Lawns require serious effort to maintain, from mowing, fertilizing and irrigating. Throwing weeds into the mix is an extra hassle no gardener wants to add. Different types of lawn weeds can plague the home. Identifying weed types is the first step to treating and preventing future problems.
A member of the daisy family, dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are a common problem for lawns in temperate regions throughout the world. Originally native to Europe, dandelions came to America about the same time as the first settlers. The pesky plants are recognizable for their fluffy yellow flower heads, which give way to globular white seed heads. Dandelions can be naturally prevented from growing by spreading corn gluten meal over the lawn about four to six weeks before the growing season. Reapply every five or six weeks. Existing dandelions are best removed by simply plucking them out at the root.
White clover (Trifolum repens) is a common lawn weed that boasts compound leaves and small white or pinkish white flower heads in May to September. The perennial legume spreads rapidly across lawns by stolons or runners. Though the weed is common in many soils, it is particularly well-suited to moist soils low in nitrogen. Prevent white clover by raising the levels of nitrogen in the soil with regular applications of nitrogen-rich fertilizer. It's best to apply an application of herbicide in the fall.
Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis/Digitaria ischaemum) is a clumping annual that aggressively grows in lawns. The pale green grass germinates in warm soils bolstered by sunlight. Preventing crabgrass is easier than eliminating it once it starts popping up. Help prevent the weed by fertilizing the lawn in the fall, rather than in the spring when the weed starts to germinate. Established crabgrass plants can be picked out by hand.