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Five Popular Lawn Weeds & Ways to Get Rid of Them

Updated on July 21, 2011
Dandelions are a very common lawn and garden weed.
Dandelions are a very common lawn and garden weed. | Source

Garden weeds can easily take over a yard or a garden if left unchecked. Some garden weeds may have pretty leaves or flowers, like dandelions, but those blossoms and leaves can quickly overtake a lawn if not controlled.

An easy way to get rid of them is to dig them up, but do that in a way so they won't return. When digging up weeds, always be sure that the taproots are removed to prevent the weeds from coming back. If poisons are the only option, use care and always follow the directions when using an herbicide, and do not use anywhere where edible landscaping is growing, or is planning to be planted.

The five most invasive (and popular) weeds in any lawn are chickweed, crabgrass, broadleaf, wild garlic and, of course, the dandelion. Here is more information on these weeds, and ways to destroy them.

Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a common small plant that has small green to yellow-green leaves and small white flowers. They are often found in empty planters growing alone in the dirt, and can be found growing spring, winter, fall and if it isn't very hot, in the summertime as well. To treat them, use a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent it from growing in the first place. Also, use your hands and pull up the plants if found in a garden planter flower box and remove. Make sure taproots have been pulled up.

Broadleaf (Plantago major) is a weed that is often found in established lawns. These can be easily spotted with their namesake broadleaves that are either fat or pointed. Broadleaf is perennial so be on the lookout for it year round. This weed is tough to remove as it has a long taproot that must be taken out. Using a large garden shovel, physically dig up and ensure that the long taproot is pulled out with the plant itself. Use an herbicide to remove any plants that cannot be dug up.

Crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemem) is another weed often found in lawns. These are often found in the summer when growth is the greatest. Crabgrass is a clumping weed and tends to spread as it grows. To remove pull or dig up or use an herbicide before it blooms and takes off during the warm months.Take care of this problem weed as soon as it is found as it is hard to get rid of once it is established.

Wild garlic (Allium species) or wild onion is a perennial weed that has the characteristic chive-like appearance for the leaves. It has narrow leaves that tend to be found in the spring, and forms bulbs just like garlic and onions do. To remove, dig up the small bulbs or use an herbicide before it comes up and takes off.

Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are a pretty for children but can be a nuisance for gardeners. These can be identified by either their yellow flower heads, white and round seed heads that are often blown in the wind (thereby spreading them) or by their leaves which have a distinctive pattern on the sides and grow in a round. These can be dug up. Don't simply pull out the plants as the entire taproot must be removed to fully rid the lawn of dandelions. Use an herbicide to remove any plants that cannot be dug up. And, no matter how tempting, don't blow on the seed heads in the middle of your yard to make a wish as the only wish that will be granted is the for the weed to come back again.


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