Weeds are often thought of as a nuisance, and they can actually be quite dangerous to lawns. It is important to be able to identify the dangers that weeds pose to lawns so that you can better-prepare your turf for an invasion. Keep reading for more information on the harm weeds can do to your lawn.
What’s So Bad About Weeds?
To understand why weeds are so unhealthy for your lawn, we must first look at what makes them different from regular turfgrass. Weeds are typically classified as plants that grow in areas where they are not wanted. This means that they can crowd out other plants, including turfgrass, and steal vital nutrients and water from the soil. Additionally, weeds often have shallow root systems, which is how they are able to steal nutrients away from your lawn so easily.
Weeds feed off of the same nutrients in the soil that your lawn and plants feed off of. When weeds are allowed to grow freely, your desired grass and plants will start to struggle because they will start receiving less nutrition. As your grass and plants become nutrient-deprived, you will then begin noticing signs of damage because your lawn will not be strong enough to defend itself against a weed invasion.
Weeds also tend to be more tolerant of heat, cold, and pests than regular turfgrass. This is because they have evolved to survive in harsh conditions that would kill most other plants. As a result, weeds can quickly take over a lawn if they are not controlled.
Signs Of Invasion
There are many stressors your lawn faces every single day, so it can be difficult to identify what may or may not be causing certain types of damage to your turf. However, there are some signs to look out for that may indicate a weed invasion is either presently happening, or very likely to happen if lawn care needs are not addressed.
- An increase in the number of weeds in your lawn – Obviously, if your lawn has a weed invasion, you will start to notice more unwanted grassy weeds popping up. Weeds generally break down into either the broadleaf or grassy category, and many grassy weeds can be hard to distinguish from your desired turfgrass. A good sign to look for is if there are patches of grass that appear to grow quicker and taller than the grass around them. This is a clue that what you are seeing is a harmful weed that is getting access to nutrients before your lawn.
- Thinning or patchy grass – If your lawn is struggling to compete with weeds, you will start to see thinning or patchy grass. This is because the weeds are taking away vital nutrients that the turfgrass needs to survive and thrive. The result is unhealthy, stressed out grass that is more susceptible to damage from pests, diseases, and extreme weather conditions.
- More pests – Another sign that your lawn is being taken over by weeds is an increase in pest activity. This is because many pests, such as grubs, love to feast on the roots of weeds. As the population of pests grows, they will start to spread out and look for new food sources. Eventually, they may find their way to your turfgrass and begin feeding on the roots of your grass, which can lead to even more damage.
- Disease – Weeds can also act as hosts for diseases that can infect your turfgrass. If you notice an increase in disease activity in your lawn, it could be a sign that there are too many weeds present. Additionally, if you see patches of grass that appear unhealthy or discolored, it could be a sign of disease.
Prevention & Treatment
The best way to deal with weeds is to prevent them from taking over your lawn in the first place. This can be done by maintaining a healthy lawn and keeping an eye out for early signs of weed growth. When pulling weeds, make sure to pull up the entire root or the plant will simply grow back.
Additionally, you should make sure to mow your lawn regularly and at the proper height to help keep weeds from getting established. If you already have a weed problem, there are many products available that can help you get rid of them. However, it is important to choose the right product for the type of weed you are dealing with. Additionally, always follow the instructions on the product label carefully to avoid damaging your turfgrass.
Weeds are a common problem in many lawns, but they can be controlled with the proper care and treatment. By taking steps to prevent and control weeds, you can help keep your lawn looking its best.