Identifying lawn and garden weeds

Identifying lawn and garden weeds

If all that stands between you and a beautiful lawn is a handful of pesky weeds, you’re not alone! In general, garden soils contain a great many weed seeds waiting for their chance to germinate.

Some weed seeds will last for many years in the soil and sprout and grow only when the conditions are right. Unfortunately, weedkillers will not affect weed seed in the soil, only flowers and roots of a germinated weed.

Here are some of the most common lawn and garden weeds and what you can do to control their spread.


Dandelion

Dandelion weeds in lawn

Dandelion is a very common perennial weed and one that can be surprisingly hard to get rid of because it germinates throughout the year. You can recognise it from its teeth-shaped leaves, which form in a rosette, and multiple yellow flowers that grow from its centre. You most commonly see them from March to November.

How to get rid of dandelions

Beware when pulling Dandelion - it has a long, stout taproot and is difficult to pull. Any taproot left in the ground will grow into a new dandelion in no time! The simplest way of killing lawn weeds like dandelion is with a product like Weedol Lawn Weedkiller or Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1, which also contains fertiliser to green up the grass as well as killing weeds.


Creeping buttercup

Creeping buttercup weed

Creeping buttercup is one of the most common lawn weeds in the UK, and you can find it in bloom from mid-spring to late summer. You can recognise it by its divided leaves, creeping stem and bright yellow flowers, each with between 6-9 petals.

How to get rid of creeping buttercup

This weed is very difficult to remove permanently thanks to its fibrous roots. To control this weed use Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1 or Miracle-Gro EverGreen Premium Plus Weed Control Lawn Food in April. You can apply EverGreen Complete 4 in 1 three months after the first treatment if any stubborn weeds return.

Alternatively Weedol Lawn Weedkiller will give season long control of weeds with just one treatment.


White clover

White clover weeds

White clover is a very common and easy to recognise weed that’s commonly found in lawns and turf. It’s a perennial weed and grows low to the ground with creeping runners. It can quickly choke out grass. You’ll recognise it by its distinctive three-leaf shape and small white flowers.

How to get rid of white clover

White clover grows in areas where competition is low, so having a healthy, well fertilised lawn is key to stopping its spread.

The most effective way to remove white clover is to treat it when it is in new growth stage, as it is softer and will absorb weedkillers more readily.

Rake up the runners then mow off established weeds before allowing it to grow back. To control this weed use Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1 or Miracle-Gro EverGreen Premium Plus Weed Control Lawn Food in April. You can apply EverGreen Complete 4 in 1 three months after the first treatment if any stubborn weeds return.

Alternatively Weedol Lawn Weedkiller will give season long control of weeds with just one treatment.


Daisy

Daisy weeds in lawn

Daisy is one of the easiest weeds to recognise when its flowers are in bloom in spring to early autumn. They have white petals and a yellowish centre. They can be found in nearly any soil condition and often grow very close to the ground, even on closely mowed lawns.

How to get rid of daisies

You can remove daisy plants by hand with a daisy grubber if you only have one or two on your lawn. If it’s a large infestation, you’re best to use a herbicide solution or spot treatment such as Weedol Gun! Lawn Weedkiller.


Plantain

Plantain weed

Ribwort plantain or narrow leaf plantain is a very common weed in the UK and can survive in drought conditions thanks to its large, fibrous root system. You can identify this weed by its long, narrow leaf, which are also oval in shape. It flowers from late spring to late autumn, with short flowers that grow in a spike shape at the top of a long stem.

How to get rid of plantain

Plantain might indicate that the soil has a compaction problem because these weeds tend to thrive in alkaline dry and compacted soils. You can weed them by hand, but take care to remove all the roots or it will grow back.

You can also use a herbicide to manage the problem, such as Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1 or Miracle-Gro EverGreen Premium Plus Weed Control Lawn Food. Either of these products will not only kill the weeds, but also feed the grass. Once treated, aerating your soil and mowing regularly will help prevent it from growing back.


Common mouse-ear

Common mouse-ear weed

Common Mouse Ear is another perennial weed that you will commonly see growing unwanted on lawns around the UK. It spreads quickly and can smother grass in the process, and will also survive close mowing. You’ll recognise it from its dark green leaves, which have small hairs all over them. They have small, upright white flowers and appear from late spring through to autumn.

How to get rid of common mouse-ear

The simplest way to treat common mouse ear is by using a treatment like Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1. Common mouse ear can also be pulled by hand, but this is typically only effective when it’s only in a very small area.


Medick

Black medick weed

Medick or black medick can be both an annual and perennial weed and is most often found in neglected lawns with dry soil. They are very similar in appearance to Lesser Trefoil, and people often confuse the two; one of the simplest ways to distinguish medick is by its seed pods, which turn black at the end of the season.

How to get rid of medick

For small areas, you can pull black medick by hand if the plants are few in number. They can also be treated with herbicides such as Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1 or Miracle-Gro EverGreen Premium Plus Weed Control Lawn Food. You can discourage this weed from returning by maintaining a good lawn with thick, healthy grass, making it harder for it to invade.


Bird’s foot trefoil

Bird’s foot trefoil weed

Bird’s foot trefoil is a member of the clover family, and can sometimes be confused for white clover when it’s first growing because of its similarities. You’ll know bird’s foot trefoil by its 3-leaflets shape, which grows on a short stalk, followed by three more leaflets at the base of the stalk. Flowers are bright yellow and look similar to honeysuckle. This weed grows in a variety of soils but prefers dry soils that are non-acidic.

It’s a perennial lawn weed, and can cause major problems as it tends to form in large patches and then spreads both above and below ground.

How to get rid of bird’s foot trefoil

Bird’s foot trefoil has a deep root system and can be controlled by hand weeding if there are just a few plants. For larger patches it’s best to use a herbicide like Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1.


Please note when using lawn weedkillers to read the instructions carefully before use.