Common Lawn Weeds
Learn about how to control the most common lawn weeds.
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Annual Bluegrass
Light green, cool-season annual grass • bunch type or ‘clump’ growth habit • numerous seeds, especially in spring, making it very noticeable in the lawn • dies out during the heat of the summer • new seeds begin germinating late summer • found throughout the U.S. • apply crabgrass preventer before annual bluegrass begins germination in late summer.
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Bindweed
Vining habit, with extensive root system • very persistent • shades out lawn • will climb on nearby flowers and shrubs Related: Hedge, Field or European Bindweed, Creeping Jenny, Creeping Charlie, Wild Morninglory, Woodbine, Greenvine
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Chickweed
Very common in new lawns • sprouts and grows in cool weather Related: Starweed, Satin Flower, Starwort
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Clover
Often indicates poor soil, need for fertilizer • appears in cool weather Related: White Clover, Red Clover, Sweet Clover
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Crabgrass
Seeds sprout in spring and summer after rain or watering • very fast growing • likes bare and weak areas of the lawn Related: Crowfoot Grass, Finger Grass, Pigeon Grass, Polish Millet
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Creeping Charlie
Persistent • invasive, forms a mat that chokes and shades grass • most prevalent in moist soil and partial shade, but also thrives in sun Related: Ground Ivy, Cat's Foot, Gill-over-the-ground, Field Balm
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Dallisgrass
Appears in summer, but grows year-round in warm climates • thrives in low, wet areas Related: Paspalumgrass, Watergrass
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Dandelion
Persistent • appears in early spring and continues through summer and fall, or year-round in warm climates • will adapt height to escape mowing Related: Blowball, Lionstooth, Cankerwort, Doon-head-clock
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Dichondra
Creeps and spreads through lawn to choke it out • one species is used as a substitute for grass in some West Coast areas Related: Lawn leaf
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Goosegrass
Similar in appearance to Crabgrass, except base of stems are lighter green and Goosegrass appears weeks later • very strong roots; hard to pull • out-competes lawn in hot, dry conditions Related: Silver Crabgrass, Crowfoot Grass, Yardgrass, Wiregrass, Bullgrass
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Henbit
Sprouts in fall and grows during cool season • prefers rich, moist soil and partial shade • invades bare or weak areas of lawn Related: Dead Nettle, Blind Nettle, Bee Nettle, Giraffe Head
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Knotweed
Common in grass where soil is compacted Related: Knotgrass, Doorweed, Matgrass, Yardweed
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Lawn Burrweed
Low-growing, prostrate winter annual with hard-to-see but easily felt spine-tipped burs – hence the common name • found in the Southeast & along the Pacific Coast • apply weed killer in late fall to late winter Related: Parsley-piert, Knawel
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Oxalis
Persistent • grows best in cool season Related: Sourgrass, Wood Shamrock
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Plaintain
Found in moist soil, shade • spreads by seeding • appears in spring and continues through summer • broadleaf plantain common in wet, compacted soil Related: Common Plantain, Rugel's Plantain, Blackseed Plantain, Buckthorn Plantain, Narrowleaved Plantain, Ribgrass
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Prickly Lettuce
Painful if stepped on • often flat and hidden in the grass • spreads quickly by seeding • appears in spring and continues till fall Related: Wild Lettuce, Milk Thistle, English Thistle, Compass Plant, Chinese Lettuce, Wild Opium
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Purslane
Makes a mat that chokes lawn • likes rich soil • spreads quickly from seed Related: Florida Pusley, Wild Portulaca
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Sandbur
Appears in spring and remains through fall • painful to step on the spiny "bur," or seed • spreads quickly from seed • worst in sandy soils Related: Sandspur, Burgrass, Field Sandbur
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Speedwell
Dainty runners grow into a solid sheet that chokes grass • clippings scattered by mower root where they land Related: Veronica, Caucasian Speedwell
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Spurge
Appears in spring and summer • prefers sunny areas • forms a stiff mat that chokes and shades grass Related: Prostrate Spurge, Spotted Spurge, Milk Purslane, Milk Spurge
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Wild Geranium
Appears in cool weather • sprouts here and there, but can spread if uncontrolled • ruins the look of a uniform winter carpet in warm-season lawns Related: Carolina Geranium
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Wild Onion
Appears in late winter • mars the uniform look of winter lawn • persistent, smells like onion • waxy coating protects leaves from spray • step on leaves to crush lightly before spraying Related: Field Garlic, Wild Garlic, Scallion, Crow Garlic