How to Recognize Common Lawn Weeds

by | Oct 18, 2013

If you live in a neighborhood of both treated and untreated lawns, it’s easy to see the difference between professional and amateur lawn care. Good landscaping and lawn care cost money, and you need to make it a priority.  If you choose to do nothing to your front lawn, plants will most certainly grow there, but they may not be the ones you prefer.  Here are a few of the usual customers:

Crabgrass – One of many grasses naturally appearing , you can recognize it by its crab-like appearance. Its thick blades grow out from the central root and look a bit like claws reaching out.    It begins germinating about the same time as the forsythias bloom and grows through summer.

Plantain – There are many different kinds of plantain, but the most common ones in America are ribwort and broadleaf (broadleaf is shown).  It was called White Man’s Foot by the Indians because the English brought it with them as a potherb and it flourished in North America, traveling wherever the settlers did. This is a ubiquitous weed.  If you take a walk outside any time spring to fall, it’s likely you’ll see it growing in parks and gutters and in between cracks on sidewalks.

Curly dock is a deep-rooted plant that starts off with small, rather prettily ruffled leaves and grows knee high or taller, turns brown and sheds tens of thousands of seeds per plant.  The branched root is persistent, and each one of those seeds is a potential new curly dock plant which is why you’ll see this one all over too.

Purslane – You’ll only find this one appearing in the heat of summer.  It requires warm temperatures to germinate.  Purslane leaves looks similar to the leaves of a jade plant, but the stems are reddish and expand like pipelines along the ground.  It has tiny yellow flowers which produce seeds that can remain viable in the soil for years.  If you like purslane, you don’t have to worry – next summer when the warm breezes and the fireflies come ‘round again, it will be back.

Other common lawn weeds you may recognize from childhood – dandelions, violets, and clover.  Dandelions and violets are cheery signs of spring, but they spread like wildfire.  Violets actually explode their seeds in mid-summer, traveling by burst across your lawn.  Dandelions and clover have deep roots, although you can just cut the tops off clover, as they won’t regrow from the root alone.  Other undesirable grasses are also common: quackgrass, annual bluegrass, and burmuda grass.  You probably know them even if you don’t know them by name.
Many or most of these plants are edible by either domesticated animals or humans, and in farming communities, were often successfully grazed by cattle, sheep, and goats.  If you have cattle, sheep, or goats, it may pay for you to let them grow and spread to feed them.  However, if you would prefer the vibrant green, professional look, call Procare Landscape Management today.  We will take care of them for you.