Weeds to Watch Out For | Living the Country Life
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Weeds to Watch Out For

You probably have some of these weeds in your lawn, gardens, or pastures. Get rid of them now, so you won't have be overrun next year.
  • Nip weeds in the bud

    Fall is a good time to kill many weeds in your lawn, gardens, and pastures. Perennial weeds may have a life span of more than two years, and they may produce new seeds every year. Winter annuals germinate this time of year, and mature in late spring.

    Postemergence herbicides are used to kill weeds once the plants are growing. They are most effective when absorbed through the leaves, and liquid sprays work best. Apply herbicides when the temperature is between 60° and 80° F., and there are no winds and no rain in the forecast for the next 48 hours. Perennial broadleaf weeds are best controlled when herbicide is applied in the early fall (August 15 - October 15) or spring (May 1 - June 1).  You may need to reapply after 20 or 30 days.

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening
  • Selective vs. nonselective herbicides

    Selective postemergence herbicides are usually used to control annual, biennial, and perennial broad-leaved weeds because they will kill many broadleaf plants without damaging grass plants. These herbicides can severely damage or kill trees, shrubs, and flowers; thus, they should be used with great care near these plants.

    Nonselective postemergence herbicides kill all plants, both desirable and undesirable. These herbicides can be used to spot treat perennial grassy weeds that are not affected by selective herbicides. To spot treat an area, thoroughly wet the weed foliage with herbicide solution.

    The higher the pressure and the finer the mist, the more likely it is that a herbicide will drift and injure shrubs, trees, flowers, and vegetables. Once an applicator has been used to apply herbicides, it should not be used to spray pesticides or other chemicals. Be sure to clean the sprayer thoroughly after each use.

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening
  • Dandelion

    Type: Broadleaf perennial

    Size: 12 inches tall, 6 - 16 inches wide

    Where it grows: Lawns and gardens in sun or shade

    Appearance: Strong taproot; leaves are deeply notched. Yellow flowers mature to puffballs.

    Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens; pull plants by hand or use a post-emergence herbicide in lawns.

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening
  • Dock

    Type: Broadleaf perennial

    Size: To 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide

    Where it grows: Landscape and garden areas in sun or shade

    Appearance: Produces large, wavy-edge leaves and large seed heads covered with brown seeds.

    Control: Mulch to prevent it; pull and dig up plants or treat with a post-emergence herbicide.

    Note: Each plant can produce up to 40,000 seeds that wait decades before sprouting.

     

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening
  • Plantain

    Type: Broadleaf perennial

    Size: To 8 inches tall and 12 inches wide

    Where it grows: Moist lawn and garden areas in sun or shade

    Appearance: Broad, flat leaves around a low rosette.

    Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens; pull plants by hand or use a post-emergence herbicide in lawns.

    Note: Each plant can produce more than 15,000 seeds.

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening
  • Purslane

    Type: Broadleaf annual

    Size: To 6 inches tall and 2 feet wide

    Where it grows: Dry, sunny landscape and garden areas

    Appearance: Groundcover with fleshy, dark green leaves and small yellow flowers at the ends of the stems.

    Control: Mulch to prevent it or use a pre-emergence herbicide in the spring; pull plants by hand or spot-treat with a nonselective post-emergence herbicide.

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening
  • Canada thistle

    Type: Broadleaf perennial

    Size: To 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide

    Where it grows: Sunny lawn, landscape, or garden areas

    Appearance: Spiny, gray-green leaves and purple flowers.

    Control: Mulch to prevent it in landscape areas; use a post-emergence herbicide in lawns in spring or fall. Or dig it out by hand.

    Note: Thistle has an extensive root system that can grow several feet out from the main plant.

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening
  • Chickweed

    Type: Broadleaf annual

    Size: 6 inches tall, 12 inches wide

    Where it grows: Lawn, garden, and landscape areas with rich, moist soil in sun or shade

    Appearance: Lush green mats studded with small, star-shape flowers.

    Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens or use a pre-emergence herbicide in early spring; pull plants by hand.

    Note: Each plant can produce more than 15,000 seeds.

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening
  • Clover

    Type: Broadleaf perennial

    Size: 8-10 inches tall, 12 inches wide

    Where it grows: Lawn, landscape, and garden areas in sun to partial shade

    Appearance: Three-lobe leaves frame round white flower clusters.

    Control: Mulch to prevent it in landscape areas; use a post-emergence herbicide in lawns or hand-pull.

    Note: Clover adds nitrogen to the soil so as far as weeds go, this one is moderately helpful.

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening
  • Creeping Charlie

    Type: Broadleaf perennial

    Size: 4 inches tall, several feet wide

    Where it grows: Shady lawn, landscape, or garden  areas

    Appearance: Groundcover with scalloped leaves and clusters of purple flowers in late spring.

    Control: Mulch garden areas in spring to prevent it; pull plants by hand or spray with a post-emergence herbicide in spring or fall.

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening
  • Henbit deadnettle

    Type: Broadleaf annual

    Size: To 12 inches tall and wide

    Where it grows: Lawn, landscape, and garden areas in sun or shade; can be invasive and displace desirable vegetation.

    Appearance: Low, creeping plant with scallop-edge leaves and purple flowers.

    Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens or use pre-emergence herbicide in spring; pull plants by hand or treat in lawns with a broadleaf, post-emergence herbicide.

     

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening
  • Mallow

    Type: Winter or summer broadleaf annual or biennial

    Size: 2 1/2 feet tall

    Where it grows: Along culverts, fencelines, and foundations, in areas that aren’t maintained.

    Appearance: Forms a clump of whorled branches that don’t root where they touch the ground. Palmately compound leaves and “cheese wheel” seed pods. Pink to white flowers in mid-summer.

    Control: Increased mowing and nitrogen fertilization. Make sure to remove tap root if weeding. Apply postemergent herbicide.

    Note: Often confused with Creeping Charlie, but mallow has round stems, not square; and an alternate leaf arrangement, not opposite. Poultry that consume mallow can produce lower quality eggs.

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening
  • Yarrow

    Type: Perennial broadleaf

    Size: Plant grows in clumps with flowering stem reaching 3 feet tall

    Where it grows: Turf, landscaped areas, and pastures, especially cool, moist climates.

    Appearance: Grows low to the ground in clumps, sending up a 3-foot stem with small white or yellow flower clusters. Leaves have a feathery appearance. Creeping underground stems.

    Control: Nearly impossible to remove by digging or hoeing, since rhizomes go down 12 inches, and seedlings can grow from the tiniest bit of remaining root. Apply herbicides from spring through fall. Several treatments may be required.

    Note: Some cultivars are grown as ornamentals in landscapes, but it can be invasive because of its creeping habit and ability to establish seedlings.

    Date Published: September 25, 2012
    Date Updated: January 25, 2018
    Tags: Weeds, Gardening

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