The Worst Southern Lawn Weeds and How to Get Rid of Them
With proper lawn care maintenance, you can prevent your lawn from deteriorating. Lawn maintenance includes mowing at the tallest height for your lawn's grass type and fertilizing according to your grass type. In addition to mowing and fertilizing, it's also important to water deeply and infrequently. For those with agricultural lands, calibrating an irrigation system can help your land receive the correct amount of water. Regularly performing these tasks will reduce your lawn's risk for weeds, pests, and lawn diseases.
Remember to keep an eye out for pests. This will allow you to treat them before they become a serious problem. To test the quality of your soil, you may want to test its pH level. If the pH level is unbalanced, you can add either lime or sulfur to ensure that its pH is right in line. Keep in mind that lawns with unhealthy pH levels are more susceptible to certain weeds. To prevent these plants from spreading, it's important to take care of them as soon as they appear
Southern Lawn Weeds
Crabgrass- To rid established turf grass lawns of crabgrass, use pre-emergent herbicides like dacthal, balan, and betasan. Since these herbicides prevent weeds from sprouting, it's important to apply these before the weed has grown. However, you should not use these herbicides on a lawn that has been recently seeded. This is because these herbicides will prevent a new lawn from growing. If your lawn has been freshly seeded, it's best to use another pre-emergent herbicide called tupersan.
Henbit- With its square stems and light purple trumpet-like flowers, henbit is easily distinguishable. This weed usually affects lawns during the early spring. To effectively control henbit, use MCPP (mecoprop). This broadleaf herbicide is commonly used in combination with 2,4-D(2,4-Dichlorphenoxyacetic acid) or dicamba (3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid).
Cinquefoil- Cinquefoil is often mistaken for wild strawberry. Although this weed sprouts yellow flowers, it's doesn't produce fruit. Like other weeds, cinquefoil is more likely to grow in lawns with poor soil. To remove this type of weed from your lawn, you can either use 2,4-D or a 2,4-D and dicamba combination.
Dandelion- It's not difficult to recognize dandelions growing in one's lawn. With its bright yellow flowers, these weeds are most prevalent in bare lawns. The best treatment for dandelions includes either a 2,4-D or a 2,4-D combination.
Ground ivy- Similar to henbit, ground ivy has purple trumpet-like flowers. These weeds tend to grow in large patches. Although these weeds can grow in a number of environments, they're most problematic in moist, shady areas. Ground ivy is tough to destroy; however, a dicamba combination may be helpful.
Nutgrass- Although nutgrass can grow year-round, it spreads more quickly during the summer. These moisture-loving weeds are tough to kill, so it's best to control them by using basagran, improving drainage, watering less, and digging the weed up by hand.
Plantain- There are two type of plaintains: narrow-leaved (buckhorn) and broad-leaved. While narrowed-leaved weeds have small rosettes and leaves with deep grooves, broad-leaved ones have larger rosettes with round leaves. Since these weeds are most common in unhealthy lawns, pH testing is the best way to prevent plaintain from spreading. A 2,4-D will also help control the problem.
Wild garlic- Otherwise known as wild onion, this weed is difficult to get rid of. During the fall and spring, wild garlic can take over your lawn; however, its foliage will disappear once summer begins. To help reduce the problem, you can use a 2, 4-D herbicide. Although this herbicide can be useful, it may take several years to completely remove this weed from your lawn.
It's not uncommon for weeds to overrun lawns in the south. However, with proper lawn care maintenance, you can protect your lawn from these invasive plants. If regular lawn maintenance and herbicides fail to rid your lawn of weeds, you may want to ask a local lawn care service for assistance.