We have received a lot of request for estimates lately, and a lot of them are for the same reason… “There are tons of weeds in my lawn!” We are seeing an increased number of weeds in lawns of homeowners that are not on our program. Let’s look at why.
Winter annual broadleaf weeds begin their germination in the fall, begin their growth cycle in the winter, and really flourish in the spring. We experienced some warmer than usual weather in mid-February, making weeds think spring was here. Hence the early crop and abundance of weeds in some lawns. The good news is we can help rid your lawn of broadleaf weeds, all while doing so without using the harsh synthetic chemical that most every other company is using, 2,4-D.
There are 5 common types of weeds you may be seeing right now.
This weed can grow erect by growing on top of itself, but overall is a low growing weed with a shallow root system. It is very easy to pull out by hand. It produces white flowers in clusters at the terminal end of the stem and prefers to grow in fertile and moist soil. It is common to find it in your lawn or mulch beds. It reproduces by seed or by stems rooting at inter-nodes.
Just two hairy bittercress plants and you can have a substantial crop of weeds in your lawn due to how quickly this weed can spread! The first of its leaves are heart-shaped, followed by leaves of two or four alternating leaflets. When the weather warms, stalks will grow from the plant containing small, white flowers, followed by a slender seed pod. Once the seed pod ripens, if you bump them, it can send seeds flying as far as 16 feet, laying seeds for next year. So, if you see a ripened bittercress plant, do not kick it! It is best to pull it or mow it before it sets seed.
Henbit and Purple Deadnettle
These two weeds are very similar in appearance, though there are some differences. Both weeds are members of the mint family, have hairy oval or egg-shaped leaves, square stems, and have small purple flowers appearing on the axils of the upper leaves. Henbit however, has petioles (this is the stalk that attaches the leaf to the stem) on the lower leaves but not on the upper leaves. Deadnettle’s petioles are long on the lower leaves but short on the upper leaves. Deadnettle’s leaves also get gradually smaller near the top of the plant, and the upper leaves appear to hang in an overlapping and loose manner. These are just a few differences, but you can see how similar both weeds are!
Though this weed may look pretty, it is very difficult to control. A common characteristic would be their heart-shaped seed pod and four petals that are blue or white. If you remove the flower head before the flower blooms, this will be very beneficial for control.
Long story short, thanks to mother nature throwing us a little heat wave in February, weeds are flourishing. Give us a call today if you or your neighbor are having this issue and we can help get rid of these pests!