You’ve no doubt spent countless hours ensuring that your grass is green, but what happens when your healthy turf also attracts those pesky lawn weeds too?
A well kept lawn is often the pride of many homeowners, particularly if they’ve donated a fair amount of their time towards mowing it, fertilising it, and even aerating it. The latter in particular is a wonderful tool to deploy for achieving a healthy lawn, as the process allows the turf to be porous enough for oxygen, water and all the essential nutrients to penetrate down to the root zone, which in turn helps to promote healthy and strong grass growth.
However, healthy soil not only invites your turf to thrive, but can also act as somewhat of an open invitation for lawn weeds to make themselves at home too. To further complicate matters, the ideal lawn should have at most one or two species of grass in order to achieve a consistent and aesthetic greenspace. As such, this is one of the main factors as to why lawn weeds can easily take over, as homeowners don’t even realise that they are in fact a weed – so which are regarded as the usual suspects, and how do you deal with them?
Eight Common Lawn Weeds To Monitor
In order to tackle a problem, you first have to recognise it. While there are a number of species of lawn weeds found right across Australia, there are a few that are regarded as more common than others.
Nut Grass – Nut grass is a perennial grass-like sedge with flat, tapered and corrugated foliage. The stem is triangular in cross-section, a feature which is unique to sedges. While the name comes from the nut-like tubers found on rhizomes under the surface, these ‘nuts’ serve as energy storage for the weed – making it difficult to control.
Winter Grass – As the name would suggest, winter grass is a low-growing, thin-blade grass that thrives in cool conditions. It has soft, drooping leaves in tufts with triangular seed heads, and is particularly common throughout Melbourne and it’s surrounding suburbs. Seeds are quick to germinate and spread, which can see an infestation last for years if not managed properly.
Bindi Weed – It’s almost a right of passage for every Australian to hobble through a patch of grass in summer as a way to avoid stepping on a ‘prickle’ or ‘bindi’. The bindi weed is Considered to be a highly invasive, low growing weed that produces bur-like fruit that poses a hazard to humans and animals due to their sharp edges.
Crowsfoot Grass – Otherwise known as crabgrass, crowsfoot grass is both a prolific seeder and spreader, overtaking lawns as it continues to establish a foothold. It suffocates the lawn before dying off in winter, leaving bare patches. The following spring, the bare patch becomes a stronger weed from the previous season’s seeding, thus starting the cycle all over again.
Mullumbimby Couch – This perennial grass-like sedge grows up to 15cm high, with dark green, glossy strap-like leaves. It’s easily recognised by it’s long rhizomes that are red and purple in colour, along with it’s triangular stems in the cross section. The sedge is usually in flower through spring and summer, with three short, curved leaves from the base of the seed.
Paspalum – Somewhat harder to spot in a lawn, paspalum is a grassy weed with larger, broader and relatively long leaves. It grows in a cluster, and removal involves physically digging the plant out of the ground to ensure all roots are removed. If left unchecked, it can spread quickly, so it’s important to get a paspalum infestation under control early.
White Clover – As a classic three leaf clover variety, white clover is easily identified by it’s white crescent shaped flowers. This pesky lawn weed grows in a creeping fashion, and will develop roots wherever a stem node manages to touch the ground. Prevention is the best approach with this variety, as it’s a fan of thin lawns with nutrient poor soil.
Oxalis – Although it can appear similar in appearance to clover, the tiny yellow flowers make this lawn weed relatively easy to identify. As a perennial weed, it spreads through interlocking rhizomes that are easy to break apart. These rhizomes eventually produce tiny bulbils, so anywhere the stem touches the ground, it can take root and produce more plants.
Ultimately, the overall health of your lawn dictates its ability to fend off any unwanted specimens. Keeping that in mind, there are many things that you can do to optimise conditions, such as regularly picking up the rake to clear debris and fallen leaves, fertilising your lawn to ensure it has access to enough nutrients, and of course keeping it hydrated. Additionally, regular mowing is another one of the most successful ways to eradicate weeds, aiming to mow twice a week in the growing season will ultimately help combat weed growth.
However, in the event that you find yourself with a batch of lawn weeds, the good news is that there is still a way to tackle them without damaging your lawn’s health.
Adopting A Safer Way To Spray
It’s important not to undo all of your hard work that’s been put into getting your lawn fluffy and green. While it can be hard to know which chemical-based weed killers may also damage your turf, your pets or even your family, the good news is that there is a safer alternative now on the market.
While hand plucking weeds is the cheapest method used to prevent a weed infestation, it’s by no means considered to be the most convenient. In comparison, a natural weed killer like Bioweed is a safe way to keep them under control. As a non-residual solution, it will break down into the soil in as little as 72 hours and can combat over 200 invasive weed species. The best part? It’s not just exclusive to lawns, and can be used to defend your garden or even pastures against a large variety of foreign invaders.
After all, what’s the point of a well-manicured lawn if you can’t stop and feel the grass between your toes from time to time? Now that you have all of the insights required in order to keep the local lawn weeds under control, there’s no reason why you can’t.
With a team of highly experienced plant and gardening enthusiasts, the team at Bioweed are armed with a wealth of knowledge, tips and tricks that can help you to get your lawn and garden looking their very best. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you’re looking for further natural gardening solutions.