The summer months are the perfect time to get outside and enjoy everything nature has to offer, but while you’re having fun in the sun, weeds are too; stealing your landscape’s resources and getting stronger every day. Thankfully, with proper identification and action, you can get rid of these intruders and take back your landscape. Here’s a list of the most common weeds you’ll find in Roanoke during the summer.
1) Lespedeza is a summer annual legume that you’ll see sprinkled throughout your lawn and competing for resources. They are prevalent in high-trafficked and poorly drained areas of your turf. If lespedeza is appearing in your lawn year after year, we recommend being proactive and applying a pre-emergent herbicide. We use Dimension. If common lespedeza is already established in your lawn, you can use a post-emergent herbicide such as Escalade, but multiple applications will be necessary. To learn more about lespedeza click the link here.
2) Spurge resembles lespedeza and is another summer annual that you’ll see in weak areas of your turf and also throughout the cracks of driveways and hardscapes. This low-growing, fast spreading weed thrives in sunny spots with well-drained soil. If not treated, it can quickly take over your landscape. If you remove young spurge early in the season and apply a pre-emergent herbicide, you can stop the spreading. Otherwise, your landscape will need frequent applications of a post-emergent. Check out the link here to learn more about spurge.
3) Violets are beautiful flowers, don’t get me wrong, but wild violets are among some of the most difficult lawn weeds to control. They spread through rhizomes underground, so pulling them out of the ground can be tedious and ineffective; as the rhizomes tend to break off and regenerate. They love parts of your turf that are shaded, parts that remain wet for extended periods of time, and places where grass doesn’t usually grow. One way to get rid of violets is by trimming overhead tree branches to allow sunlight to shaded areas. Learn more about violets here.
4) Finding a four-leaf clover is considered lucky.. if it’s in someone else’s landscape. Clover is another weed that likes to compete with your turf’s resources. Although clover is considered a weed, it can be semi-beneficial to your lawn; as it pulls nitrogen from the air and distributes it to the soil beneath. However, it will quickly take over your entire lawn if left alone. Spraying a mild post-emergent on concentrated areas of clover and keeping a dense, thick turf should eliminate it from your yard. Find more information on clover here.
5) Broadleaf Plantain was once coveted for its medicinal implications, but now it’s one of the most common weeds you will find. The reason it’s among the most common is because of its tolerance; it can survive in harsh environments, poor soils and in extreme temperatures. Because of its resilience, broadleaf plantain is hard to control. Using a broadleaf herbicide proves effective after several treatments, but we recommend aerating your lawn; especially in compacted areas where plantain like to grow. The best time to aerate your lawn is early in the fall, which allows your landscape a little time to recover from the stresses of summer. Click here to find out more about broadleaf plantain.
6) Nutsedge isn’t like many broadleaf weeds targeted by herbicides, it’s a perennial species of sedge that will grow back in your yard every year. It’s referred to as “nutgrass” because of its resemblance to grass, but can be distinguished by its triangular, v-shaped stems. It can be hard to spot the difference at first glance, but upon closer examination of the stems you’ll see that “sedges have edges”, while grass stems are circular. Nutsedge doesn’t do well in the shade, so try planting taller ground-cover plants or shrubs to shade the weed out. There’s more on nutsedge here.