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Lawn Problems


Lawn Weeds

Use the following chart to help you identify and control weeds attacking your lawn or ground cover.

Weed

Description

Control

Black Medic.
Medicago lupulina.

Annual. Spreading plants form a dense mat of dark green foliage that resembles clover. Small yellow flowers appear in spring, forming black seeds. It is a particular problem during dry periods.

Use a postemergent systemic herbicide when turf is not water stressed.

Common Chickweed.
Stellaria media.

Cool-season annual. It is low-growing with branching stems and small, pointed yellow-green leaves with small starlike white flowers. It actively grows from autumn through spring. Grow in thin turf and bare soil.

Use a preemergent herbicide in fall or early spring.

Crabgrass, Smooth and Hairy.
Digitaria ischaemem and D. sanguinalis.

Both are summer annuals. Thick clumps of smooth or hairy leaves with a spreading habit crowd out turf grass.

Use preemergent herbicide in spring when forsythia is in bloom.

Dandelion.
Taraxacum officinale.

Perennial. Leaves are broad with deep notches, forming a rosette. Flowers are yellow and develop into fluffy white seed heads.

Use a postemergent systemic herbicide when plants appear; or dig by hand taking care to remove the entire taproot.

Ground Ivy.
Glechoma hederacea.

Perennial. A creeping plant with round, scalloped edges; stems are squared. Bright purple flowers appear in spring.

Easily removed by hand; or use a postemergent systemic herbicide when plants appear.

Knotweed.
Polygonum aviculare.

Summer annual. Stems spread across the ground, forming dense mats of small blue-green leaves. Small white flowers appear in late summer.

Use a postemergent systemic herbicide when plants appear.

Purslane.
Portulaca oleracea.

Summer annual. Small yellow flowers appear on thick mats of small, succulent, green leaves with reddish stems. It grows vigorously in the heat of summer where lawns are thin or soil is bare.

Easily pulled and edible. Use a preemergent herbicide in spring or a postemergent contact herbicide when plants appear. It is especially troublesome in new plantings.

Red Sorrel.
Rumex acetosella.

Perennial. Green leaves are arrow-shaped; reddish brown flowers appear in late spring. Spreads rapidly by thizomes. Evergreen in mild climates.

Use a postemergent systemic herbicide when plants appear.

Oxalis.
Oxalis stricta.

Annual or perennial. Yellow-green leaves resemble clover. Flowers are yellow and develop seedpods that eject mature seed throughout the lawn or garden.

Use a postemergent systemic herbicide when plants appear; some control is gained from preemergent herbicide in spring.

Plantain, Broadleaf or Buckhorn.
Plantago major; P. Lanceolata.

Perennial. Both plantains form a rosette of leaves, either wide or lancelike; they produce slender stalks on which the seed heads develop. Both species develop long taproots.

Dig plants to remove entire taproot; or use a postemergent systemic herbicide when plants appear.

Wild Garlic, Wild Onion.
Allium species.

Perennial. Narrow, tall, green hollow stems appear in early spring. Plant forms clumps and multiplies by underground bulblets.

Use a postemergent systemic herbicide.

On the next page, you'll learn about lawn pests.

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