Lawn weeds are opportunistic, invasive and generally unwanted plants that grow among lawn grasses when environmental conditions permit. An unhealthy, sparsely growing turfgrass provides the opportunity for weeds to establish and spread; therefore, the best defense against lawn weeds is a healthy, vibrant turfgrass. Northeastern Pennsylvania is home to a variety of grassy and broadleaf lawn weed species.
Barnyardgrass (Echinoochloa crusgalli) is a grassy, summer annual lawn weed that is found in moist, nutrient-rich soils. Regular mowing will prevent the formation of seed pods and help to stem growth and spreading. Already established Barnyardgrass weeds should be hand pulled from the root or sprayed with a post-emergent herbicide.
Broadleaf plantain (Plantago major) is a broadleaf lawn weed found in northeast Pennsylvania between June and September. Broadleaf plantains have large, broad, fibrous leaves extending outward from a central stem. Removal is best accomplished by pulling the weed from the root.
Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) is a clumping, grassy, summer annual weed that germinates during the spring months in northeastern Pennsylvania. This lawn weed has low-growing, thin, rolled blades that extend outward from the base. Crabgrass is fast spreading and pernicious. Lawns should be treated with a pre-emergent herbicide prior to germination in the early spring.
Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are a winter annual, broadleaf weed with a large, distinctive yellow flower forming during spring and summer. Dandelions have deeply lobed leaves extending from the base and spread by underground root systems. Isolated dandelions are best removed by hand pulling.