective post emergent herbicide and make sure to spray in intervals for newly seeded areas. Try to attempt to spray during the “four leaf to flowering stage” for best results.
Go to top
Henbit (Lamium Amplexicaule)
This type of weed can grow vertically and horizontally. It is a member of the mint family. When this weed is cut it lets off a smell of a mint. It is spread by seeds, and it flowers during the early spring. This type of weed is often confused with Speedwells, Dead Nettle and Ground Ivy. This type of weed prefers cool, moist soil and thrives in newly seeded areas. You can prevent this weed by using mulch. By blocking the sun that it requires to grow will also help kill it. Kill this weed during the seeding to flowering stage of growth. To treat this weed apply a post emergent herbicide, (dithiopyr, isoxaben, pendimethalin, or prodiamine) Also, you can apply a thick layer of mulch normally 2 inches thick to discourage growth. Also drying out the soil by improving drainage is important as well.
Go to to
Purple/Red Deadnettle (lamuim Pupureum)
This weed is often confused with the Henbit because Both weeds have square stems and belong to the mint Family. What make the Deadnettle different is the leaves Are triangular in shape and less deeply lobed than Henbit. The upper leaves are red to purple in color. This weed Can be found in zone 4 to zone 8. To kill this weed Effectively apply a post emergent herbicide application. Kill this weed during the seeding to flower stage of Growth. This weed thrives in thin turf and its found in Moist fertile soils. It can be found in dormant warm Seasons. It grows best in the cooler weather of late fall or early spring. Shade will reduce the weed from spreading.
Go to top
Clover (Trifolium Repens)
White clover is very common in the United States. This is weed with very small roots. This is a cool season perennial. White clover is adapted top Many different types of soil, but does best in soil that is Low in Nitrogen. Turf grasses need a high count of Nitrogen to keep the “green color” or green pigment Seeing a abundance of clover will signal a need to Fertilize and replenish the Nitrogen in the soil. With Clover it is NOT recommended to pull the weed. If the Stolons are broken this could lead to a increase in Spreading of the clover. If attempting to treat this weed By yourself, treating during the Spring and when Temperatures are consistently below 50 degrees is when this will have the greatest effect. You can use the same herbicide as Ground Ivy or Creeping Charlie recommends. If trying to get rid of this weed use a herbicide that has “Quinclorac” in the ingredients.
Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale)
The dandelion is a winter perennial. The dandelion has thick fleshy tap root which often branches. New plants come from the root and root segments. Leaves form in a rosette, are deeply lobed, with the lobes pointing toward the base. Both the leaves and flower stems contain a white milky fluid. Since Dandelions are winter perennials that germinate in the fall it is recommended to use a post emergent herbicide.
Go to top
Ground Ivy or Creeping Charlie (Glechoma Hederacea)
This weed is also called Creeping Charlie, either way this Type of weed is very resistant to a lot of herbicides. This Is a cool season perennial. In southern Michigan this Weed thrives and is hard to control. This weed thrives in moist shady areas, but it will grow in sun. This weed is part of the mint family. Creeping Charlie can vary in length to just a few inches to several feet. Like most Weeds, this weed has a purple color to it. This weed was Actually intentionally brought here from European Settlers Because of its medical use. It helps with curing inflamed Eyes. When mowed this weed gives off a mint like smell. If trying to get rid of this weed use a herbicide that has “Quinclorac” in the ingredients. This is normally used for treating crabgrass, but it will effectively treat Ground ivy, Crabgrass, clover and Knotweed.
Go to top
This type of weed is a cool season annual it germinates in late winter or early spring. This type of weed forms big“mats” in the lawn. It can grow to 4-8 inches in length.Some forms of Knotweed can grow to as long as 18” The seeds in Knotweed, when the seeds are spread the seeds often survive mowing. This weed will survive in areas that other weeds will not. They often are spotted in parking lots, sports fields, turf, or any other high traffic area. To prevent this in your garden use mulch this will often prevent most weeds from invading a garden. If trying to manage this weed by yourself use a herbicide that has benefin, dithiopyr, oryzalin, pendimethalin, prodiamine or trifluralin in it.
Go to top
Warm season pre-annuals
Large Crabgrass(digitaria sanguinalis)
Crabgrass is a summer annual that germinates when the soil reaches a consistent temperature of 55 degrees F. Crabgrass is one of the most popular type of weed found in the US. The reasoning to this might be that a single crabgrass weed can produce up to 150,000 seeds. This can make crabgrass take over quickly and it can make it hard to kill. Crabgrass needs warm soil and plenty of sunlight to germinate. Crabgrass is often killed after the 1st frost. To properly kill off crabgrass apply a preemergent herbicide once temperatures are above 55 degrees F for more than 4 days. Do not core aerate the lawn after the herbicide application. For crabgrass control after germination use a post emergent grass herbicide.
Go to top
Nutsedge – Yellow (cyperus esculentus) – Purple (cyperus rotundus)
Nutsedge, or some call it nut grass is one of the most irritating weeds that homeowners complain about. Nutsedge is not really a grass but a weed. This plant thrives in wet swampy conditions. Normally in areas with poor drainage. This plant can triple in size in just a few days. Just like crabgrass it can spread quickly one tube of grass can produce 1,900 plants and 7,000 new tubers in a single growing season. That is just one strand of the plants weed. Imagine what a patch can produce. If your are attempting to kill this plant on your own use a herbicide that has SedgeHammer or (halosulfuron) in it for best results
Go to top
Creeping Woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata)
This weed is similar to clover but this weed has 5 heart shaped flowers. This is a summer perennial weed. when trying to kill this weed make sure to target it in the flowering stage for the best results. This weed can be pulled by hand in the early stages of development. If your yard is dense and think it will resist this type of weed. This weed likes big empty spaces and is found all over the eastern and central parts of the US.
Go to top