We all know that spring is prime time for weed prevention. But it’s good to know exactly what to look out for when it comes to squelching spring weeds before they get a chance to overtake your yard.
When a plant overwinters, it settles into the soil in late fall or early winter, and lays dormant until the springtime. This means the problem began many months before it reared its ugly head.
But which weeds are most likely to overwinter here in North Texas?
In this article, we’re going to explore which weeds are most likely to sprout in early spring because they’ve been hiding beneath the surface waiting for the soil to warm up. We will also discuss the best ways to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
Quackgrass is also known as quick grass, devil’s grass, and twitch grass. It is nearly as difficult as crabgrass to get rid of, and the best intervention is using a pre-emergent herbicide early in the season.
What makes this an even more formidable foe than some grassy weeds is that it’s a deep rooter. That makes it very difficult to dig up once it’s established itself in your lawn with its unsightly tufts. In addition to pre-emergent products, fostering a dense and robust lawn can help deter quackgrass from setting in.
Not everyone minds this lawn visitor, as it doesn’t actually harm your lawn’s root system, and some even like to add it to their salads! Named for the fact that yard fowl enjoy munching on it, this broadleaf weed spreads mainly through seeding.
Chickweed’s growth pattern includes extending its branched stems into ever-enlarging mats within your lawn. While it isn’t toxic to your grass bed, it’s a verdant and opportunistic grower. Selective post-emergent herbicides are your best deterrent.
This winter annual sprouts in early spring, and resembles a miniature version of parsley. However, as the plant matures and dries out, the stems become brittle and sharp. This is exactly where it gets its name, as the “spines” are painful to walk on, just like stepping on a boot spur.
This plant spreads primarily through seeding, and can become very difficult to control once it flowers. Your best bet is to keep an eye out for burweed early in the season, so you can treat it with a post-emergent herbicide before it gets a chance to spread its seeds throughout your lawn.
Deadnettle (Red Henbit)
Here we’ve got another edible weed that is well-loved by yardbirds. However, that does not mean it’s a welcome presence in the yard of a fastidious lawn care enthusiast who loves a uniform turf!
Deadnettle sprouts tiny purplish flowers that can attract bees, which can potentially be advantageous to garden pollenation. However, it is considered an invasive species, and is best dealt with using post-emergent product that selectively kill broadleaf weeds.
Clover is an opportunistic grower, spreading easily in soft bright green clumps. While it won’t necessarily harm your lawn, many people dislike the visual inconsistency it creates in their yard.
Clover grows best in moist soil, so it is most likely to crop up in over-watered lawns and in low areas where moisture can easily pool. In addition to post-emergent herbicides that target broadleaf weeds, you can also give your lawn a brief dry spell to discourage clover growth.
This clumping perennial will take over your lawn with enthusiasm if you don’t nip it in the bud. It grows via short rhizomes and spreads both via root growth and seeding.
If you have a history of problems with dallisgrass, you should go ahead and employ a pre-emergent product to try and head it off before it gets a chance to break the soil. However, if it’s too late for that intervention, then the careful use of a selective spot-treatment can be effective as long as you avoid harming your turfgrass in the process.