Lawn Weed Identification

Step 1 - Identify the weed with the images below! 
Step 2 - 
Control Options 
Conditions that favor lawn weed growth

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Click on a weed type to jump down the page
Broadleaf winter annual weeds Broadleaf summer annual weeds Broadleaf perennial weeds
Grassy winter annual weeds Grassy summer annual weeds Grassy perennial weeds

Broadleaf winter annual weeds - Seeds germinate from late summer through fall. Weeds over winter and continue to grow in early spring.  Control with a broadleaf postemergent herbicide applied when the weeds are actively growing in the spring. The exception is chickweed which can also be controlled with a preemergent applied in early September before it germinates. However, you would not be able to sow grass seed in the fall.


Chickweed

Dead nettle

Hairy bittercress

Henbit
shepherd's purse
Shepherd's purse
(photo U. Mass Amherst) 

Speedwell (Veronica)

Broadleaf summer annual weeds - Seeds begin to germinate as soils begin to warm up in early spring and continue to germinate throughout the growing season. Annual weeds complete their entire life cycle in a single growing season. However, some of these weeds can also be perennials or biennials.  Control with a broadleaf postemergent herbicide applied when the weed is actively growing.

black medic
Black medic
carpet weed
Carpetweed

Common lespedeza
knotweed
Knotweed
mallow
Mallow
oxalis
Oxalis (yellow woodsorrel)
prostrate spurge
Prostrate spurge (photo
Jack Harper Penn. State)
purslane
Purslane
 

Broadleaf Perennial Weeds – Perennials are persistent from year to year. They reproduce by seed and also by vegetative means. This is the largest group of weeds. They range from weeds that are easy to eliminate, to some of the most difficult to control. Control with a broadleaf postemergent herbicide applied when the weed is actively growing.  For difficult to control weeds like creeping Charlie and Indian strawberry a spring and fall application of an herbicide is necessary.      

curly dock
Broadleaf & curly dock
broad leaf plantain
Broadleaf & buckhorn plantain
 
cinquefoil
Common cinquefoil 
oxalis
Creeping woodsorrel (Oxalis)
dandelion
Dandelion


Ground ivy (Creeping
Charlie)

Indian strawberry
Indian strawberry
chickweed
Mouse-ear chickweed

Sheep or red sorrel
white clover
White clover
wild garlic
Wild garlic and wild onion
wild violet
Wild violet
yarrow foliage
Yarrow
   

Grassy winter annual weeds: Seeds germinate in late summer to early September. Control with a preemergent herbicide applied in early September before the seeds germinate.

annual blue grass
Annual blue grass

Grassy summer annual weeds: Seed germination begins in early to mid-spring, when soil temperatures have risen to 55° - 60° F. for about a week. In Central Maryland; this is typically mid-March through mid-April. Seeds continue to germinate in the summer, and plants are killed by the first frost. Control with a preemergent herbicide applied prior to seed germination.

crabgrass
Crabgrass
goosegrass
Goosegrass
Japanese stiltgrass
Japanese stiltgrass

Grassy perennial weeds/Sedges: Are some of the most difficult weeds to control in a lawn. There are very few selective herbicides labeled for these types of weeds. Total lawn renovation is usually necessary.

bermudagrass
Bermudagrass or wiregrass
dallisgrass
Dallisgrass
nimblewill
Nimblewill
orchardgrass
Orchardgrass
quackgrass
Quackgrass
  
(photo Perdue Un. Turf. Program)
Roughstalk bluegrass (Poa
trivialis) 

yellow nutsedge
Yellow Nutsedge

 

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IET Departmentof the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2016.