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The 3 Types of Weeds

by Marcia Passos Duffy, All About Lawns Columnist

Weeds in your lawn are all the same, right? Wrong. There are three basic types of weeds that grow in lawns:

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Grassy Weeds

These look like grass, and in fact, they are true grasses, but they are considered invasive weeds when they crop up in your lawn. Grassy weeds have hollow, rounded stems with small flowers and parallel veins on the leaves. Grassy weed types include annual grasses such as crabgrass, goose grass, barnyard grass, fall panicum, and yellow foxtail.

Sedge Weeds

Sedge weeds also look and grow like grass; however, these are not grasses, but sedges. Sedges have solid un-jointed stems and are usually found in marshes and bogs. The reason it is important to differentiate these weeds from true grasses is that most herbicides for grassy weed control don't work on sedges. These types of weeds are very hard to control, are rapidly growing and aggressive, and can take over your lawn. Some common sedge weeds are yellow and purple nutsedge, wild onion or garlic, and Star of Bethlehem. These weeds can be annual or perennial.

Broadleaf Weeds

These are the most common type of weed found in gardens. They have broad leaves that are wide and flat; veins in the leaves are net-like. Broadleaf weeds include dandelions, ground ivy, white clover, chick weeds, carpet weed, and violets.

Weed Control

The best way to discourage all weeds it to have a healthy, full lawn that can out-compete the weeds. While you can use herbicides as a last resort, a better way is to root out these weeds in the spring while they are still young and manageable. Control weeds with prevention, too, by watering your lawn deeply and frequently and keeping the blades high when you mow.

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