White clover is a plant that is either loved or hated by the homeowner. Knowing how to control white clover in lawns and garden beds is helpful. Get more info in this article and get ahead of this weed. Name That Weed – Common Weeds That Could Be Growing In Your Lawn Lawn weeds can be a growing headache for property managers and are a primary concern when it comes to maintaining lawns. Weeds have flowers too - but don’t be fooled! If you have lawn weeds with white flowers, it often spells trouble. I’ll help you identify 10 of the most common.
Killing White Clover – How To Control White Clover In Lawns And Gardens
White clover is a plant that is either loved or hated by the homeowner. For many gardeners who did not intentionally plant white clover, knowing how to control white clover in lawns and garden beds is helpful. Getting rid of white clover once it is established can be tricky, but it can be done if you have the right tools and patience. Let’s take a look at how to identify and how to get rid of white clover.
White Clover Identification
White clover is a perennial weed that grows low to the ground. While it can grow in many different places, it is typically found in lawns, especially sparse lawns where the competition from grass is weak.
The leaves on white clover grow in sets of 3 leaflets. Each leaflet is tear shaped and many have a reddish stripe across it. The flowers on white clover are spiky and white with a brownish green center.
White clover grows in a creeping manner and will develop roots where ever a stem node touches the ground.
How to Get Rid of White Clover
Getting rid of white clover starts with a healthy lawn. Clover will grow in areas of low nitrogen and where competition from other plants is small, so making sure that your lawn (and flower beds) are well fertilized will not only help desirable grass and plants to grow and keep out white clover, but will also make the soil less friendly to white clover.
In flower beds, clover can be kept at bay by using a thick layer of mulch. This will keep the seeds from germinating.
If white clover is already established in your yard, controlling it can either be done through hand pulling or by using an herbicide. In either case, while killing the white clover already in your lawn is easy, you need to understand that killing white clover seeds is not. The seeds can survive high heat, low temperatures and can stay dormant for years before germinating. Whichever method you choose for getting rid of white clover, you can expect to be doing it once a year to control the white clover plants that emerge from the seeds.
Hand pulling white clover
Hand pulling is an organic and common way to get rid of white clover. White clover frequently grows in clumps, which make hand pulling easy and efficient. When hand pulling white clover, make sure that you pull out as much of the root system as possible to prevent regrowth.
Herbicide for white clover
Killing white clover with herbicide is also a common way to deal with this weed, especially over larger areas. The problem with using herbicides is that the only herbicide effective at controlling white clover is non-selective weed killers. These herbicides will kill the white clover, but will also kill any other plants it comes in contact with.
Herbicides also may not kill the root system of mature clover, which means that they can grow back. If you decide to use herbicides for getting rid of white clover, the best time to do this is on a warm, cloudless and windless day.
Knowing how to get rid of white clover from lawns and flower beds can be a bit tricky, but it can be done. Patience and persistence while getting rid of white clover will pay off.
Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly.
Name That Weed – Common Weeds That Could Be Growing In Your Lawn
Lawn weeds can be a growing headache for property managers and are a primary concern when it comes to maintaining lawns. Unfortunately, it’s an annual battle that many facility and property managers endure. Without a doubt, weeds will find a way to creep back into your lawn, whether it’s from the wind, birds, a lawnmower, or possibly even through your very own soil which may contain weed seeds. While we continuously fight to be weed free, the question isn’t if you’ll have weeds to deal with, but rather when.
We’ve gathered a list of common weeds you might find in your lawn and what measures you can take to keep them at bay.
The broadleaf plantain is a perennial weed that has smaller leaves with a green leaf base. Blooming in spring to early summer, you will notice it adapts well to most sites, including drought tolerant conditions and thriving in overwatered soil. They can grow in heavy soils, sunny or shady areas and under very low mowing heights. Since these weeds reproduce readily by seed, they will require repeat applications of a post-emergent, broadleaf herbicide to effectively kill off large populations. To help manage broadleaf plantain aerate your soil, avoid overwatering, and using proper mow cut heights.
Common chickweed is a low, dense growing annual weed that has branching stems with small, white, star-like flowers and five deeply-notched petals. This winter annual germinates in late fall and will start flowering in the spring. It prefers moist, fertile, and partly shaded locations but may sprout seeds in dry soil. Chickweed will also appear in lawns with thin turf. Control it with pre-emergent herbicides in late summer or early fall to prevent seeds from germinating or use a post-emergence control and apply it to actively growing immature weeds in the fall. If spring application is made you may need more than one application. Keep in mind that herbicide effectiveness is reduced as weeds mature.
Probably the icon of summer weeds any lawn faces, dandelions emerge in early spring when the soil temperatures reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These persistent perennials come equipped with a deep taproot sprouting bright yellow blossoms that grow on end of leafless, hollow stalks and emit a white milky sap when broken. You may also recognize these with a white puffball seed head. This appears shortly after mowing. Dandelions reproduce readily by seed, and spread quickly by the dispersal of wind. They prefer moist conditions and soils, but thrive in weak, thin turf. Apply a post-emergent herbicide in early spring when temperatures are still cool.
Crabgrass gets its name from their leaves because they form a tight, crab-like circle. The summer annual germinated when soil temperatures reach a consistent 55 degrees Fahrenheit and appear in weak or bare areas of the lawn. Treating crabgrass can be tricky because over and under watering both favor its growth, along with close mowing. To control it, spray with a pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide in the spring when temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit to keep seeds from sprouting.
There are different types of crabgrass you can be on the lookout for:
Large crabgrass is a bunching-type grass featuring seed head spikelets in two to nine fingerlike branches along the stalk.
Southern crabgrass forms in dense strands in open sites. It grows laterally along the ground with branched stems that root at the nodes.
Smooth crabgrass can be distinguished from large crabgrass by the absence of hairs on the leaves. The seed head features two to six fingerlike spiked branches.
Ground ivy is a perennial with square stems that extend several feet and root at the leaf nodes. These weeds showcase rounded scalloped leaves and small funnel-shaped purple flowers that grow in clusters. Ground ivy prefers shady, moist areas of the lawn with poor fertility, and can tolerate low mowing heights. Fall is an excellent time to use a post-emergent herbicide to treat it. Applications in the spring (when it is in flower) is also a good time to get effective control.
Interestingly, white clover used to be a common ingredient in lawn seed blends. However, now it’s regarded as a common weed in your lawn. White clovers are a low-growing, creeping winter perennial with stems that root at nodes. The elliptical leaves are grouped in threes and usually have a light green or white band like a watermark, plus toothing on the edges. These weeds are most noticed for their white to pink-tinged flower clusters growing from the long stems that usually rise above the leaves. They actively grow in cooler temperatures with increased moisture and where soil is poor and low in nitrogen.
Annual bluegrass is an annual weed, just as the name suggests. It blends very well with fescue grasses due to its light green color. Its color, however, makes it stand out in dark green turf grasses and will typically form in clumps, so it’s easy to spot the culprit. Annual bluegrass seeds germinate in late summer as temperatures start falling below 70 degrees. It appears where overwatering occurs and/or there is poor draining soil. Since it produces most it its seed head in the spring, applying a pre-emergent herbicide prior to germination of the seedlings will prevent growth.
These perennial weeds are pansy-like flowers featuring five blue-violet, lilac or white petals that grows in bunches reaching 2-5 inches tall. Wild violets can quickly take over cool, shady, moist, and fertile soil. Eradicating these weeds can be difficult due to its aggressive growth and resistance to many herbicides. To control, apply a post-emergent broadleaf herbicide as soon as the violets reach the two-leaf stage of growth.
Bull thistle is a biennial that can form large infestations, especially along roads and vacant fields. They bloom in mid to late summer and grow erect with spines on the leaves and stems. They are coarsely hairy on the upper side, contain softer, whitish hairs below and rose to reddish-purple flowers grow at the ends of the branches. Bull thistle reproduces by seed only. For optimum control, application prior to seed set is most effective. Apply a post-emergent herbicide in fall or early spring, when the thistle is in the seedling to rosette stage.
Weeds can be deceptive in your lawn, and they aren’t shy to grow and spread quickly! They are your lawns biggest threat to staying lush, green and healthy. At Bluegrass, we provide you with a preemptive weed control program to help stop those weeds in their tracks. Give us a call today at 314.770.2828 or fill out our simple online contact form to discuss your lawn care needs.
Lawn Weeds with White Flowers (10 Types)
Toward the end of spring and the start of summer, I love to look out my window and see white flowers popping up throughout my yard as my flower beds bloom.
But when white flowers are dotting my lawn, I know it could mean trouble. I have seen at least 10 types of lawn weeds with white flowers and they have all been unwanted at one time or another. I’m going to help you spot them in this post so you can deal with them before they become a problem.
Most Common Lawn Weeds with White Flowers (Short Answer)
The most common lawn weeds with little white flowers are white clover, chickweed, Queen Ann’s Lace, daisy, fleabanes, and hairy bittercress. Some tall weeds with small white flowers are yarrow, mayweed, pearlwort, and stinging nettle.
A Closer Look at Lawn Weeds with White Flowers
When you see little white flowers in the grass in spring, it could mean a range of things for your lawn. Some of these weeds can be helpful such as white clover. Others can be toxic to humans and pets like mayweed. Knowing what each plant does, looks like, and most importantly how to get rid of the bad ones will aid you in attaining lawn zen.
White Clover (Trifolium repens)
What It Does: While allowing clover to colonize 5% of your lawn can be beneficial for nitrogen-fixing, clover is a fast-growing aggressive weed that can take over large portions of a lawn. It develops a deep root system that makes it hard to remove completely.
What It Looks Like: This lawn weed is most recognizable by its little white flowers and three round leaves. The leaves have a white V near the tips and they can grow up to 7in tall.
How to Get Rid of It: Due to its extensive root system, white clover is a tough lawn weed to remove. The most effective way to get rid of these white flower weeds in the grass is to pull them by hand. If the area is small and you can pull up the entire root then you can stop the problem. If the area is larger you can mow higher to choke it out or mulch over it.
Chickweed (Stellaria media)
What It Does: This lawn weed with white flowers is most commonly found in overwatered lawns. It grows rapidly in a matting pattern that can choke out turf. Chickweed is a cold-loving annual and also a common carrier of plant pests and viruses that could do even more damage to your lawn.
What It Looks Like: Chickweed is covered in small white flowers that bloom in spring. The leaves are hairy along the bottom of the plant and become hairless at the top. The white flowers grow as a single flower or in clusters at the end of the stems.
How to Get Rid of It: The roots of this lawn weed with little white flowers grow very shallowly. If you are dealing with a small patch of lawn you can remove them by hand pulling. If you are dealing with a larger area you can apply a broadleaf herbicide.
Queen Ann’s Lace (Daucus carota)
What It Does: Also known as wild carrot, this weed produces huge clusters of little white flowers. Each of these flowers can spread as many as 40,000 seeds making it difficult to contain. The only danger this weed poses is that it looks almost identical to Poison Hemlock, a white flower-producing weed that is highly toxic to humans and pets.
What It Looks Like: Queen Ann’s Lace is a close relative to the garden carrot. It has green hairy stems (Poison Hemlock stems are purple, blotchy, and hairless) with a flat, white, and lacy flower. It can grow up to 4ft tall.
How to Get Rid of It: This tall weed with small white flowers only blooms in its second year of growth. If you dig them out before blooming, you can remove this weed without the risk of spreading its numerous seeds. A strong herbicide can be used if the flowers have already produced seeds.
Daisy (Bellis perennis)
What It Does: In moist soil and full sun, daisies can quickly spread and overtake a lawn. Daisy weeds can propagate via rhizome and they also produce seeds making them hard to control. The low-growing leaves form a mat that can choke out surrounding turf.
What It Looks Like: This is one of the most common little white flowers in the grass in spring. I have even seen daisies pop up during a mild winter. The flowers have white petals and a noticeable yellow center.
How to Get Rid of It: Unlike other lawn weeds with white flowers on this list, daisies have very weak roots and can easily be pulled up using a daisy grubber. A post-emergent herbicide can help control future outbreaks.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica L.)
What It Does: These lawn weeds grow in neglected and compacted soil along the edge of a property. They spread quickly by nettle (burred seed) and produce underground stems. Brushing these weeds with your skin can result in burning and stinging pain.
What It Looks Like: Nettles are easy to recognize by their long bristly stems and stinging hairs on their leaves. The upper leaves of this weed produce white drooping flowers.
How to Get Rid of It: The best way to get rid of nettles is to continuously cut them back until they die off. Once they have died, you can pull the entire root and rhizome out to prevent them from spreading. For chemical control, you should apply a non-selective herbicide which is most effective between spring and fall.
Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)
What It Does: This lawn weed with small white flowers is a relative of the mustard family. It gets an early start in the year and spreads rapidly. By late spring, the flowers have developed, and by summer, it forms long seed pods. When they burst, they send hundreds of seeds in every direction. They have long taproots and re-emerge if not completely removed.
What It Looks Like: Hairy bittercress is a ground weed that grows low and spreads quickly. It has round leaves in sets of three. By May, small white flowers can be seen growing between the leaves and the tap root will be thicker.
How to Get Rid of It: Due to its long tap root and heavy seed production, eradicating this weed is difficult. The only way I know how to get rid of white flower weeds in the grass when you can’t pull them is to use a post-emergent herbicide. This should prevent it from coming back next spring.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
What It Does: This lawn weed commonly occurs in yards stressed by drought that are under-fertilized. If this condition occurs and yarrow is present, it will take off and choke out your turf. Yarrow is a mat-forming weed and spreads by rhizome stems that root at intervals.
What It Looks Like: This lawn weed with little white flowers can best be identified by its fern-like leaves. It can grow up to 3ft high and flowers from late May to summer. Yarrow produces green/grey leaves and thick roots.
How to Get Rid of It: Yarrow is hard to control and is resistant to selective herbicides. The best way to control this weed is by watering and fertilizing your lawn. Using repeated applications of non-selective herbicides can weaken this weed. In the spring, top dress early to choke out any remaining yarrow.
Mayweed (Anthemis cotula)
What It Does: This is a common lawn weed that grows in open spaces and flowers annually. It grows quickly and spreads rapidly by seed. Mayweed can cause skin irritation if touched and is toxic to animals. It is important to remove this weed right away.
What It Looks Like: While the flower of the mayweed resembles a daisy, that’s where the similarities end. The leaves are different, more fern-like, and resemble a fennel or chamomile plant. They grow to about 2ft and produce an unpleasant odor.
How to Get Rid of It: Tiny areas of this lawn weed with small white flowers can be hand-pulled. Make sure you either wear gloves or use a daisy grubber as the leaves cause skin irritations. For larger areas, you can use an herbicide, but make sure to get rid of the waste so it is inaccessible to animals.
Pearlwort (Sagina procumbens)
What It Does: Cutting a lawn too short can make it susceptible to a pearlwort infestation. These lawn weeds with little white flowers grow close to the ground in a matting pattern. They produce hundreds of seeds that get spread when mowed or walked on. This weed can quickly overtake a lawn.
What It Looks Like: Pearlwort is a creeping plant that can be mistaken for moss. It prefers cool moist areas and populates to make seeds quickly. The leaves of this weed are narrow and it only grows to around 4in tall. It has fine roots and it produces several branches. These branches support the white flowers.
How to Get Rid of It: The best way to deal with this lawn weed is by having a thick turf. Regular watering and fertilization will prevent pearlwort from taking over. If it is already out of control, you can apply a herbicide that is absorbed through the plant’s leaves. This will weaken it and allow your turf to take hold again.
Fleabanes (Erigeron sp.)
What It Does: These weeds establish deep taproots and spread by seed. They grow quickly in open sunny places and can outcompete turf in poor-quality soil.
What It Looks Like: Fleabanes look like miniature daisies. They grow multiple stems and each stem has a tiny white flower with a yellow center. They also grow tiny hairs along the stalks. The flowers open in summer and can also bloom a second time in fall.
How to Get Rid of It: If you control this weed early in the spring, you can hand pull it. However, if you allow the fibrous roots to turn into a hard taproot, it becomes much more difficult to remove. In this case, you will have to apply a non-selective herbicide. These lawn weeds with little white flowers aren’t as invasive as the other lawn weeds, so they can be left alone if they are not in an unsightly area.
About Tom Greene
I’ve always had a keen interest in lawn care as long as I can remember. Friends used to call me the “lawn mower guru” (hence the site name), but I’m anything but. I just enjoy cutting my lawn and spending time outdoors. I also love the well-deserved doughnuts and coffee afterward!
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