Stubborn Weeds That Need a Pro
Don't let difficult weeds run down your lawn.
Weeds can be merciless toward gardens and lawns, overtaking meticulously planted flowers and plants. Once they start popping up, weeds are a nightmare to control and require constant attention and treatment. In order to get rid of these persistent plants, you need to understand them. Get to know the most stubborn weed species—how they grow, when they grow, and the prime time to attack them—to find the best lawn care service to fix your weed problem.
Crabgrass is a tough opponent during seasonal lawn care, especially during summer and into fall. These grassy weeds can put down roots anywhere there is soil, tormenting lawns, landscapes, and gardens if not properly addressed. Sun or shade, crabgrass can keep growing with thousands of seeds per plant to continue the yard invasion.
At the first sign of crabgrass, pull the young plants out of the ground, making sure there are only two to four sets of leaves to avoid spreading more seeds. If you're dealing with more than a few of these pesky plants, a preemergent herbicide is the best way to get rid of them. A preemergent herbicide is most effective when applied in the spring before crabgrass seeds begin to sprout. Depending on weather and temperature, the timing can be tricky to master. We recommend hiring a lawn care service to make sure the treatment is timed perfectly to tackle tough crabgrass.
Better Homes & Gardens Tip: Keep crabgrass out for good with mulch or fertilizer that creates a thick barrier without room for the weed to wiggle through.
Dandelions fight every spring and fall to make an appearance in your lawn with their bright yellow blooms and complex root systems. Though these yellow eyesores can distract from a well-kept landscape, they are even more dangerous at full maturity as puffballs. With just one gust of wind, their external seeds can spread near and far, terrorizing your yard.
Removing dandelions on your own can be a tricky situation. They find their way into tight spots that can be hard to reach and can multiply by hundreds in large lawns. Let a lawn care service bring long-term relief to your yard. Professionals can dig out deep-rooted dandelions, preventing them from continuing to spread. Extra lawn treatments like targeted weed control, fertilization, and soil improvement can help create a thick lawn that is more difficult for dandelions to grow in. Keep up your care routine with regular mowing and feeding to rid your lawn of these weeds for good.
Ground ivy, otherwise known as creeping charlie, is one of the most difficult plants to tame. This green vine grows close to the ground with Velcro-like features, putting down roots wherever it goes, making it a frustrating weed to get rid of. Shady lawns, landscapes, and garden areas are among ground ivy's favorite hiding places, giving it plenty of opportunity to overtake your yard.
Take control of your lawn before creeping charlie becomes a major problem. For gardens and flower beds, it's best to smother the weeds out with a thick layer of mulch or simple hand-weeding after rain. To rid your lawn of this vigorous vine, a dicamba-based herbicide is the only solution. Even after several applications of this herbicide treatment, creeping charlie still may prevail long after autumn. Seek a local lawn service to help put any ground ivy to bed the first time around.
Lamb's quarter is an annual broadleaf weed with scalloped leaves and gray undersides that commonly invades lawns and gardens. Although lamb's quarter is an edible substitute for spinach and lettuce, it also houses harmful diseases that can spread to nearby plants and flowers. This thirsty weed also steals moisture from surrounding plants, making it a deadly plant in a flower bed.
Unlike other weeds, lamb's quarter is easier to remove with hand-weeding due to its short taproot. It's best to remove these weeds before they produce seeds so that they can't continue to spread in the future. In this case, mowing will help alleviate your yard of lamb's quarter. Regular watering and fertilization of a healthy lawn can also keep lamb's quarter at bay. If your landscaping is suffering from an invasion of lamb's quarter, postemergent herbicides can kill the weeds, even after they germinate, ridding your yard of this selfish plant once and for all.
There are two types of plantain weed that can plague your yard, which can be differentiated by the shape of their leaves, broadleaf and narrowleaf. Broadleaf plantains have smooth leaves, while narrowleaf plantains have a ribbed texture. These unsightly lawn weeds flourish in compacted soil and neglected grass, finding the perfect home in unhealthy lawns.
The best method to prevent plantains from growing is aeration and scheduled fertilization at least twice a year. We suggest hiring a lawn service to precisely aerate your lawn and break through the thick soil to increase nutrients, moisture, and airflow to the grassroots. A healthy lawn helps crowd out weeds with regular watering and maintenance. For widely infested areas, control plantain weeds with a postemergent herbicide. This treatment is most effective in the fall when the plants are preparing for winter.
Better Homes & Gardens Tip: Plantain weeds can also contaminate mowers and can spread if the mower is not cleaned after each use. Thoroughly clean any lawn equipment before your next trim to prevent further spreading.
Don't be deceived by its delicate, white flowers—shepherd's purse is yet another edible weed that poses a threat to surrounding plants. Although these small flowers can be quite charming, they're not so cute when they begin to spread their tiny seeds everywhere in early spring.
Shepherd's purse isn't a long-lasting weed, but it does have a quick turnover rate, only taking three to four weeks to settle. Younger plants can carefully be pulled up by hand or hoe, but just make sure not to disturb dormant seeds underground. For more serious outbreaks, spot treatment with a postemergent herbicide can take care of any intruding weeds.