As the leading provider of annual lawn care maintenance services in Central MD, our team knows that even the most well taken care of Maryland lawns can sprout up a few weeds here and there. Weeds spread their seeds in the air in the beautiful spring and summer breeze and infect your yard in many different ways. With how quickly they germinate, it’s essential that homeowners attack these pesky weeds as soon as possible and with effective preventative measures.
You can definitely pull the weeds out of the ground, but that doesn’t work for every weed. The best way to ensure your yard is well cared for is to get to the root of the problem. You can only do that by knowing what weeds to look for and how you can address them effectively.
Why Do Weeds Grow in the First Place?
Weeds are pests, and they grow for any number of reasons, but mostly it’s just because they can! Weeds are looking for a home, and they will take up any space they can inhabit. You should be aware of a few poor lawn care habits that attract weeds to your yard.
- Warm weather/favorable conditions
- Low mowed grass
- Tightly compact soil
- Over/under watered soil and grass
- Improper fertilization
Common Spring Weeds
Starting off, we have spring weeds, which are the first weeds you’ll see in the new season. These weeds germinate in the previous fall season and slowly grow until early spring the following year, leaving you with your first few pests to deal with!
- Common Chickweed: Thrives in wet and moist gardens; very smooth leaves and stems.
- Mouse Ear Chickweed: Hairy stems and much larger. Can take over territories other plans might not fight through.
- Field Chickweed: Has shorter hair and is more petite than mouse-ear chickweed but has a very similar look.
- Sticky Chickweed: Sits more upright than mouse-ear chickweed and can tolerate multiple types of climates.
There are four types of chickweed, each with different characteristics to look for:
Chickweeds grow throughout the winter, and their seeds can last in your hard for decades. It’s important to keep your yard from dead spots as chickweeds thrive in poorly conditioned yards. Don’t think you can’t get them if you have a well-maintained yard! Chickweeds are stubborn and will not hesitate to invade any yard.
Another prevalent weed in Maryland, the hairy bittercress, is very annoying and grows exceptionally tall. This weed also has perfected the germination process, as once it grows fully, it explodes and spreads weed seeds in many directions, creating large fields of weeds and even larger issues for homeowners.
Dandelions are a very common weed in many locations, as you can probably picture their yellow flowers sprouting from the ground. As pretty as they can be, dandelions are still lawn weeds and need care. Cutting your lawn too short tends to breed dandelions, and once rooted, their stems dig deep, so be sure to address dandelions the next time you step into your yard.
Like dandelions, henbit weeds thrive in short-cut grass but are much shorter than dandelions and are recognized by their purple flowers. While they do tend to die off when warmer summer weather begins, it could take months before your hard is fully cleared from these pests.
Common Summer Weeds
Even when spring is nearing its end, your weed clearing duties are still in their infancy. A healthy lawn requires care year-round, and while it may be more challenging to care for your lawn in the hot summer sun, you must prepare for the pests that thrive in the heat.
The mother of all Maryland summer weeds, crabgrass grows in early summer and takes over yards of every shape and size. They thrive in hot and dry climates, so if you fail to care for your lawn, be sure that crabgrass will come and sabotage your work. Worse off, crabgrass will grow exponentially, killing off existing grass until they have a stronghold in your yard and then dying off and spreading their seed to continue infesting for years to come.
If you’ve ever tried to find a four-leaf clover, odds are you sifted through a ton of other options before (maybe) finding your good luck charm. If so, you’re lucky because you have enough experience to identify three-leaf clovers! Clovers nestle close to the ground, and you can often miss a ton of them with your lawnmower. Keeping your lawn thick and fertilized is the best way to keep clovers down.
Another summer weed, Japanese stiltgrass grows extremely tall but has a relatively small root system. Its seeds lay dormant for many years and can sprout at any time. The seeds also can stick to animals, other plants, and even humans, so you might want to be careful to assume that they are gone for good.
Like crabgrass, spotted surges thrive in hot weather and dominate weak lawns that aren’t well cared for or have plants that cannot survive in the heat. Spotted surges wait for the right temperatures as their seeds lay in your yard, waiting to sprout up at a moment’s notice. You want to be on top of fertilization and keep your lawn hydrated and well-watered. Spotted surges have large green leaves with red spots all over and are very recognizable in the hotter parts of the summer.
Weed Control Made Easy
It can be difficult when you step away from your lawn for a bit and notice many different weeds that you never asked for. Maryland residents know how challenging it can be to take care of your lawn all spring and summer, but fortunately, we are here to help. For more information about our healthy lawn programs in Anne Arundel County, MD, get in touch with us today!