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What Kinds of Weeds Do I Have?

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

Weed



Weeds are common to almost every lawn. As you can see in the section on planting lawns, weeds come in every package of grass seed with their amounts, depending on the quality of seed you purchase. If you have an existing lawn (most of us do), your lawn is probably already established and therefore you have to deal with what's there. To understand weeds, you need to realize that they are simply a part of lawn maintenance like mowing, watering, fertilizing, aerating, etc.. As previously stated, most lawns were seeded, sodded, etc., with grass containing some degree of weed and/or weed seed. Weeds can also come from water runoff, wind, your neighbor's yard, pests and pets, and even you! In short, they seem to find their way to your lawn in one way or another!

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  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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To help understand weeds, we will classified them (much like grasses) into two major categories: Grassy Weeds & Broadleaf Weeds. Additionally, these weeds have different life cycle properties and, much like grasses, are considered either Perennial or Annual in growth. Like grasses, this will help you determine when they grow and when to prevent them from growing.

Grassy Weeds: Grassy weeds are simply what they imply: grass. The difference is that they are unwanted grasses growing in a lawn of a different kind. For example, Tall Fescue will sometimes grow in lawns of Kentucky Bluegrass or Bermuda. In this case, the Tall Fescue is undesired and hence, a grassy weed. You've got the picture. Most grassy weeds are annual weeds and therefore tend to reappear every year. For a detailed description of grassy weeds and how to deal with them, see GRASSY WEEDS.

Broadleaf Weeds: Broadleaf weeds are the most commonly found weed, and take a non-grassy like appearance and look more like, well, a weed! They derive their name from the broad-like leafs that in most cases clearly differentiate themselves in appearance from your grass. Some will even grow flowers (like dandelions) and often stand out like a sore thumb! For a detailed description of broadleaf weeds and how to deal with them, see BROADLEAF WEEDS.



About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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