Weeds can be defined as unwanted plants or plants growing out of place. Proper identification and some understanding of how and why weeds are present in a lawn are important when selecting the best control strategy. Knowing whether or not weeds were previously present in a particular area also helps homeowners prepare control measures in the future. Weed control should be a carefully planned and coordinated program.
Weed Types- Knowing a weed’s growth habit is important when developing an effective weed management program.
Broadleaves- Broadleaves, or dicotyledonous plants, have two cotyledons (seed leaves) when the weed seed germinates. Their true leaves have net-like veins and usually have showy flowers. Examples include clovers, lespedeza, plantain, henbit, chickweed, Florida pusley, beggarweed, and matchweed.
Grasses-Grasses are monocotyledonous plants that have only one cotyledon, or seed leaf, present when seedlings emerge from the soil. Grasses have hollow, rounded stems with nodes (joints) and parallel veins in their true leaves. Examples include crabgrass, goosegrass, crowfootgrass, dallisgrass, bullgrass, annual bluegrass, alexandergrass, cogongrass, torpedograss, and smutgrass.
Sedges/Rushes-Sedges have triangular-shaped, solid stems, while rush stems are round and solid. Both sedges and rushes favor a moist habitat. Economically important members include yellow and purple nutsedge and, to some degree, globe, Texas, annual, and water sedge, plus path and beak rush and perennial kyllinga.
Weeds are also classified based on their life cycles, which is the period between seed germination and plant death.
The first and best method of weed control begins with proper management practices that encourage a dense, thriving turf. Healthy turf shades the soil so sunlight can’t reach weed seeds ready to germinate. A thick turf also minimizes the physical space available for weeds to become established. Several management practices promote a healthy, dense grass and help reduce the cost of weed control while maintaining the aesthetics of the lawn. Precision Turf has an excellent Lawn and Ornamental Shrub Fertilization program that minimizes weeds and promotes a healthy lawn year round.
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