weed that grows flat on the ground

Broadleaf plantain: Broadleaf plantain is a low-growing perennial. It has broad leaves with prominent veins and may smother lawn grass if left untreated, which generally calls for maintaining thick lawn coverage.

Weeds are a common occurrence in most lawns and gardens. While many of them are quite familiar, there may be some that are not. Learning about some of the most common types of weeds can make it easier to eliminate them from the landscape.

One of the best ways to identify lawn weeds is by looking closely at the soil in your landscape. Many common lawn weeds can be found growing in certain types of soil, making this an excellent way to identify specific types you may have growing in your landscape. Here are some of the most commonly seen weeds:

White clover: White clover is a perennial weed that forms creeping runners and produces white, fluffy-looking blooms. Since this weed is a legume which fixes nitrogen, it is often found in lawns with low fertility. Adding nitrogen to the soil can help ease the population of clover.

Ground ivy: Also known as creeping charlie, this weed is extremely difficult to control, as this creeping plant (recognized by its round, scalloped leaves, square stems, and small purplish flowers) can form large patches in shady, moist areas of the landscape.

How to Identify Weed Types.

Dandelions: Dandelions are well known in many lawns and gardens– their fuzzy yellow blooms popping up nearly anywhere. While their deep taproots make them difficult to control, they generally spread through their easily recognized white, fluffy seedheads.

Common chickweed: Common chickweed is a mat-forming weed with tiny, star-shaped white flowers. This annual thrives when conditions are cool and moist. Mouse-ear chickweed is similar, however, this weed is perennial with hairy stems and leaves, and is more tolerant of summer heat.

Crabgrass: Crabgrass is a homeowner’s worst nightmare, creeping up throughout the lawn. This summer annual lies flat to the ground and has reddish purple stems (both smooth and hairy). It forms slender spike-shaped seedheads just below mowing height, making it difficult to manage.

Perennial weeds, on the other hand, have more extensive root systems, including taproots, making them more difficult to control. In addition, these weeds come back each year, especially if the roots are not destroyed. Some of the most common (and problematic) perennial weed types include:

Common nettle: This is prolific in soil that borders gardens and open fields. This perennial weed has many varieties, including stinging nettle. While it may look like an ordinary, hairy weed with attractive little flowers, it can cause a very painful sting if you touch it. Nettles can often be aggressive spreaders, with creeping roots.

In order to identify weed types and bring them under control, it’s important to understand how they grow. Like other plants, weeds can be annual or perennial. Annual weeds are less troublesome as far as control measures go. While they are known to sprout up nearly anywhere due to seed dispersal, their root systems are relatively shallow. This makes them easy to pull and eradicate, although doing so before they set seed is recommended.

Spotted spurge: Spotted spurge has a reddish purple spot in the center of each leaf and the sap is milky (which may cause a rash in sensitive individuals). This annual weed can be pulled up easily in moist soil. Improving the density of lawn grass can help keep it under control.

Ragweed: Ragweed is commonly known by many allergy sufferers. This annual weed can be seen most often during summer (and autumn) months and recognized by its fern-like foliage.

Common annual weeds include:

Knotweed: Knotweed is an annual weed, common along sidewalks. It usually thrives in dry, compacted soils. Knotweed forms a tough, wiry mat of stems and blue-green leaves with small white flowers. It is often confused with spurge, however, this weed does not produce a milky sap. It does produce numerous seeds, which can be reduced with annual aeration.

Lawn Weed Identification.

Annual bluegrass: Annual bluegrass, also known as poa annua, is a bright green, low-growing grass that thrives in cool, moist weather. While it produces a number of white-colored seedheads and forms patches throughout the lawn, this weed is known to suddenly die out in hot, dry weather.

Controls:

Characteristics:

Characteristics:

Thistle.

Characteristics:

Broadleaf perennial with a long, deep taproot.

Broadleaf with many annual and perennial species and seeds that remain viable for many years.

Controls:

Controls:

Controls:

Weed Name:

Ground Ivy.

Weed Name:

Characteristics:

2. Mow based on grass growth, not your calendar. Time your mowing so you remove roughly one-third of the length of the grass blades in a single mowing.

By creeping stems, extensive roots, pointed seed capsules that expel seeds, and root and stem fragments.

How it Spreads:

Dandelion.

Even the best-tended lawns come under attack from common weeds. Weed seeds float in on the wind, creeping weeds claim more territory, and weeds you thought you pulled quietly continue to grow. How well your lawn copes with the onslaught depends on the weeds involved, the response you choose and your lawn’s overall health. Understanding common lawn weeds and the options available to fight them can help you successfully combat the invasion.

Broadleaf, mat-forming perennial with a distinctive odor when crushed.

Controls:

Controls:

How it Spreads:

Perennial sedge that forms dense colonies.

Where It Grows: Lawn, landscape, or garden areas in sun or shade.

Where It Grows: Shady lawn, landscape, or garden areas.

Appearance: Crabgrass is exactly what it sounds like: A grassy weed. This lawn weed grows roots anywhere the stem makes soil contact. Seed heads spread out like four fingers.

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Type: Broadleaf perennial.

Type: Broadleaf perennial.

Appearance: Dayflowers have dark green leaves sprouting from a stem and brilliant blue flowers through the summer.

Size: To 15 feet tall and wide.

Where it grows: Sunny landscape or garden areas.

Control: Prevent knotweed with a deep layer of mulch or apply a preemergence herbicide in spring. Once the plant grows, hand-pull or spot-treat it with a nonselective weed killer.

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Appearance: Identify this lawn weed and groundcover by its scalloped leaves, creeping stems, and clusters of purple flowers in late spring.

Weed Control Tips: Mulch to prevent dandelions in gardens. Pull dandelion weeds by hand or treat lawns with a broadleaf herbicide such as Natria Lawn Weed and Disease Control Concentrate ($17, Amazon), which won’t kill grass.

Where It Grows: Sunny or shady landscape areas.

Test Garden Tip: Clover adds nitrogen to the soil plus the flowers feed many pollinators so some gardeners use this plant to create a more environmentally friendly lawn.

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Type: Broadleaf perennial.

Size: To 2 feet tall and wide.

Size: To 4 feet tall and 18 inches wide.

Control: Mulch garden areas in spring to prevent creeping charlie. Pull plants by hand or spray with a postemergence herbicide in spring or fall.

Type: Broadleaf perennial.