“Weeds can also cause human health problems. Many common weeds such as Parthenium Weed, Ragweed, Rye Grass, and Privet cause asthma and other respiratory problems, especially in children. Some weeds can also cause skin irritation, and some are poisonous.”
Although weeds are natural plants, they are invasive and harmful to the environment as well as human health. Weed invasion is threatening to forests, farms, crops, pastures, lawns, and even water. Not only this, you have to break your bank to get rid of them.
We understand how difficult it could be to get rid of such vegetation that impact the health of your lawn and also stand as a threat to you and your family. To help you tackle such invaders, we are going to discuss how to prevent, control, and kill lawn weeds. We will also discuss different types of lawn weeds so that you can quickly identify them and take necessary measures against them.
So, keep reading to learn about lawn weeds and methods to get rid of them.
Types of Lawn Weeds
There are many types of lawn weeds, but few of them are more common and hazardous. Therefore, we are going to discuss them one-by-one so that you can quickly identify them on your lawn and take necessary actions.
It is one of the most common weeds found in residential lawns of the U.S. It deteriorates the aesthetic beauty of your yard as well as causes troubles for the pedestrians. It creates a weak sod that leads to poor footing and may cause accidents if too moist.
The infestation of annual bluegrass can affect the aesthetic quality of ornamental plants by consuming most of the available nutrients in the soil. Once it has invaded your lawn, it becomes difficult to get rid of it because of its rapid reproduction.
Clover is a broad term used for a group of different species of weeds i.e., white clover and California burclover, etc. During the flowering seasons, the clover blooms of these weeds attract bees that can be dangerous for the people working in the lawn and the children playing in the garden.
It also impacts the uniformity of the grass as it has a different texture and color than grass. In case you have burclover invaded in your lawn, it will be difficult to walk around barefoot due to the burs that may stick to your feet while walking.
It is a common type of weed growing in the lawns. It is very noticeable with its light purple stem and yellowish-green leaves. The significant impact of this weed is that it competes for nutrients and moisture available in the soil. It proliferates within no time, which means fierce competition for nutrients, which may not leave an adequate amount of nutrients and moisture for the grass or your ornamental plants.
It is a perennial plant that requires sunlight and moisture for survival. It can survive some shade as well, but only when it is fully grown. It forms mat or clumps of leaves spread usually 6 to 14 inches in diameter. Under the shade of the clumps created by these weeds, grass may die, and the surviving patches may lose their vigor. It also causes poor footing and attracts bees, which are hazardous for some people.
There are two major types of plantains, which are broadleaf plantain and buckhorn plantain.
Broadleaf plantain has broad leaves, and the buckhorn plantain has narrower leaves.
Plantains form dense clumps that cause poor footing, and their extended flower stalks go beyond the height of grass blades, which reduces the aesthetic value of lawn.
Foxtail is the type of weeds that includes vegetation with bushy spikes resembling the tail of a ‘fox.’ They are grown across the United States and found mainly in western areas of U.S. Foxtail is hazardous to dogs and the health of other domestic animals. It is a nuisance for human beings as well as it can cause severe infections and may cause the death of your pet.
Docks are one of the dangerous types of weeds. They compete with the grass for nutrients, sunlight, and moisture available in the soil that eventually reduces the grass yield and quality of grass. It is health hazardous to grazing animals as well, and therefore, they dare to eat it only if there is nothing to feed on.
Jimsonweed is an annual plant and can be identified from its broadleaves. It has very rapid growth, and it actively competes for water, which means it is another enemy of your lawn grass. If you slightly bruise its leaves, you will experience its unpleasant odor, which makes it undesirable. It could be dangerous to let such a plant grow in your lawn as it contains alkaloids that are toxic to both humans and pets.
The seeds of common knotweed germinate in late winter or early spring. It is a short-lived weed that forms a prostrate mat with its wiry stems on the ground. It can grow in challenging conditions where other weeds may find difficulty growing like compacted and trampled soil. It also invites dodder – a parasitic plant that feeds on the host plants – and disease organisms like powdery mildew fungi. Moreover, the predatory insects that come to feed on its seeds may cause harm to the people on the lawn.
Tips to Getting Rid of Weeds
In this part of the article, we are going to provide you some tips that are useful for the prevention of weeds. So, read the following for the tips based on both natural and inorganic methods.
Tip #1: Prevention: Building borders
The first method is about the precautionary measures you can take to prevent the invasion and growth of weeds. Perhaps, this is the best way to avoid the infestation of weeds. The preventative measures include proper watering, fertilizing, and mowing of the lawn. It is crucial to timely and adequately water and fertilize your lawn so that it may yield healthy and plentiful grass.
It is also important to mow the lawn when it is necessary, and it is equally essential to mow the grass to the correct height. The seeds of weed plants require warmth from the sunlight to germinate. When you mow your lawn to a shallow height, the sunlight falls directly on the surface of the soil, which helps the weed seeds to germinate faster.
So, try not to mow too low since the larger grass blades create shade, which can be less favorable for the seeds, but make sure you start mowing when it is needed, and cutting height should be between 3 to 4 inches.
Remember! Water deprived and compacted soil and grass mowed at low height is a favorable environment for the growth of weed plants. Therefore, taking measures can help prevent weed invasion.
Tip #2: Hand-weeding: Fight on the front line
Yes! The headings may go crazy sometimes, but the purpose is to make you understand what you are going to do. If you own a small lawn or your lawn has a little number of weeds, you need to be careful. Weeds may out-compete the lawn grass as they grow like fire, and the larger infestations of weeds will not only decrease the aesthetic value of your lawn but will also deteriorate the health of the grass.
So, go ahead, find the weeds in your lawn and pull them out one by one. If you keep pulling them out during the season, you will get a beautiful weed-free lawn.
Tip #3: Behead the invaders
There is another way of controlling weed growth. All you need to do is get scissors or pruning loppers and cut the weeds from their stems. This way, you can stop the spread of seeds and, eventually, weeds. This method is useful when the soil is not moist enough (which is not favorable for pulling out weeds).
Tip #4: Cut-off the source of life
Now, if you have a standalone mulching machine or a lawnmower with a mulching feature, you will be able to take advantage of our tip. The mulched grass is usually used to provide nutrients to the lawn grass, but here, you will use that to create a less favorable environment for the seeds of weeds.
When you spread the mulch on the ground, it keeps the soil moist and lowers down the temperature by preventing sunlight from reaching the ground. Such an environment is not what a seed needs for germination. So, as a result, the seeds under the soil might not germinate.
The layer of mulch shouldn’t be too thick. Otherwise, the soil won’t get the oxygen from the air, and it shouldn’t be too thin either; otherwise, sunlight will fall on the soil, which will help the seeds to germinate.
Tip #5: Know the invader and the pacifist
It is essential to control the weed growth as it can be harmful to the grass as well as your pets. But if the infestation of weeds is extensive and you want to take additional steps against it, you need to know the condition of your lawn, type of grass, and the kind of weed.
Some of the weeds grow annually while the others are perennial, which means they live for multiple seasons. Some grow with narrow leaves, and others have broadleaves. They all have their particular structure and behavior due to which you have different products available for them.
Most of the products or herbicides are used per the lawn condition and type of weed. You will also have to apply them as prescribed by the producer of that particular product. So, make sure you have analyzed both of them before starting ‘let’s kill weed’ operation.
Whatever method you are using to prevent, control, and kill the lawn weeds, you need to know well what you are doing and why you are doing. If you know your lawn well and know what type of weeds you are dealing with, you can get rid of it using natural methods. If the weed infestation is too large and you don’t usually have enough time to spare for lawn care, you can use the inorganic method. But make sure to spray a reasonable amount of herbicides (chemicals) and spray on the particularly affected areas only (not all herbicides are safe for the grass and the environment).