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Binding Stevens Series
Top 10 Weeds Youíll Kill For!
February 2002

By Sunny Sue (Copyright reserved )

Well, if you are like me you left the pre-emergent sitting in the garage again, and lo and behold you donít understand why you have all those weeds! Yea, yea yea, different year, same ol story. We decided to put together a little top ten list and see if you can become a weed detective!

Check out our website for pictures of these nuisances. www.bindingstevens.com

#1: Dandelion
This horrible perennial weed is found just about everywhere. Itís the one that produces those puffy looking seed heads we used to like to play with when we were kids (no wonder I was always sneezing!) It also has very long taproots that can grow several feet into the soil. Hand picking is useless because of their long roots. Spot treating with a broadleaf weed killer is the most effective control.

#2: Plaintain
This bad boy perennial grows close to the ground and its thick, oval-shaped, wavy leaves can actually crowd out your grass. You can hand pick but make sure you get all of the root. A broadleaf weed killer and spot treatment will usually take care of them. 

#3: Clover
This one comes in red and white. Imagine, some people actually plant this stuff! What it will do in your lawn is actually crowd out your grass. It attracts bees, and has leaves split into three round leaflets. By the way, did you ever find one with four leaves? I think I must have crawled for miles when I was a kid looking for four leaf clovers! A granular weed killer in a drop spreader in spring and early fall will take care of this little darling. 

#4: Poison Ivy
Ugh! Donít we hate this one! This toughy has leaves split into three leaflets, young leaves appear shiny and reddish. It turns green as it matures, and you can see this one climbing just about anywhere. You must use something specifically labeled for poison ivy. Donít hand pull, unless you like those itchy little bumps all over you! 

#5: Purslane
Not to be confused with the pretty little annual, this devil can take over a flower bed or lawn in short order! Itís low growing and looks like a mini succulent. It has small yellow flowers and can form a dense mat. Hand dig it with a trowel, or use a broadleaf weed killer. 

#6: Spotted spurge
Oh, the scurge of spurge! This is a low-grower with tiny leaves that have a small purple spot in the middle of the leaf. It produces small pink flowers in the summer, and can spread over an entire lawn. Hand digging with a trowel or a broadleaf weed killer should take care of this one. 

#7: Ragweed Aaaa
Chooo! You know what Iím talking about, donít ya! This little jewel is actually part of the sunflower family. Youíll find it everywhere, in gardens, in fields and along roadsides. Its got a hairy stem and an inconspicuous flower. Hand pull this one before it flowers and sets seed! 

#8: Crabgrass
This one will rapidly make a ďcrabĒ out of you! It grows rapidly and in flat clumps. Its seeds sprout in early spring and it continues to produce seed heads all summer. Take care of this one with a pre-emergent in early spring or if itís actively growing a granular product specifically labeled for grabgrass control. 

#9: Wild Onion 
Wasnít this the name of a rock band in the 70ís? Ok, thatís another storyÖthis weed grows from bulbs that have an onion-like odor. It grows in clumps and has slim, round, hollow leaves. It is usually the first green growth in spring. Hand-dig and do your best at trying to get out all the bulbs. 

#10: Annual bluegrass
Also known as poa anna, this is a tough nut to crack! It germinates in the fall, grows rapidly in early spring, crowding desirable grasses. It can be found in large expanses in the lawn where it forms short seed heads at the same level at which most lawns are mowed. Look for a pre-emergent treatment to prevent the seeds from germinating, and spread it in the fall. 

Sunny Sue

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Lawn damaged by unchecked crabgrass

Photo by Gardening Network member, Louise Peacock 
This page was updated February  10/02

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