Broadleaf Weeds - Identification and Control


Broadleaf Weeds

Broadleaf weeds are usually very easy to identify. They look different from grasses and are physiologically different than grasses. The physiological difference allows for the use of selective herbicides to control broadleaf weeds without injury to the desirable grass.

Major Types of Broadleaf Weeds

The many different types of broadleaf weeds are categorized by their life cycles:

Annual Weeds

Annual weeds are generally the easiest to control because they do not produce extensive below ground vegetative structures capable of beginning new plant growth. Annuals produce a great deal of seeds that serve as a source of infestation and establishment when conditions are favorable.

Winter Annuals

Winter annuals also complete their life cycle in 12 months, but generally overlap two calendar years. Winter annual weeds germinate in late summer to early fall and begin to develop. Winter annuals go through a period of semi-dormancy in the winter, and flower the following spring. They mature and die in late spring or early summer with the on-set of warmer temperatures and increasing day lengths.

Summer Annuals

Summer annuals complete their life cycle within 12 months. Summer annual weeds germinate in the spring, grow and develop during the summer, produce seeds and die by the fall or after the first hard frost.

Perennial Weeds

A perennial weed may germinate from seed, but produces a root structure that can give rise to new plants. Theses root structures can be in the form of Tubers, Bulbs or Corms. Perennial weeds may spread by seed or other vegetative structures such as stolons (above ground) or rhizomes (below ground).

Biennial Weeds

A biennial plant is a flowering plant that takes two years to complete its life cycle. The first year usually consists of leaves, stems and root growth. The plant then enters a period of dormancy over the winter. The second year the plant completes its life cycle by flowering and producing seeds.

Broadleaf Weed Control

The best weed control is a healthy, dense lawn. A thick lawn is more competitive and will crowd-out weeds. Weed seeds need light to germinate and a dense lawn will prevent light from reaching the surface of the soil. Hand-pulling weeds may make sense when there are few weeds, especially if the weeds are annuals, however, even the best protected lawns can succumb to broadleaf weeds. Hand pulling perennial weeds will often result in re-growth as it is very difficult to remove the root structure as well.

The preferred method of control is to encourage a healthy, dense lawn and this can be accomplished by proper:

Of course, the best way to ensure that proper fertilizing, watering and mowing habits are established is to contact a Scotts lawn care service provider.

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for broadleaf weed control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.