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types of weeds in maryland

Types of weeds in maryland

Here we have listed a few of the most common broadleaf weeds found in turfgrass and ornamental landscapes.

Most of these can be controlled with the selective broadleaf herbicides listed on our Herbicides page.

If a specific control product is required – it will be listed here.

Clover

Clover is a low-growing, creeping perennial broadleaf weed that roots at the nodes. A common weed on lawns and sports turf, it can survive in adverse conditions such as low fertility, wet soils and close mowing. A sound fertility program is important to give turfgrass a competitive edge against clover, since it can grow and thrive in low Nitrogen soils.

Common chickweed

Common chickweed is a winter annual broadleaf weed. Winter annuals germinate in the Fall then bloom and set seed in the Spring. Like Summer Annuals, they spread by seed. Chickweed is highly competitive against turfgrass in thin, dormant or newly seeded areas. Properly maintained turf is your best defense against a chickweed invasion.

Dandelion

Dandelions will grow in almost any condition. Their foliage is dark green and forms a rosette shape. Dandelions are easy to identify by the presence of their hollow stocks and yellow flowers that turn into puff balls. When controlling dandelions using a post-emergent herbicide, it is best to wait until the puff balls form since the plant’s “energy flow” is more downward, aiding the translocation of herbicides.

Ground Ivy

Ground Ivy (also known as Creeping Charlie) is an agressive, low-growing perennial broadleaf that favors shaded, moist areas. This weed has very distinctive “coin-shaped” leaves with round-tooth edges and emits a mint odor when mowed. Ground Ivy is very competitive in lawns because it creeps along the soil surface and establishes roots at every node, a feature that allows it to stick to the ground like velcro.

Henbit

Henbit is another common Winter Annual. Its stems grow primarily upright but can root at the lower nodes and the base stems are often green or purple in color. Henbit is similar in appearance to Purple Deadnettle but its upper leaves do not have petioles. This weed is usually not a problem in dense, vigorous stands of turf.

Common Grassy Weeds

Here are some of the most commonly seen grassy weeds.

Most of these can be controlled with selective grassy weed herbicides listed on our Herbicides page.

If a specific control product is required – it will be listed here.

Crabgrass

Smooth crabgrass is the most common summer annual grassy weed problem in managed turf. Being a summer annual, crabgrass will die with the arrival of frost but will re-establish from seed in the Spring. Once Spring soil temperatures consistently reach 55-60 degrees Farenheight, crabgras will begin germinating.

Dallisgrass

Dallisgrass is arguably one of the most difficult to control weeds. It is a clumping, perennial grassy weed that spreads from short, thick rhizomes and seed. As a general rule, the longer Dallisgrass has been established, the more difficult it will be to control.

Goosegrass

Goosegrass is a very troublesome weed in most all turfgrass areas, particularly those that are mowed short, and may contain compacted soil. It has the ability to out-compete both warm and cool season turf during summer months, especially in thin areas that are subject to intense traffic or use. Goosegrass is often white in the center with a wagon-wheel like appearance.

Nutsedge

Yellow Nutsedge is technically a “sedge” and not a grassy weed. It is very distinctive and easy to identify. The stems are erect, triangular-shaped and yellow-green in color. Nutsedge commonly occurs on turfgrass areas that are low-lying and wet, often an indicator that a turfgrass area is being irrigated too much or drains poorly.

Wild Onions

Wild onions can become quite noticeable during late winter or early spring because they green-up a few weeks before the turf does. One of the difficulties in controlling wild onions is the fact that they are more closely related to daffodils than grasses and not many herbicide options exist to provide adequate control. Keeping your turf mowed short while the wild onions are growing will weaken the plant and diminish its ability to develop the following year.

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Lawn Weed ID and Management

Before attempting to manage lawn weeds, identify them first by using the images below or submit your question and digital photos to Ask an Expert.

Why Do Weeds Appear in Lawns?

Improper mowing practices, frequent, shallow watering, not fertilizing correctly, compacted soil, poor soil conditions, and bare spots. These factors contribute to the decline of the grass allowing weeds to move in.

Resources

  • Tips for Lawn Weed Prevention and Management
  • Conditions that Favor Lawn Weed Growth
  • Lawn Herbicides
  • Organic Lawn Weed Killers
  • Glyphosate (RoundupĀ®) Information and Alternatives for Weed Managemen t

Broadleaf W inter Annual Weeds

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


Henbit

Shepherd’s purse
(photo U. Mass Amherst)

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. Treat with a broadleaf postemergent herbicide applied when the weed is actively growing.

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. Treat with a broadleaf postemergent herbicide applied when the weed is actively growing. For difficult to manage weeds, like creeping Charlie and Indian strawberry, a spring and fall application of an herbicide is recommended. A fall herbicide application can be effective because at that time of year, what is applied to the leaves will be translocated to the root system.

Lawn Weed ID and Management Before attempting to manage lawn weeds, identify them first by using the images below or submit your question and digital photos to Ask an Expert. Why Do Weeds