A lush, green lawn is the pride of many homeowners. If the lawn is not properly cared for, however, weeds can quickly gain a foothold over the turf grass. There are many common types of lawn weeds that can quickly ruin the look of your lawn. For best results, such weeds should be dealt with as soon as they are noticed. In the end, a healthy lawn is the best way to prevent weeds, according to the University of Missouri.
Creeping Woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata)
Creeping woodsorrel is a clover-like plant that spreads rapidly and low to the ground. The yellow flowers resemble buttercups. The seeds are tiny--only 1/16-inch long--and spread and germinate easily, making it hard to completely get rid of this lawn weed. Creeping woodsorrel is widespread and long-lasting. The flowers can appear on the plant year-round, according to the University of California, if conditions are warm enough. Creeping woodsorrel is a broadleaf perennial and can be killed with broadleaf herbicides.
Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Common chickweed can survive year-round in climates that are not too hot, but is a winter annual in warmer climates. It blooms from February to September in temperate zones and can be found in fields and agricultural areas. The weed is most common in lawns, however, and can be difficult to eradicate as it spreads quickly on rhizomes. Chickweed has attractive white flowers that some home gardeners enjoy as long as it is kept out of the desirable turf grass. It is best killed with a broadleaf herbicide.
White Clover (Trifolium repens)
White clover is a widespread, creeping broadleaf plant. This perennial weed features very pale, pink flowers with variegated leaves and can reach a height of one foot, making it one of the more easily noticeable lawn weeds. The seeds are very tiny and spread easily on the wind. Broadleaf herbicides will kill white clover, but the seeds will probably germinate quickly in the spring, so repeat applications of the herbicide will likely be necessary.
Large Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis)
Large crabgrass has a large area of distribution, according to the University of California, and is one of the more difficult lawn weeds to kill. This weed is an annual that spreads in the summer and forms leggy but dense mats that quickly overtake the desirable turf grasses. It is hard to kill because it is not a broadleaf, and any herbicide that can kill it may kill other, nearby desirable turf grasses. For that reason, it is best to simply pull it up.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelions are easily recognizable to most home gardeners. It is a widely-distributed broadleaf weed with tall, yellow flowers. These weeds have long taproots, which make them difficult to pull by hand. Instead, kill dandelions with a broadleaf herbicide. The seeds can germinate almost year round, according to the University of California, which contributes to the plant's ability to spread rapidly.