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grass weed with seeds

Sharp barbs on the spear-shaped leaves of this tough perennial weed are a dead giveaway that it means business. Canada thistle is hard to remove, requiring repeated efforts to eradicate the entire deep taproot. When left behind, the smallest piece will sprout a new plant, and in some cases, two new plants. Chemical control is an option but cutting, while wearing gardening gloves, works by attrition. Snip off the plant at its base and continue to do this until the weed no longer grows. When you remove the leaves, the plant can’t produce the food it requires to grow and produce seed.

Producing 150,000 seeds per plant, crabgrass is tough and determined to take over. This annual grass pops up frequently around heat-absorbing areas like driveways and sidewalks where soil warms faster, triggering the germination of crabgrass seeds. Though hand-pulling is helpful, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to control the spread using just this method. Your best defense is a preemergent herbicide, or crabgrass preventer, applied in early spring before seeds have a chance to germinate.

Creeping Charlie

Dense, compacted soils are favored by lamb’s-quarters, which can grow up to 5 feet tall with enough sun and moisture. Toothed pale green leaves are egg shaped and have a fine white powdery coating, especially on new growth. The good news is this weed pulls up easily. The bad news, especially if you’re a vegetable gardener, is that it harbors viruses that attack certain crops like beets, lettuce, cucumber, and watermelon. If hand-pulling isn’t an option, mow the lawn consistently to prevent the weed from producing seed or apply a preemergent herbicide to prevent germination.

Just when you thought that your carpet of green grass couldn’t look any better, a weed pops through to remind you that you are not in control. Unfortunately, weed control is part of any lawn maintenance routine. Whether the seeds blow in on the wind, drop from a passing bird, or lie dormant in the soil waiting for the right time to emerge, it’s inevitable that they will find your grass. A quick response is key to preventing a few weeds from swallowing your entire lawn. Here are nine common lawn weeds and the best (and safest) ways to stop their spread.

Mow higher and as needed. Frequent mowing weakens grass and exposes the soil so weed seeds can germinate. Grass blades, when cut often, won’t develop the side shoots required to create a denser lawn. Mow frequently enough to maintain a lawn height of 3 to 4 inches.

Crabgrass (Late Spring Annual Weed)

Summer Annual Broadleaf Weeds
Many of the most problematic broadleaf weeds are annuals. Here you will find specific summer annual weed information, with weed names, photos and control methods.

Cultural Practices that Help Prevent Grassy Weeds

It is also important to mow your lawn at the highest recommend level for your specific grass type. This will shade the soil and make germination more difficult. Many cool season turf grasses can be mowed at a height of 3 to 4 inches. Depending on your grass type, see the Cool Season Grasses or the Warm Season Grasses Warm Season Grasses sections of this site for helpful mowing and planting information.

Crabgrass was originally introduced into this country as a possible forage crop. However, it easily escaped cultivation and is now widespread throughout the country. It is one of the most common and problematic weedy grasses in home lawns. It is also found on golf courses, parks, flower and vegetable gardens, athletic fields and any other place that seeds are able to germinate.

The primary way of preventing the establishment and spread of foxtail is to maintain a thick, healthy lawn. Maintaining your lawn at the tallest mowing height recommended for your grass type will help slow seed germination.