Crabgrass is a warm-season yearly weed/grass that reproduces by seed. Along with dandelions, crabgrass is considered one of the hardest weeds to control due to their ability to produce over 150,000 seeds per plant! Crabgrass can be found in almost every situation and place including lawns, gardens, golf courses, and cracks in the cement. It can tolerate high and low temperatures as well as germinate when mowed down to 1/2 inch. Cultural practices to mitigate crabgrass:
- Seed in late summer for new lawns.
- Mow your lawn down to 2 – 3 inches
- Water heavily once a week
- Fertilize and apply weed killer in spring and fall.
While your children may think of them as flowers, dandelions are tenacious broadleaf weeds that are extremely difficult to control. Above ground, dandelions spread seeds that ride the winds only to drop on your lawn to propagate themselves. While underground, they have up to 10″ long taproots. If any piece of the taproot remains the plant will fully regenerate.
What makes bindweed difficult to control is their extensive root systems. Bindweed roots will spread along the ground until reaching a structure. It may then start to “vine up” the structure. Pulling bindweed rarely kills the weed due to its extensive root structure. Bindweed needs several applications of herbicide every year to receive the best results. If you can afford only one application, make sure it’s in late summer/early fall.
When identifying clover, look for white flowers in your lawn that are frequented by bees. Clover is the most common low-growing perennial lawn weed, found in climates all over the country. Because clover is a small, grass-like plant, hand removal would be tedious and time-consuming. Most weed and feed programs should be able to do away with clover weeds if the applications are kept up.
Bull thistle is a widespread biennial that is located all over the country. The bull thistle has a frightening appearance with spikes that come out of every part of it. Despite their exaggerated appearance, they are much easier to control than most weeds. Like other lawn weeds, thistle reproduces from seeds. But it must clear a couple of inches from the soil line, to send off its seeds. Regularly cutting thistledown will eventually kill them off. Another option is to put on some heavy-duty gloves and pull them straight up from the ground.