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Lawn Weed Identification Guide: Different Types of Weeds

Posted on September 15, 2022 by Lawn Doctor

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Oh no! Lawn weeds!

Just when you thought you had your yard looking spick and span, these plants show up to ruin the party. But what exactly are lawn weeds? How can you identify them? And most importantly, how can you get rid of them?

Weeds are simply unwanted plants in a particular area. In most cases, they are aggressively growing plants that crowd out other, more desirable plants. Regarding lawns, weeds are grasses or broadleaf plants that invade and take over turfgrass areas.

There are two main types of lawn weeds: grassy and broadleaf. Grassy weeds are grasslike plants that have narrow leaves, while broadleaf weeds have leaves that are wider than they are long.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common types of lawn weeds, how to identify them, and how to control them.

Why Do Lawn Weeds Happen?

There are many reasons why weeds show up in your lawn. One of the most common is simply poor lawn care practices. If your lawn is weak or unhealthy, it’s more susceptible to weed infestation. This is because weeds are opportunistic plants that take advantage of any opportunity to grow and spread.

Other reasons for weed problems in lawns include improper mowing, watering, or fertilizing practices; poor drainage; compacted soils; and excessive thatch.

However, even with immaculate lawn care, some weeds are simply prone to invading lawns, even if the lawn is healthy and well cared for.

So, what can you do? The first step is to identify which types of weeds are in your lawn so you can determine the best way to address them.

The Most Common Types of Lawn Weeds & How To Identify Them

There are many different types of lawn weeds, but here are some of the most common:


Chickweed (Stellaria Media)

Chickweed is a small, delicate-looking weed that typically grows 6-12 inches tall. It has bright green, lance-shaped leaves and small white flowers bloom in the spring. Chickweed is most active in the cool weather of spring and fall, but it can also be found in the summer in cooler areas.

Chickweed is a common weed in lawns, gardens, and waste areas. It’s especially troublesome in early spring when it germinates and grows quickly, out-competing newly seeded lawns.

Black Medic (Medicago Lupulina)

Black medic is a small, low-growing weed that reaches 6-12 inches tall. It has dark green, trifoliate leaves and small yellow flowers that bloom in the late spring. Like chickweed, black medic is most active in cool weather. The most common time to be on the lookout for it is in the early spring; however, it will also show up in the cooler times of the summer months.


Crabgrass (Digitaria Sanguinalis)

The next plant is called crabgrass. Crabgrass is a common annual weed that can reach heights of 2-3 feet tall. It has narrow, grass-like leaves and small, green flowers that bloom in the summer. Crabgrass is most active in the warm weather of summer and fall, but it can also be found in the spring in some areas.


Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale)

Dandelions are one of the most common yard weeds. They can be found in lawns, gardens, and even cracks in sidewalks. They have a long taproot that makes them difficult to pull out, and they reproduce quickly by sending out seeded balloons that spread their seeds far and wide. Dandelions are easily identified by their bright yellow flowers that turn into white, fluffy seed heads.


Clover (Trifolium Sp.)

Clover is a low-growing weed that has three heart-shaped leaves. It’s often found in lawns, and while it doesn’t generally harm the grass, it can be difficult to get rid of. Clover reproduces by sending out seed pods that contain several small seeds.


Creeping Charlie (Glechoma Hederacea)

Another weed commonly found in lawns is called creeping Charlie or ground ivy. Creeping Charlie is a low-growing weed that spreads rapidly by sending out stolons (above-ground stems). It has small, round leaves that are dark green with purple flowers that bloom in the spring.

It is a perennial weed with long, slender leaves and small, purple flowers. Ground ivy, similar to other creeping lawn weeds, can be difficult to get rid of because it spreads quickly by underground runners. It’s also tolerant of shady areas and can quickly take over a lawn if left unchecked.

morning glory weed

Morning Glory (Ipomoea Sp.)

Morning glory is a fast-growing, creeping vine-like weed that can reach up to 20 feet in length. It has large, heart-shaped leaves and pretty trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in the morning. Morning glory is most often found in gardens, where it can quickly take over and smother other plants.


Pennywort (Hydrocotyle Sp.)

Pennywort is a low-growing weed that has round, coin-shaped leaves. It’s most often found in damp, shady areas and can quickly spread to cover a large area. Pennywort reproduces by sending out runners that take root and produce new plants.


Lambsquarter (Chenopodium Album)

Lambsquarter is a tall, gangly weed that can reach up to 6 feet. It has small, green leaves that can sometimes be tinted with purple or red. Lambsquarter is most often found in gardens and waste areas. It reproduces by sending out seeds that are carried away by the wind.


Quackgrass (Elytrigia Repens)

Quackgrass is a perennial weed that can reach up to 5 feet in height. It has long, slender leaves and small, green flowers that bloom in the summer. Quackgrass is most often found in gardens and lawns. It propagates through the use of rhizomes to make new plants.


Nutsedge (Cyperus Sp.)

Nutsedge is a perennial weed that can reach up to 3 feet. The leaves are long and narrow, with a V-shaped notch at the tip. Nutsedge is found in both sun and shade but prefer moist soils.

Nutsedge reproduces from both seeds and rhizomes (underground stems). The rhizomes can extend up to 15 feet from the mother plant. Each plant can produce up to 150,000 seeds per season.

Nutsedge is difficult to control because of its extensive root system. It’s also tolerant of many herbicides. The best way to control nutsedge is to prevent it from spreading by removing the rhizomes.


Field Bindweed (Convolvulus Arvensis)

Field bindweed is a viney weed that can climb up to 6 feet in length. It has small, white flowers that bloom in the summer. Field bindweed is often found in gardens, fields, and waste areas.

Field bindweed reproduces by seed and by spreading its roots. The plant can also spread by fragments of the root system.


Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron Radicans)

Poison ivy is a climbing or trailing vine that can reach up to 60 feet in length. The leaves of poison ivy are green and glossy, with three leaflets. The leaflets are smooth and shiny, and the edges are toothed.

Poison ivy is found throughout the United States, in woods and fields and along roadsides. It can also be a problem in gardens and landscaped areas. Poison ivy can climb trees, fences, and other structures. It can also grow as a ground cover.

Poison ivy is poisonous to humans and animals. The plant contains a substance called urushiol, a resin that can cause an allergic reaction. Urushiol is found in the leaves, stems, and berries of poison ivy. It can also be found in the roots, flowers, and seeds of the plant.

Urushiol can cause a rash, itching, and swelling. It can also cause difficulty breathing, diarrhea, and vomiting. In severe cases, urushiol can cause blindness or death.

If you come into contact with poison ivy, you should immediately wash the area with soap and water. You should also wash any clothing or other items that may have come into contact with the plant.

These are just a few of the typical weeds that can be found in lawns and gardens. There are many others, but if you can learn to identify these weeds, you’ll be well on keeping your lawn looking its best. While some, like dandelions, are easy to identify, others, like black medic, can be more difficult. Some may be low-growing weeds while other weeds are tall and skinny. The best way to determine if a plant is a weed is to consult a gardening book or reference guide.

If you suspect you have any of these weeds, take action quickly to control them. Otherwise, they can quickly take over your lawn and garden!

Why Use a Professional Like Lawn Doctor to Combat Weeds

Now that you know some of the most common lawn weeds let’s discuss how to control them.

The best way to control lawn weeds is to prevent them from growing in the first place. To do this, you need a healthy, thick lawn that will crowd out weeds and prevent them from getting a foothold. This can be achieved by mowing regularly, watering deeply, and fertilizing using a slow-release fertilizer.

However, if good lawn care routines are not enough to prevent weeds from taking over, you may need to call in the professionals!

Lawn Doctor can provide the services you need to get rid of weeds for good. We will develop a customized plan to target the specific weeds in your lawn and get rid of them quickly and effectively.

Lawn Doctor offers a variety of services to help you get rid of lawn weeds, including:

  • Weed Control: We will develop a customized weed control plan to target the specific weeds on your lawn. Our treatments are effective and will get rid of weeds for good.
  • Pre-emergent Weed Control: We offer pre-emergent treatments that will prevent weeds from germinating in the first place. This is an important step in preventing weeds from taking over your lawn.
  • Fertilization: We offer slow-release fertilizers that will help to promote a healthy, thick lawn. This will crowd out weeds and prevent them from getting a foothold.
  • Aeration: We offer core aeration services that will help to loosen compacted soil and allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots of your grass. This will promote a healthy lawn that is less susceptible to weeds.

Lawn Doctor is the best choice for weed control. We have the experience and expertise to get rid of weeds quickly and effectively. Plus, we offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee. Call us today to schedule a free consultation!

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