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Identify Lawn Weeds

What Is That Growing In My Lawn?

Learning how to identify lawn weeds correctly is a necessary first step in the process of reducing or eliminating them altogether over time. It's an important part of establishing a healthy lawn. When you know what weeds are appearing, you'll be able to apply the necessary controls to win the fight against them from overtaking your lawn.

Different weeds respond to different controls and practices. The more you can learn about a weeds habits, the easier it will be to control that weed effectively.

As an example, dandelions have very long tap roots that go deep under the ground beneath the surface rosette of leaves. Simply mowing the lawn would only remove the flower and maybe a few of the leaves but wouldn’t get ‘to the root of the problem’ as the saying goes.

In this case, the taproot needs to be entirely removed to get rid of the weed properly. If only a small portion of the taproot is left behind in the soil, the plant will re-sprout.

A dandelion, among other ocmmon lawn weeds.

Nature Of The Beast

As you identify lawn weeds you will also be determining if the weed is:

annual-one that germinates from seed, grows, flowers, produces seeds, and dies in 12 months or less,

biennial–one that takes two years to complete it's life cycle, producing flowers and seeds in the second year,

perennial-one that lives more than two years. They reproduce from non-seed sources like tubers, rhizomes (underground stems), stolons (aboveground stems), and some produce from seed. Perennials prove to be the toughest to control because they are persistent and prolific reproducers.

Weed Classes

Weeds can be classified into 3 categories:

broadleaf-weeds having relatively broad leaves, as opposed to needle-like or scale-like leaves (dicots),

grasses-usually have hollow stems, with sheath-forming leaves in two longitudinal rows, and tiny flower spikes and seed like heads. (monocots)

sedges-any number of grass like plants with solid triangular stems and leaves in three vertical rows and very tiny flowerlet spikelets.

What Next?

On the following pages, we've put together a list, complete with photos, of the most common lawn weeds that you're likely to come across in your yard.

If you don't see what you're looking for in your quest to identfy lawn weeds, send us your descriptions and we'll help wherever we can.

Jim has walked thousands of lawns over the years, always assessing, analysing, and offering his expert advice on what to do to get things back in shape. He's ready to share his knowledge.

We’d love to hear from you.

Broadleaf Plantain

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