Greater Plantain [Plantago major]
Greater Plantain is a very common lawn weed, especially where the lawn is suffering from soil compaction.
This perennial weed forms as a flat rosette type plant, where it can easily tolerate close mowing making it particularly troublesome at times.
Greater plantain has a dense fibrous root system and is extremely drought tolerant. The weed spreads by seed. The weed has broad oval leaves with prominent ribs, they grow in a prostate manor killing the grass beneath them.
The green flowers form on long spikes and are bourn on a long stem.
Greater Plantain can grow in most soil conditions, particularly where the ground has been disturbed. It can tolerate compacted soils, and is quite often a good indicator of this problem.
Hand weeding can be quite successful in removing this weed, just take care to remove the whole plant.
Encourage a strong, healthy lawn with good lawn care practices to help maintain good grass coverage and prevent greater plantain and other weeds from invading.
Regular aeration will relieve soil compaction and help discourage this weed.
If chemicals are to be used against this weed, choose an the appropriate selective weed killer that will be effective in controlling this weed.
In many cases a single application should be enough for effective control of greater plantain. If, however it isn't apply a second application 6 weeks later.
If the infestation of greater plantain was severe, there will be some repair work needed to the lawn following control, as there may be a few bare areas remaining. Use a suitable grass seed and soil mix to repair them
When using chemicals on the lawn or anywhere else in the garden always wear the correct protective equipment and clothing.
It is important to read the product label and follow the manufacturers health & safety recommendations and application guidelines.
For more information on the application of selective herbicide's please visit our Lawn Weeds page.