Department of Soil&Crop Sciences

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Broadleaf Weeds

Weeds, or plants out of place can become troublesome to turfgrass managers, and homeowners alike. Broadleaf weeds can be easily controlled, and sometimes serve as indicators of unusual conditions in the turfgrass environment. Some examples of this are:

  • Low pH - sheep sorrel
  • High pH - broadleaf plantain
  • Compaction - goosegrass
  • Low Nitrogen fertility - legumes (clover)
  • Poor soil - quackgrass
  • Poor drainage, moist soil - sedges
  • Surface moisture - algae

Broadleaf weed control involves management practices that encourage the most favorable conditions for the desired plant species (your grass) that will make it the most competitive it can be. Maintaining a dense stand of turf will reduce all weed problems because the weeds need space, and in most instances light, to germinate in your turf. The existence of weeds in a stand of turfgrass indicates a lack of turf health and vigor and the existence of voids, or empty spaces. Voids can appear in your turf due to natural causes like environmental stress, flooding, excessive use of an area(traffic, divots), diseases, and insect damage or by management practices like improper mowing height, improper fertilization, improper irrigation, insufficient drainage, and excess thatch. Weeds usually appear in the empty areas of turf and become more of a problem as more voids occur. If broadleaf weed problems do occur, there are many cultural and chemical means available to control the situation. The steps you need to take in controlling a weed infestation are:

  1. Identify the weed in question.
  2. Why is the weed there ? Does it indicate something about the turf environment ?
  3. Modify the environment using cultural methods.
  4. Use appropriate herbicide for control.

Chemical control of broadleaf weeds is primarily done postemergence, although a few broadleaf weeds are controlled by a preemergence application of herbicide. Since the introduction of 2,4-D in 1944, chemical control of broadleaf weeds has become more refined and in most cases, easier.

Perennial Weeds
Alsike Beggarweed Bellflower Betony Bindweed
Broadleaf.Plantain Bristly Mallow Buckhorn.Plantain Bulbous.Buttercup Canada.Thistle
Centella Chicory Cinquefoil Coastdandelion Common.Speedwell
Creeping.Buttercup Creeping.Oxalis Creeping.Speedwell Creeping.Thyme Curly.Dock
Dandelion Dichondra Dollarweed English.Daisy Field.Madder
Ground.Ivy Heal-all Lespedeza Mallow Matchweed
Mary's Weed Moneywort Mouse-ear.Chickweed Orange.Hawkweed Oxalis
Ox-eye.Daisy Pearlwort Pennywort Poison.Ivy Red.Clover
Sheep.Sorrel Stitchwort Thyme-leaf.Speedwell Venus.Looking.Glass Wild.Violet
White.clover Yarrow Yellow.Cress Yellow.Hawkweed Yellow.Rocket
Biennial Weeds
Bull.Thistle Evening.Primrose Wild.Carrot    
Annual Weeds
Bedstraw Birds-eye.Speedwell Black.Medic Brass.Buttons Bur.Clover
Buttonweed Carolina.Geranium Carpetweed Common.Chickweed Corn.Speedwell
Cranesbill Cudweed Cut-leaved.Evening Primrose Daisy.Fleabane Dayflower
Dog.Fennel Field.Peppergrass Filaree Florida.Pusley Henbit
Horseweed Knawel Knotweed Lambsquarters Spurweed (Lawn.Burweed)
Low.Hop.Clover Mouse-ear.Cress Nodding.Spurge Peppergrass Pigweed
Pineapple.Weed Prickly.Lettuce Prickly.Sida Prostrate.Pigweed Puncture.Vine
Purslane Purslane.Speedwell Rabbit-foot.Clover Ragweed Scarlet.Pimpernel
Shepherd's.Purse Small.Hop.Clover Slender.Aster Smartweed Sow.Thistle
Spotted.Spurge Star.of.Bethlehem Spurweed Swinecress Tropical.Chickweed
Turfgrass Key