Weeds are merely plants that grow where we don’t want them to and have growth habits that make them very resistant to eradication. Knowing which features make weeds capable of foiling control efforts can help in mastering effective weed control.
The seeds of weeds tend to be produced in very large numbers, disperse widely and then germinate (sprout) very quickly. After germination, weeds rapidly mature, and when fully grown often possess flattened leaves that hug the ground. This growth form reduces the likelihood that the plant will be eaten by a herbivore or chopped off by a lawnmower.
And weeds often have a brilliant underground strategy; plant features that we don’t even see helping the weedy plant persist. All of the common weeds named below have tap roots; long, single roots that make plants more drought resistant and provide the energy required for regrowth, even when the majority of the plant is pulled out of the ground.
Some of the plants that we most often do battle with when trying to cultivate a pristine lawn include:
To control tenacious plants like these, it is vital to prevent the seeds from spawning new plants. Using weed and feed on your lawn is the first step. The ‘weed’ part of weed and feed products prevent seeds from germinating, but don’t specifically target weed seeds only. So don’t put this type of product down when trying to patch or seed your lawn, because it will stop the grass seeds from germinating as well.
Although the weed and feed should prevent seeds from germinating, a few stray seeds may hit patches of lawn that aren’t sufficiently protected, perhaps due to uneven application of product. You can prevent many of these plants from flowering at all by frequently mowing your lawn; no flowers no seeds.
Frequent mowing by itself is not enough. Even if your weeds are never able to flower, your neighbors probably will. So the combination of mowing and weed and feed chemicals is your best strategy.
Unfortunately, the only way to kill a mature weed is to pull it out or use herbicide. Using herbicide on the lawn will kill your grass. Your safest bet for removing mature weeds in the lawn is to completely dig them out, removing the entire taproot.