• Home  / 
  • Grass  / 
  • An In-depth Look into Different Types of Grass Weeds

An In-depth Look into Different Types of Grass Weeds

Owning a home with a backyard means you have a lot of work on your hands when it comes to taking care of your lawns and gardens. You must ensure they retain their beauty for as long as possible by undertaking regular gardening work and maintenance to prevent excess weed growth in the garden. No one likes the idea of working with weed occurrence every year that pollinate in multiple ways.

So how can weeds get transported into your backyard? Through the following:

  • Wind
  • Birds
  • Insects
  • Footwear
  • Relocated Soil
  • Lawn Mowers

Any soil patch contains millions of tiny weed seeds. These seeds can remain dormant for hundreds of years. Seeds sprout and cause backyard problems during permissive conditions. You will need to treat your backyard appropriately by first identifying the weeds so that appropriate control can be taken.

Here is a comprehensive list of frequently occurring weeds and how you can treat your backyard so that weed growth is minimized.

Dandelion

Dandelions

"Dandelions" by Mike Mozart is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Dandelion is a perennial weed with long taproots. Dandelions thrive in moist areas with full sun. Fully-grown dandelion can survive even in cold climates.

Dandelions are also known by different names:

  • Lion’s tooth
  • Monk’s head
  • Blow-ball
  • Puffball

Growth Pattern

Dandelion growth follows these patterns:

  • Average Dandelion roots can grow around 6 to 18 inches deep.
  • Roots have also been found to grow up to 10 or 15 feet in certain cases.
  • Sprouting of buds can take place from up to 2 inches inside the soil.

Appearance

Dandelion has a strong taproot with deeply notched leaves. Yellow flower grow that eventually become puffballs.

Prevention and Removal

It’s best to get rid of Dandelion in your backyard using these methods:

  • By hand picking the Dandelion from the root. Gardeners should remove at least 2 to 4 inches of the root.
  • Herbicides should be sprayed to avoid further growth. Special herbicides are available that do not kill the good turf grass.
  • Mulch can also be spread across the grass to prevent further growth of dandelion. Failure to do so will see new buds sprout from the previous root.

Annual Bluegrass

Annual Bluegrass is a type of weed that occurs every year. This weed usually thrives in winter. Annual Bluegrass comes in a number of diverse species -- some of them are perennial and some are short lived. Annual Bluegrass cannot sustain in hot and dry climates. They thrive on irrigated and water logged soil.

Growth Pattern

Leaves of the bluegrass are generally long and membranous. They germinate towards the end of summer and persist through the remaining year.

Appearance

These weeds cannot be differentiated from normal grass. However, they can be identified against close-cut turf with their long leaves.

Prevention and Removal

If you fear that you have a grass weed problem, you may want to undertake the following:

  • Call in a professional expert to identify your weed issues to ensure proper care is taken.
    It’s best to get rid of the bluegrass by spraying herbicide or adding mulch to the garden just before summer ends.
  • Soil should be aerated and compost should be added to ensure that your garden doesn’t remain waterlogged. This protects the healthy grass varieties to prevent them from getting damaged due to the excess water.

Crabgrass

Crabgrass is one of the most common garden weeds that you’ll find today. They are annual weeds that grow in summer. Crabgrass tends to die at the first sight of frost. They are also known by the names of summer grass, water grass and crowfoot. Keep in mind that each crabgrass plant can produce over 150,000 weeds.

Growth Pattern

Crabgrass follows this growth pattern:

  • They germinate in spring when the soil temperature is perfect.
  • If they are not tended to, their blades can grow as long as 6 inches.
  • Even crabgrass that is as small as one-fourth of an inch is able to pollinate.

Appearance

Crabgrass can be easily identified. They usually grow in clumps and are lighter in color than normal grass. These grass weeds grow anywhere that the stem makes contact with the soil and the heads of the seeds tend to spread out like the four fingers of a hand.

Prevention and Removal

Crabgrass can be managed and removed by following a few methods:

  • Using a variety of chemicals and herbicides.
  • Gardeners and homeowners can also pull out the plants by hand.
  • Mulching the whole garden to prevent the growth of crabgrass.

Common Chickweed

Common Chickweed

"Common Chickweed" by NATT-at-NKM is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Common Chickweed is a very common weed found throughout the world. They are annual weeds that grow in winter and sustain in waterlogged and highly irrigated soil. Common chickweed is home to a wide species of insects and pests that pose an intense threat to your healthy grass.

Growth Pattern

Common chickweed has the following growth pattern:

  • Common chickweed has a height of not more than 2 inches in a normal lawn.
  • In shady areas they can grow as tall as 5 to 6 inches.
  • Common chickweed spreads very fast -- they start producing seeds only after 5 weeks of germination.

Appearance

This weed has small white flowers with five white petals. Common chickweed leaves have high water content with a matte-like finish.

Removal

Unchecked chickweed will result in a battered lawn in no time. This makes it very important to clear out the weed.

  • Using your hand to remove the plants is a good way to rid your garden of common chickweed.
  • Chemicals should only be used when the infestation covers a large area and you can’t do it on your own.

Clovers

Clover

"Clover" by John Flannery is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Clovers are mainly of three types -- white clovers, black medic and yellow sweet clover. These weeds are of the annual, as well as the perennial type.

Clovers create problems due to 3 main reasons:

  • Clovers attract bees. This creates a problem in playgrounds and turfs. It can also be a problem in gardens if children are around -- posing a health hazard and a lot of pain.
  • Their texture varies greatly from normal grass. The aesthetic appeal is destroyed even if grass with clover infestation is mown.
  • Walking barefoot over matured clovers can create unnecessary skin problems that can be avoided.

Growth Pattern

Clovers begin to grow in fall when the soil temperature is close to around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These weeds continue to grow through winter and spring.

Appearance

They are characterized by broad leaves and pea shaped flowers that change color based on the different species that are available.

Prevention and Removal

Clover prevention and removal methods include:

  • Simple hand picking and chemical application can manage clovers effectively in your garden.
  • Mulching is also a great way to prevent the unnecessary growth of clovers.

Additional Tip: Here’s something you should know. Most grass weeds are typically harmful for lawns. But clovers actually add nitrogen into soil -- so they are partially more helpful than other types of grass weeds. It certainly isn’t the worst grass weed to have to deal with.

Plantains

Plantago

"Plantago" by Harry Rose is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Plantains are of two types -- broadleaf and buckhorn. These are major grass weeds that need to be checked to maintain the aesthetic beauty of your garden without causing any undue damage. They cannot survive in extremely cold climates and tend to remain dormant in this season.

Plantains are a major weed problem due to the following reasons:

  • They have large leaves and grow in dense groups. This makes them a menace on playgrounds and turfs.
  • It also kills the aesthetic appeal of landscapes.
  • Plantains are difficult to remove as they are dense and have deep roots.
  • They spread very easily through mowing and other garden equipment.
  • Densely populated Plantain species does not let other necessary plants thrive around it.
  • Unchecked Plantain weeds will eventually ruin your other plants -- and the look of your entire garden.

Growth Pattern

Plantains follow this growth pattern:

  • This weed usually grows in moist soil under full sunlight or shade.
  • Plantains have roots that go down up to 18 inches into the soil -- making it very difficult to remove them.
  • Plantain broadleaf variety has oval leaves that are 2 to 6 inches long.
  • The buckhorn variety has longer leaves up to 12 inches in length and 1 inch wide.
  • These weeds are found throughout the year in most places.

Appearance

They have broad and flat leaves with a low rosette.

Removal

Plantain removal can be conducted through the following methods:

  • It’s best to get rid of plantain weeds by using your hands. This is the most effective solution for maintaining a plantain-free garden.
  • Make sure you isolate the space to remove the seedlings. You will need to observe the area for several months to ensure that plantains don’t grow back.
  • There are also herbicides available to contain seedlings.

Common Knotweed

Common Knotweed

"Common Knotweed" by Harry Rose is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Common knotweed is seen all around gardens across the world. They are annual weeds that usually survive throughout the year. Common knotweed grows in winter when the moisture and temperature conditions are conducive to its growth. This knotweed spreads very easily and forms ‘mats’ of weeds.

Some of the common problems associated with knotweed are:

  • Invades grass and other fields at a very fast pace.
  • They spread rapidly through lawn mowers. That’s why knotweed must be removed completely before mowing.
  • They host a variety of insects and bacteria that are harmful for the turf or grass. They will damage all the healthy plantations around them and cause your grass to look discolored and damaged.

Growth Pattern

Common knotweed thrives in compacted soil.

  • It is commonly found after winters or when heavy activity is undertaken in gardens.
  • They are often seen in paths, walkways and playgrounds.
  • Their roots are strong and can go as deep as 18 inches.

Appearance

It appears on the ground with sparse bluish green leaves on long stems.

Prevention and Removal

Prevent the growth by following these soil aeration methods to prevent soil from compacting.

  • Get an aerator machine from your local home improvement store or you can get aerator boots with sharp edged spikes for aeration.
  • Dig holes into the soil to enable it to breathe and absorb fresh air and water.
  • Soil aeration also helps to promote the growth of new and healthier green grass.
  • A number of herbicides are also available for knotweed removal.

Prickly Lettuce

Prickly lettuce is a very commonly seen weed. They grow towards the end of summer and thrive in winter months. It invades high nutrient and well-fertilized soil -- proving to be a big problem for other necessary plants around them. Their pollination is like a Dandelion and they spread by the wind.

Growth Pattern

They follow this growth pattern:

  • Leaves are usually 2 to 14 inches long and emit a white milky sap when cut.
  • Prickly lettuce has taproots that go down more than 20 inches.

Appearance

Prickly lettuce has broad leaves and tiny prickles on the bottom of the leaf.

Prevention and Removal

Prickly lettuce is difficult to remove with your hands alone.

  • It’s best to get rid of prickly lettuce by removing the weed when it is a sapling.
  • Herbicides should be sprayed to prevent further growth.

Foxtail

Alopecurus

"Alopecurus" by Gyik Toma is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Foxtail is a summer weed that is often confused with crabgrass. But Foxtail is not as common as crabgrass. This weed does not require high moisture content to grow.

Growth Pattern

Its growth starts at the beginning of winter and it reaches full maturity around mid winter. It can thrive in very low soil fertility. This means it can grow at a very fast pace if left unattended for extended periods of time.

Appearance

It is light green in tone with long leaves.

Prevention and Removal

Use the following methods for prevention and removal.

  • It’s best to get rid of this weed by using proper herbicides when the seeds have just sprouted.
  • Add mulch to prevent it from affecting your garden.

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy

"Poison Ivy" by Scott Carpenter is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Poison Ivy is a type of broadleaf perennial. This grass weed grows in sunny or shady garden landscaped areas.

Growth Pattern

It grows to a height and width of around 15 feet.

This breaks out into three leaflets, green berries or clusters on the ground cover or shrubs.

Removal

Follow these methods for removal:

  • Add a deep layer of mulch on the ground cover to prevent it from affecting your garden.
  • Spot treat it with herbicides when you have to remove it.

Additional Tip: Poison ivy contains certain oils that may cause skin allergies for many people who touch it. The oils are present on the dead leaves and can be strewn into the air when the plant is burned. Appropriate gloves and clothing should be worn when dealing with poison ivy.

Black Nightshade

This broadleaf annual is commonly found in garden or landscaped areas that have rich soil in shade or sun. Backyards with sufficient shade and dense vegetation are vulnerable to black nightshade grass weed.

Growth Pattern

Black nightshade grows to a height of 2 feet and a similar width.

Appearance

Black nightshade is a climbing or bushy plant that emits purple or white flowers and fruits.

Prevention and Removal

Prevention and removal can be undertaken using the following methods:

  • Spread mulch around the ground cover to prevent it from growing on the lawns.
  • Pull out by hands.
  • Treat with an appropriate herbicide.

Additional Tip: Every single element on this plant and fruits are poisonous. Homeowners should wear appropriate clothing if dealing with this type of grass weed.

Oxalis

Oxalis

"Oxalis" by M a n u e l is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Oxalis is a type of broadleaf perennial that grows in garden areas that are sunny or shady.

Growth Pattern

This grass weed grows up to 20 inches tall.

Appearance

Oxalis has clover-resembling light green leaves with cup-shaped yellow flowers that arise in fall and summer.

Prevention and Removal

Prevention and removal can be undertaken using the following methods:

  • Mulch ground cover to prevent the growth of this grass weed
  • Pull plants that have been affected with oxalis by hand.
  • Spray with herbicide during fall or spring.

Additional Tip: This grass weed can be eaten in small quantities for a sharp and sour taste. It is harmful in large amounts.

Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie

"Creeping Charlie" by wplynn is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Creeping Charlie is a type of broadleaf perennial that grows in shady lawns and landscaped areas of the garden. It is especially high in areas of dense foliage that encourage shade.

Growth Pattern

Creeping Charlie grows to over 4 inches in height and is several feet wide.

Appearance

It appears on the ground cover in the form of bunches of purple flowers and scalloped leaves around late spring.

Prevention and Removal

Prevention and removal can be undertaken using the following methods:

  • Mulch garden cover thoroughly in spring to prevent Creeping Charlie from growing.
  • Pull plants to remove weeds by hand.
  • Spray with herbicide in fall or spring.

Conclusion​

Weeds are a common occurrence throughout the year. It does not matter where you are in the world. There is no doubt whether grass weeds will affect your garden. It is much more a question of when it will affect your garden.

So never assume that your garden is immune from it.

Weeds can never be prevented from growing. You must ensure that your landscape is constantly maintained to control grass weed growth to keep it to a minimum.

Keep in mind that regular lawn maintenance is the only solution to prevent grass weeds from taking over your garden and ruining your healthy plants.

Related Posts
No related posts for this content