Identifying Common Lawn Weeds and How to Treat Them Without Chemicals

Correctly identifying the type of weed that is causing you problems is the first step toward solving that weed problem. Once you have identified the species of the weed, your next step is consider how you can most effectively deal with weed growth. You can always go for chemicals, but in the process you may destroy your lush lawn as well.

Foxtail
Foxtail is a commonly found weed throughout the United States. Green foxtail leaves are hairy while yellow foxtail leaves are smooth. Both types of foxtail grow best in sunny spots of the yard that remain bare. Removal of this weed that avoids chemical products is accomplished by using a trowel to retrieve it and ridding yourself of lawn clippings that contain foxtail seed heads.

Black Medic
Black medic is so often confused with clover that it is sometimes referred to as black clover. This weed does resemble a three leaf clover with hair stems that grow low to the ground. The danger posed by black medic is that it creates thick mats that inhibit the growth of lawn grasses. Hand pulling is an effective method if you want to avoid chemicals.

Ground Ivy/Creeping Ivy
Ground ivy and creeping ivy are identical weeds that feature notably bright green scalloped leaves. A damp yard is most at risk for this weed that presents a problem by densely matting together to crowd out grass growth. Effective strategies include mowing your grass to a very short height and pulling by hand.

Goosegrass
Goosegrass is a week that looks like a darker type of crabgrass with a silvery center. The ideal growing conditions for this weed is in soil with a temperature between 60 and 65 degrees. A positive aspect in the fight against goosegrass is that mature plants usually die at the first frost. Keep your soil from compacting and make sure it is well drained to stem off growth of this invasive plant.

Creeping Veronica/Speedwell
Whether you call it Creeping Veronica or speedwell, this weed is capable of growing a carpet across your entire yard. Round leaves are bright green and light blue flowers bloom on its stalks. Make sure that your yard is well drained and remove anything that produces heavy shade as a means of controlling this weed. Tightly shorn grass and the removal of clippings is another method of dealing with Creeping Veronica.

Velvetgrass
Velvetgrass is a particularly rugged weed that is capable of growing as high as four feet if you don’t regularly mow your lawn. This weed prefers hardy soil that remains damp and is tolerant of shady areas. The best means of attacking without chemicals is to commit to regular mowing.

Sandbur
Sandbur is a weed that reacts differently according to how the yard is mown. It forms low mats when the grass is kept cut, but if left unmown, this weed can rise as high as two feet. The very name is an indication of its preference for sandy soil conditions and it thrives better when the sand is dry. The addition of some organic material to stimulate the growth of your lawn grass is an effective strategy for dealing with sandbur.


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