A weed is a plant growing in the wrong place. However some plants often referred to as weeds such as wild flowers may be wanted. This is because they may provide a habitat which is beneficial to bees , insects and other wildlife.
Various broad-leaved plants may be considered weeds in areas of turf. If they are a persitant problem, then there may some underlying reason. These reason include poor drainage, under feeding, mowing the lawn too short and extreme soil pH.
For example, creeping buttercup is associated with wet conditions, yarrow with under nourished soils and plantains with compacted soils. If these conditions are not corrected then they may still keep returning even after control. Therefore it is important to understand what is causing the invasion in the first place.
As with most lawn problems preventing them in the first place should be your main goal. Weeds are primarily oportunistic and look for weak or bare areas on the surface of the lawn to establish.
|The most effective way of preventing weeds is by encouraging a healthy covering of grass. This prevents weeds from invading and spoiling the appearance of the turf.
A sound maintenance program will help discourage them and prevent them invading in the first place. Therefore it is important to encourage good grass cover with the correct lawn care practices. These include regular scarification and aeration and applying the correct amount of fertiliser.
Why control lawn weeds
The primary reason for wanting a weed free lawn is weeds are generally unsightly and spoil the appearance of the lawn. The compete (often very successfully) with the grass for water, light, nutrients and space.
They can also reduce the drought resistance of the grass, as they have a larger leaf area and a higher rate of transpiration. Weeds can also affect the wear tolerance of the lawn as they do not like large amounts of traffic.
Identifying weeds in the lawn can be a major headache for some people, as there are many different types of weeds and many weeds look alike. However it is important that the weeds in your lawn are correctly identified before you take action against them.
|It is important to identify what weeds are causing problems in your lawn. Help is at hand with our weed identification chart.
After all you wouldn't want to apply a weed killer that wasn't going to be effective, due to incorrect identification. We have put together a weed identification chart to help with identifying weeds. The weed chart covers all of the most common lawn and turf weeds.
Methods of controlling lawn weeds
When controlling or removing lawn weeds there are two methods of control, these are culturally by hand weeding or with chemicals using a selective herbicide.
The type and quantity of weeds in your lawn will have a major influence on which method you choose.
- Hand weeding
Once you see weeds in the lawn, don't automatically reach for the weed killer and the sprayer. It is always worth considering hand removal, especially if the infestation is small or localised. By using a small knife or daisy grubber many plants can be removed before they become a problem.
There are also times when it may not be practical to apply a weed killer, e.g during drought, lack of growth or a newly seeded lawn.
- Chemical control
This method should always be used as a last resort, when hand weeding is not practical for whatever reason. However in many cases weeds can be spot treated as they may only be problematic on a small area of the lawn. It is pointless treating the whole area for a small localized infestation.
It is important to choose the correct product for the weed or weeds you want to control. Although may products contain more than one ingredient to cover a broader spectrum of weeds, it is still worth doing a little research and ensure the weed killer will effectively control the weeds you intend to remove.
You can find more information about chemical control on our selective weed killer page.