Grass and weeds commonly compete for space and resources within a lawn. Turf grasses are divided into two major categories based on their location; northern cool season grasses and southern warm season grass. Weeds are loosely categorized by their appearance compared to turf grass.
Broadleaf weeds do not resemble turf grasses and are easily identified by their broad leaves and flowers. Broadleaf weeds are highly opportunistic and can successfully out-compete their grass competitors in a wide variety of environmental conditions. Broadleaf plantains, bull thistle and dandelions are common examples of broadleaf weeds.
Grass-like weeds look similar to lawn grasses, and in some cases, actually are proper grass species. Grass-like weeds typically spread very quickly and can engulf entire lawn areas if not kept in check. Bermuda grass is an example of a proper grass species that is considered a grass-like weed in many regions.
Cool Season Grass
Cool season grasses are found in northern areas of the United States and are characterized by slow, steady, year-round growth, with rapid growth occurring briefly in the spring and fall. Cool season grasses require lots of sunlight, water and soil nutrients to thrive. Kentucky bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass are common cool season grass species.
Warm Season Grass
Warm season grasses grow vigorously during the summer months and become dormant in the cooler winter months. Warm season grasses are found in the southern United States and generally require more maintenance than cool season grasses. St. Augustine, zoysia, centipede, bahia and buffalo grasses are all warm season varieties.