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Eliminating Pesky Weeds 101

Weeds are the bane of every gardener, landscaper, and yard keeper’s existence. Not only do they mask the beauty of your landscape, weeds deprive your lawn of water, nutrients, and space. In order to get rid of these unwanted intruders for good, it’s important to be able to identify the various types of weeds and understand their unique characteristics. Familiarize yourself with these common lawn vandals to keep your yard healthy and attractive this spring.

  • White Clover. White or Dutch clover is a perennial that grows low to the ground and can be a real pain in the rear to get rid of once it has infested your lawn. White clover grows in sets of 3 leaflets, each of which is tear-shaped with or without a red stripe across the middle. These weeds grow in areas where soil is low in nitrogen and competition from other plants is scarce. In order to get rid of white clover, you should hand dig small patches and apply fertilizer in those areas, and then apply a broadleaf herbicide (preferably on a warm, windless day).


  • Ground Ivy. Ground ivy, otherwise known as creeping Charlie, is an aggressive perennial that prefers shady, moist areas with low fertility. This weed has coin-shaped leaves with round-tooth edges and tends to stick to ground surface like Velcro, making it difficult to remove by hand. To eliminate creeping Charlie, apply several applications of a post-emergent herbicide, and when it has been killed off, be sure to replant new grass right away to prevent the weed from coming back.


  • Dandelion. Dandelions may be the most recognizable, but also the trickiest to remove. Below ground, this weed’s taproot extends up to 10 inches below the surface. Above ground, its seeds are easily redistributed by the wind current. Pulling the taproot from the earth is a difficult means of removal, but if you choose to do it this way, make sure you get at least 2 inches of the root. Treat roots with herbicide, and if nothing else, remove blooms before the seeds are dispersed.



  • Crabgrass. Crabgrass is especially troublesome because it can grow all year long. It gets its name because its leaves sprawl from a central root, forming a low-lying circle that resembles a crab. Crabgrass tends to grow in weak or bare areas of your lawn and is caused by overwatering, underwatering, and consistently cutting the grass too short. Herbicide is the best remedy here, but if you prefer an organic method, hand-pulling and boiling water as makeshift herbicide can also work.


  • Chickweed. Chickweed is an annual that sometimes blooms tiny white flowers and appears in lawns that are thin with poor drainage. The easiest way to remove chickweed is to pull it out by hand (followed by an herbicide application if the infestation is heavy). Another easy remedy is to step on the weeds with your foot to crush the stems and then sprinkle with fertilizer, as nitrogen will kill the plant.

  Weeds are a nuisance, but they’re no match for the pros at GE Landscape Supply. If weeds have victimized your lawn to the point of no return, let us help re-plan, replant, and rebuild your outdoor space to give you the landscaping you’ve always wanted.

Published: January 16, 2017