Winter Weeds: How to Identify Weeds in Winter

If you’re concerned about the state of your lawn and garden, you’re probably wondering about pesky winter weeds. Do they die in the winter? Will they come back? What should you do about them? These are all important questions, and here at Lawn Doctor, we have the answers. Annual winter weeds can be a nuisance, but they don’t have to defeat you. Turn your winter weeds over to us, and prepare for a beautiful lawn and garden come spring.

Do Weeds Die in the Winter?

The short answer is yes. Weeds do die in the winter. At least annual weeds do. But the problem is that they leave their seeds behind them, and those seeds can sprout in the spring. The seeds nestle deep down in the ground, and they have a nice, hard coating that protects them from the elements and some herbicides. So when spring comes, they’re ready to pop up and fill your yard with a whole new batch of weeds.

Other winter weeds can actually survive the winter, like those with a tough system of roots that go deep into the ground where soil temperatures aren’t so chilly. Then, come spring, those roots grow quickly, and you get more weeds. So, one way or another, you can’t assume that winter will solve your weed problems. It simply won’t. That’s why you need weed control to prevent a winter weed invasion.

The Most Common Winter Lawn Weeds

Winter weeds come in all shapes and sizes, but you don’t want any of them in your yard. If you fail to take care of them, though, you could grow a nice crop of everything from common chickweed to annual bluegrass. Some winter weeds have rounded leaves. Others have lobed leaves. Some produce flowers. Others do not. But they’re all a problem. Below, you’ll get a feel for the more common weeds. The more you learn about these leafy enemies, the better able you’ll be to conquer them.

Purple Dead Nettle

Purple dead nettle is actually part of the mint family, and you’ll definitely know these weeds when you see them because of their square stems and heart or spade-shaped leaves. The top leaves of these plants are purple (hence the name), and they sprout pink or purple flowers in the spring. Still, you don’t want them taking water and nutrients away from your grass.

Corn Speedwell

Corn speedwell is one of those pesky winter annuals that can take over your yard if you let it. These plants have branching stems that rise upright due to a fibrous root system and produce little blue flowers. You may think they’re kind of pretty, but you certainly wouldn’t want a yard full of them.

Shepherd’s Purse

Shepherd’s purse is a broadleaf winter weed. It produces pinkish-white flowers and basal rosette leaves, and its stems can grow together in clusters reaching almost two feet tall. Imagine how these can make your yard look if you let them get away from you. The name “shepherd’s purse,” by the way, refers to the plant’s little heart-shaped seed pods that look like miniature purses.

Downy Brome

Downy brome is also called cheatgrass, and indeed, it’ll cheat your regular grass right out of its life if you let it take control. As part of the grass family, this weed can sneak into your yard from nearby pastures or unplanted fields and grow up to two feet tall. You’ll want to be extra careful with this one because when downy brome dies and starts to decay, it can become a fire hazard, especially during extra-dry summers.

Field Pennycress

Field pennycress is a member of the mustard family and one of the winter annuals that can be difficult to get rid of. This one is especially troublesome for farmers with croplands and pastures because it can work its way right in and try to take over. And this little plant can produce over 15,000 seeds, which can scatter everywhere.

How to Prevent Weed Growth During Winter

Now that you’re aware of some of the common winter weeds, the question remains: What do you do about them? That’s where we come in! First, you can call on us to apply a pre-emergent herbicide. This type of weed-killer targets the seeds and tough roots that allow weeds to grow in the spring. If you can get rid of seeds and roots, you’ll be a lot less likely to be troubled by weeds.

We’ll use a pre-emergent treatment that can knock out winter and cool-season weeds before they even grow, and with our highly trained employees and top-notch equipment, we’ll be able to stop those weeds in their tracks. We’ll also adjust for various soil conditions, including moist soils, for extra effectiveness.

If weeds are already popping up, those will need spot treatments. We’ll get them out of your way and then fertilize your yard so that the right plants grow in the place of those nasty weeds. We can also add some mulch to certain areas, like garden beds. This prevents seeds from getting sunlight, which, in turn, prevents them from growing.

So, if you’re concerned about winter weeds in your yard and garden, call Lawn Doctor. Even if you think you can handle weeds on your own, you may soon learn that they can easily run wild. So let us handle your winter weeds for you. Then you can sit back and enjoy a beautiful lawn the whole spring and summer.