What Types of Weeds are Lurking in Your Lawn?

Out here in central Texas there are plenty of types of weeds that thrive. They not only detract from the aesthetics of your lawn, but also rob it of nutrients and resources. The good news is that all weeds can be properly managed.

Weeds are generally categorized as broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds. Broadleaf are types of weeds that have broader leaves; whereas grassy weeds have long thin blade-like leaves, like grasses.

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Watch for these Types of Weeds in Your Yard

Broadleaf Weeds

Henbit:

A winter annual that usually blooms in early spring. Leaves are rounded and bloom purple at the top.

Dandelion:

Which is easily recognizable by most because of its distinct yellow flower. These tend to grow closer to the lawn and thrive in warmer months from spring into summer.

Chickweed:

It germinates in the fall, it grows throughout the winter, and dies out in the summer. They usually carry a white or pink daisy at the top.

Spurge:

Is a type of low growing broadleaf. It is considered toxic if ingested and can cause extreme irritants such as rashes in some people.

Clover:

These types of weeds usually grow in patches around the yard, and you typically find them in nitrogen-poor soil. Replenishing your lawn with nitrogen by fertilization will help prevent clovers from overtaking your yard.

Grassy Weeds

Nutsedge (Nutgrass):

Is a perennial weed that has a close resemblance to grass, however, this weed is among the most abundant and problematic. They can be very difficult to control and often grow in colonies. Many regular herbicides do not kill nutsedge. Nutsedge is often associated with over watering.

Poa Annua (Blue grass):

This weed comes in the late winter into spring. However, it can seed itself non-stop and can spread thousands of seeds throughout your yard, which makes this weed harder to get rid of. This weed comes long, thin and similar in coloration to Bermuda grass.

Crab grass:

These types of weeds can be most difficult to treat because they hold many seeds while staying dormant for long periods of time. Though it usually starts in the spring and dies in the winter. Crabgrass grows faster than most turf grasses and for this reason, it can spread and take over a lawn quite quickly. Most general herbicides are not effective against crabgrass. Crabgrass is an annual weed—meaning it only lives one season and then the next year's crop will develop from seeds. Pre-emergent weed treatments work well with crabgrass due to it being an annual.

Dallas (Dallis) grass:

Can be seen throughout the south. It’s a particularly larger weed that tends to stand out amongst the rest. It thrives in clay or sandy soils and tends to grow up to two times faster than turf.

Where do Weeds Come From?

  • The most common source is blowing in with the wind. This could come from an adjacent property or from a lot further afield with weeds that have light or fluffy seeds that can be carried great distances.
  • Some weeds spread via underground runners.
  • Some types of weeds are carried by animals, commonly sticking to their feet or fur or being carried in their gut.
  • Weeds or weed seeds can also be carried in with new plant material or soil or compost being brought onto a property.
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Types of Weeds-Weeds spread by animals-Austin TX-YardDoc-600x400
Types of Weeds-Weeds are Introduced from Outside-Austin TX-YardDoc-600x400

How to Manage Weeds

The best defense against these types of weeds is actually a full, healthy lawn, as then any weed seeds that land up in your lawn will be starved of light by the thick lawn and choked out in terms of access to nutrients.

Achieving a full, healthy lawn involves a number of aspects working together—good soil and good nutrients, adequate sunlight, the right amount, frequency and timing of watering and good drainage. If one of these factors is subpar, then steps will need to be taken to accommodate this, but generally this can be done.

Modern gardens are neat and tidy, and we generally don’t want leaves or anything else decaying on the lawn, which is understandable from an aesthetics perspective. The downside of this is that over time, the grass pulls nutrients from the soil that are not replenished, which results in nutrient deficient soils. The lack of nutrients results in weaker grass, which then creates space for weeds to take hold.

The best approach to managing weeds is generally a combination of improving the health of the lawn and getting rid of weeds before they take hold.

At YardDoc we offer a Lawn Care Program that focuses on both of these aspects over the entire growing season, combining fertilizations—to boost the health of the lawn and pre- and post-emergent weed treatments to get rid of weeds.

How to Get Rid of Weeds

You can stop weed seeds from germinating—this is a pre-emergent weed treatment, or you can target the weeds once they are visible—and this is a post-emergent weed treatment.

Regular spring and fall pre-emergent weed treatments are the best herbicide approach to managing annual weeds over time. Annual weeds need new seeds to germinate every season to produce the next crop, so stopping the seeds from developing is a very effective control measure.

Pre-emergent treatments should be done spring and fall, as typically you get summer weeds that germinate in spring and winter weeds that germinate in the fall.

When the weeds are already visible, then a post emergent herbicide is used. The herbicide varies according to the weed type and also the grass type. The herbicide needs to be strong enough to kill that specific weed, but also gentle enough that it doesn’t kill the lawn.

Fertilizing

With fertilization, it is important to use high quality fertilizers that add value to the soil and plants over the longer term; not just a short-term result. Fertilization should also be varied according to the needs of the soil and the time of the year that they are applied, as at different times of the season, different nutrients are required.

The reality is that weed control is a never-ending process, but one that can be managed effectively.

If you are interested in managing weeds and getting your lawn into great shape, ask about the YardDoc Lawn Care Program. One of our qualified technicians can implement a seasonal solution for your lawn.


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Lawn Care Service Area

YardDoc serves Travis County communities including Austin, Barton Creek, Bee Cave, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Lakeway, Leander, Lost Creek, Pflugerville, Rollingwood, Round Rock, Spanish Oaks, Spicewood, Steiner Ranch, Tarrytown, and West Lake Hills.