Weeds in a field

Weeds are basically inevitable in our gardens and outdoor spaces. Identifying, preventing, and managing weeds can be a tedious process, but it’s very important to stay adamant and ensure they don’t take over your precious plants, flowers, and lawns.

Identify

Although it might look like your yard is infiltrated with 20 different types of weeds, there are three main types of weeds to be familiar with — broadleaf, sedges, and grasses.

Broadleaf

Broadleaves are the most common type of weed. They show up annually and can be controlled fairly quickly. Broadleaves have net-like veins and usually have showy flowers. Some common examples are clovers, lespedeza, plantain, henbit, chickweed, Florida pusley, and match weed.

Sedges

Sedges have a two-year life cycle and grow persistently, so they can take several years to get rid of. They have triangular-shaped, solid stems and favor a moist habitat. Yellow and purple nutsedge are the most common types of sedge weeds.

Grass

Grass weeds have rounded hollow stems and produce only one seed leaf when emerged from soil. Some common grass weeds are crabgrass, goose grass, and smut grass.

Other weeds, such as dollar weeds, button weeds, and oxalis, are more difficult, and can take up to two years to decline in population and control. Killing grass weeds requires the use of pre-emergent herbicide, which, when used properly, won’t kill turf grass because it works over time. As always, read and follow the instructions.

Prevent

Always remember that the weed control process takes time, and some weeds require more patience than others. Each weed produces thousands of seeds, which you may not see, but are very much there. Those seeds can survive in the soil for years. The best practices for controlling weed infestations include proper cultural practices such as mowing and irrigation.

Cultural Practices

Finding the right balance of fertilization, watering, mowing, and pest control is the ultimate weapon in fighting weed infestation. If your turf is over or under watered or fertilized, or mowed too low or too often, the turf is weakened and weeds are more easily able to germinate and conquer.

Keep track of the areas on your lawn that receive the most traffic. High-traffic areas experience compacted soil, which creates an open invite for weeds in that area. Compacted soil becomes more easily saturated with water, preventing the turf’s roots from developing. Alleviate compacted soil before weeds begin to germinate.

Pest control is another important cultural practice to consider. Pest damage makes turf more susceptible to weed infestations.

Irrigation

Weeds thrive on moisture. Utilizing drip irrigation in beds helps starve weeds of water, therefore preventing them from continuing to germinate. Drip irrigation delivers water to the root zone of turf at soil level, which helps the soil surface and area surrounding the plants to stay relatively dry. Avoid sprinkler systems because they cover the entire soil surface, supplying both garden plants and weeds with water, and therefore, creating more weeds.

Mowing

Many annual weeds can be controlled by mowing frequently, but not too much, and maintaining a proper mower height. A good rule of thumb is to remove only a third of the turf’s leaf blade each time you mow. This allows the turf to canopy the weeds and suppress their growth. Along with mowing regularly, be sure to wash off mowers and trimmers used in weed-infested areas before trimming weed-free areas. This sanitation routine is important to prevent the introduction of weeds to other areas and reducing the quality of lawn.

Trust in Trads

The good news is Trad’s can help you manage weeds with our Lawn Care and Quarterly Pest Control programs. Our Lawn Care and Pest Control experts are highly trained and know how to care for lawns in the unique conditions present in Northeast Florida. Our professionals work with you to form a user-friendly program that best suits your needs. Don’t waste time, once weeds are comfortable, they don’t like to leave. Call us today at (904) 733-7488 to set up your consultation! We’ll give them the boot.