Lawn weeds are the biggest and most frequent pest problem a grass enthusiast will face when growing a lawn. Broadleaf weeds, sedge weeds and other grasses can take over an otherwise beautiful lawn, adding a color and texture scar to an otherwise perfect carpet of grass. Before treating a weed problem, identifying grass weeds is a vital step in deciding the right course of action.
An occasional weed in your grass is a part of life when maintaining a lawn, but when weeds take over, it is a sign that something is going wrong in your lawn-care routine. To keep weed problems from taking hold, use good cultural practices when caring for your lawn. Before planting a new lawn, take soil samples to identify the type of soil and its composition. Use the right kind of grass for your growing environment and select a type of grass that is resistant to weeds and pests that are common to your growing area.
Identifying grass weeds can tighten the choices for weed control in a lawn. Knowing what type of weed is growing in a grassy patch can be a clue to problems in the lawn itself. Many types of herbicides exist for use on a weed-laden lawn, but without identifying the weeds growing in the lawn, choosing the right weed killer can prove difficult or impossible.
Grasses are plants with narrow leaves that grow up from the ground with one or two leaves. In lawns planted with a specific species of grass, weed grasses can invade and displace the intended grass, creating a patchy look with uneven colors and textures. Common invading grasses that perturb gardeners include Johnson grass, crabgrass and Bermuda grass.
Like grasses, sedges have narrow leaves, but they grow in clusters greater than three on each plant. Common sedges include nut sedge, Texas sedge and kyllinga. Most at home in bogs, a sedge weed problem indicates that you have poor drainage in your lawn soil.
Broadleaf weeds are those with larger, oval leaves, similar to the leaves on most common plants. Common broadleaf weeds in lawns include dandelion, prostrate surge and clover. A dandelion has many leaves arranged in a flat cluster that is circular in shape. Usually about 6 inches tall, the dandelion grows a yellow flower that turns into a puffball-like cluster of seeds that float away in the wind to propagate the dandelion.