When spring arrives, it can be hard to tell at first glance what sprouts should be in your landscaping beds and the ones that will turn into weeds. Unchecked weeds and wildflowers will ruin the look of your garden and take away vital nutrients from the soil, nutrients that would otherwise have gone to your flowers. Here are a few of the most common Louisville area weeds and what you can do to combat them.
Wild onions are one of the more challenging weeds we see here at Farison. You can identify this weed by the clumps that it likes to grow in. The shoots are thin and waxy with spear-like leaves, and many people mistake it for another common weed: wild garlic. The easiest way to tell the difference is to take a close look at the leafy clumps. If the leaves are flat, it’s wild onion; if they’re round, it’s wild garlic. These leaves are significantly taller than turfgrass so that they will stand out – literally. Unlike other common weeds that spread through seeds or rhizomes, wild onion spreads via bulbs. And if you’re wondering: yes, wild onions are edible, but we highly advise against eating them – especially if you’ve used herbicide in your yard before.
Nothing is more annoying than discovering a big yellow weed in the middle of your garden bed. Dandelions are one of the most common weeds we see at Farison. Aside from their characteristic bright yellow flowers, you can also identify them by their jagged, sawtooth leaves. That’s precisely how they got their name! “Dents de lion” means “lion’s teeth” in French. France is one of the European countries where dandelions originated. And like the big cat they’re named for, dandelions are tricky. They’re great at spreading their seeds and thrive in bright sunlight – something we have in abundance in Texas. Fortunately, they respond well to herbicides, so Farison will wipe them out if they’ve taken over your garden beds.
Perhaps the most common of lawn weeds, white clover spread quickly and will crowd out your turfgrass in no time. Because it grows so low to the ground, it’s nearly impossible to kill it off with the lawnmower, as you can with other weeds. Clover is often confused with another common lawn weed: oxalis. While both have similarities in shape and the clusters of weeds they produce, you can tell them apart by the shape of the leaves. Oxalis is more angular, while clover has rounded leaves, typically in three clusters. If you look closely, you’ll also find a thin white stripe through the clover leaves. Lastly, clover may produce small white or light purple flowers.
While bermudagrass is a popular type of warm-season grass for lawns in the South, it can also be an invasive weed in our lawns. Similar in appearance to crabgrass, Bermudagrass has short blades and dead leaf sheaths forming at each point. It produces small clusters of yellow flowers, but it has sturdy rhizomes, unlike crabgrass. It loves direct sunlight, so you’re most likely to encounter it in areas of your lawn that get full sun all day. During the cooler part of the year, Bermudagrass will turn brownish or purple as it goes dormant for the season.
Spotted spurge loves the intense hot heat of Texas summers. It’s notorious for taking advantage of weak spots in your lawn and can produce thousands of seeds every year, which is why it’s one of the most prolific spreaders. While it’s considered a summer annual, it will overwinter in your lawn and come back with a vengeance in spring if you don’t address it. Spotted spurge can produce seeds in about five weeks, which is why early preventative measures are ideal. You can identify spotted spurge by its dark green leaves and reddish stems. Unlike other weeds that grow up tall and straight, spotted spurge prefers to grow low to the ground in a dense mat, branching out from a central point. Leaves are oval and have a red spot, which is how the weed got its name. Avoid handling this weed with bare skin – it produces a sap that can irritate your skin.
The best way to keep weeds out of your garden bed is to be proactive. This is done by applying granular, pre-emergent herbicide to your garden beds. Because it’s granular, this product will break down slowly over time and last for many weeks before we need to reapply. As the name implies, pre-emergent herbicides target weeds before they’ve ever had a chance to germinate.
Don’t let unsightly weeds and aggressive wildflowers ruin the look of your garden. Farison Lawn Care offers a bed weed control program to combat even the toughest broadleaf seasonal weeds. This service can act as a stand-alone for landscaping beds in need of rescue, or we can easily add it to your existing lawn care program. If you’d like to learn more about this program or schedule an appointment, please call our office at (502) 245-9422, or you can reach us through our online form here.
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