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grass weed with small seeds

Pull weeds when soil is damp. Hard soil is reluctant to release weeds. Wait a day or two after rainfall to do some hand-pulling or digging.

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.

Water infrequently, but deeply. Lawns require about an inch of water per week. Any more than that and you’re inviting disease. Water deeply to promote a stronger root system and only when there’s been insufficient rainfall. A rain gauge positioned in the landscape can help you determine weekly precipitation.

Lamb's-Quarter

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.

A perennial weed, field bindweed is one of the lawn weeds that is tough and difficult to eradicate. It has arrowhead-shaped leaves and flowers resembling small morning glories. This vining weed spreads by underground rhizomes. It wraps around plants and spreads across lawns so densely that it can smother and kill them. Repeated pulling before the plant flowers and releases seeds is the best control method. Some post-emergent herbicides work, but be sure to read the label to confirm the product’s effectiveness against bindweed.

Also called wood sorrel, oxalis is a perennial weed that looks a lot like clover, except with yellow flowers. It forms a dense, low-growing mound that spreads by seed, stem fragment, or underground root. Hand-pulling rarely works because you leave much of the plant behind. Your best bet for small areas is digging by hand, but this option often takes several seasons to have an impact. Apply a broadleaf herbicide like dicamba to actively growing plants before they set seed. As with all chemical treatments, follow the application instructions and wear protective clothing.

Dig only when necessary. Thousands of weed seeds sit just below the surface of the soil, waiting to be kissed by the sun. The more you disrupt soil in your beds and lawn, the more you increase the likelihood that seeds will germinate.

For best results, treat new weeds as they emerge from soil, when they’re young, actively growing and still less than 3 inches tall. This stops these lawn pests before they can establish, set seed and spread on their own. Used as directed, IMAGE All-In-One Weed Killer is guaranteed not to harm your lawn.*

To help your lawn grass stay at its competitive peak, follow these “good practices” as well:

2. Roncoroni, J., “Dandelion,” University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, January 2018.

*Always read product labels thoroughly and follow instructions, including guidelines for specific lawn grass types.

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