Bermuda grass and dallis-grass are perennial grass weeds which establish themselves in lawns that are mowed too closely, are overwatered, have compacted soil or are subject to excess heat and sun. Spurge grasses, knotweed, burclover and black medic are broadleaf weeds that grow in lawns with low nitrogen fertility, compacted soil or are closely mowed and have open areas. Annual and perennial sedges become established in lawns that are overwatered and have poor drainage. Excess sun and heat as well as nearby infestations also cause sedge growth.
Eradication of weeds is not a realistic or necessary goal. Some weeds develop even in a well-cared-for lawn. Healthy grass in fertile soil discourages weed growth. Hand weeding throughout the year may be all that is necessary when good management techniques are practiced. Hand weeding is especially useful to prevent the spread of sedges, dandelion, spurge, creeping wood sorrel, dallies-grass and Bermuda grass. Remove the weeds when they are young before they spread, grow seed or develop rhizomes. A dandelion fork or fishtail weeder is useful for removing weeds with a thick taproot.
Annual grassy weeds such as bluegrass, crabgrass and goose grass grow, produce seed and die within one season. They return the following year if this cycle is not interrupted. Grassy weed seeds fall from the plant in autumn and germinate in spring when the soil temperature is between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Conditions that cause the growth of annual grassy weeds are overwatering or light, frequent watering, a mower blade set too low or compacted soil. Grassy weeds take hold in lawns that are mowed to a height of less than 2 inches.
Perennial Grasses and Broadleaf Weeds
You can reduce weed growth in lawns significantly by following good management practices and understanding weed growth patterns. Improper fertilization, irrigation or mowing practices make it easy for weeds to invade even an established lawn. Identify the type of weeds plaguing your yard before beginning a control program.
Proper mowing, irrigation and fertilization practices prevent many weed problems. Mow every three to five days during growth periods to keep the lawn at a height of 2 ½ to 3 inches during the summer months. Leave clippings on the grass after mowing. Grass clippings provide about 20 percent of the fertilization needs of most grass types. Fertilizer needs vary according to grass species, but nitrogen is the nutrient most needed by all grass types. Organic compost fertilizers are applied once or twice yearly because they release nutrients slowly into the soil. Irrigate when the top 2 inches have dried out — or two to three times per week. Deep, infrequent watering discourages weed growth.
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With water-conserving Pennington Smart Seed grasses, your lawn can withstand heat, drought and stresses that cause ordinary grasses to struggle and grow thin. Smart Seed compared to ordinary grass seed needs up to 30 percent less water, year after year for the life of your lawn. These superior, drought-tolerant grasses will stay green for up to three weeks without water, so you have less maintenance and your lawn continues looking great.
How to Get a Thicker Lawn:
2. Mow Properly
Testing reveals your soil’s pH and other soil conditions that can inhibit thick, healthy growth. By following test recommendations, you can improve your soil without guesswork. If soil pH is too low, for example, your grass can’t take up nutrients it needs. Testing lets you know if your lawn needs lime or other soil amendments to restore pH balance and nutrient availability so grass can grow thick and lush.
Thicker, lusher, healthier and more beautiful. If those words describe your lawn goals, success may be closer than you think. Transforming thin, lackluster grass into a thicker, healthier lawn isn’t difficult to achieve. With three easy steps—or one simple, three-in-one lawn boost—you can get a thicker lawn and put thin grass behind you. Then add three best practices to keep a thicker lawn, and you’ll enjoy a lawn that looks and feels great for years to come.
For the fast track to a thicker lawn, you can take the all-in-one route and combine the previous three steps in one convenient, do-it-yourself lawn boost. Pennington Lawn Booster, available in Sun & Shade or Tall Fescue versions, combines seed, fertilizer and soil enhancer all in one simple product.
Weeds compete with grass for sunlight, water and nutrients. The more weeds you have, the less fertilizer and other resources your grass receives. Controlling weeds eliminates the competition so grass can stay thick and well nourished. Early fall is an excellent time to kill common lawn weeds.
Dandelion tap roots can extend a foot into the soil. Not only that, but even if you cut the root into a dozen pieces and plant each piece, they would produce a dozen new dandelion plants. This means, if you attempt to rid your lawn of dandelions by pulling them up by hand, any portion of the root left in the soil can produce a new plant.
Lawns must be maintained in a way that promotes a healthy lawn, while discouraging lawn weeds. There are many ways to accomplish this. For example, some types of grasses can be overseeded to thicken the turf.
Annual and Perennial Weed Types
Important Fact About Lawn Weeds
How the Weed Links Below Can Help You
The small groups of sedges contain a few varieties such as purple nutsedge, yellow nutsedge and also hurricane grass.
There is also another group of lawn weeds called “sedges” that are related to grasses. These look very similar to grasses, but are easily distinguished by their triangular stems.