Prickly weeds in lawns are ones that appear for many reasons, but they can be easily controlled. They usually appear in the most unexpected places, which is why they become invasive.
Lawn weeds can easily be confused with normal garden plants, but what about them makes them unwanted?
Read this article as we take you along the journey and find the answers to your questions.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- What Happens When Prickly Weed in Lawn Grow?
- What Are the Common Types of Prickly Weeds in Lawn?
- How To Get Rid of Prickly Weeds
What Happens When Prickly Weed in Lawn Grow?
If you are walking barefoot and you step on something sharp, it’s a prickly weed. For example, some only prick you when you step on them, while the nasty ones often stick to your body and refuse to let go easily. Always remember, whatever stings, stabs, or pokes need to be removed from your lawn as soon as possible.
Some are tingly, some are painful, and some do not have any painful effects at all. Some are so thorny and scary that you cannot even look at them. These weeds are categorized based on their height, growing preferences, etc.
What Are the Common Types of Prickly Weeds in Lawn?
The common types of prickly weeds in lawn are the lawn bur weed, the spiny sow thistle, the creeping Charlie and the Canada thistle. These are the ones that would grow in your lawn and make a messy feature out of the neatly looking field.
However, there are also different types that would grow as well, which are The Sonchus Asper, Dandelion, Oxalis, Crabgrass, etc. These weeds are often confused with famous plants and are, therefore, left untouched. You should leave them alone if they are not disturbing you or your lawn.
– Lawn Burweed
The lawn burweed is also known as Soliva Sessilis scientifically, and it is mostly found in thin or patchy lawns and can be a real nuisance. It germinates in fall and grows throughout winter, even when the turf is dormant, and then, the weeds produced are buried seed pods, and as soon as spring arrives, the temperature starts to warm up a bit they would grow bigger. This process of producing pods continues all summer.
The most beneficial thing you can do for your lawn is to identify the weeds as early as you notice something unusual growing in your landscape. Lawn burweed is a low-growing thorny weed and has lots of free branches.
This is the type of unwanted weed that is characterized by small grey-green leaves that grow opposite each other and are densely hairy. They produces tiny, less than one-fourth of an inch, flowers that go unnoticed every time.
– Spiny Sowthistle
The spiny sowthristle, is called sonchus asper, and it is not a true thistle and takes the form of a basal rosette resembling thistles. In this case, the weed grows in the part that is cared the least for in the lawn and reaches an alarming height of six feet, but because you won’t pay attention much, it would have the liberty to grow. When growing, it would have prickly flowers and develops flowers from spiky buds, that would feature like an oozing sticky white sap when you cut it.
It has a close resemblance to a spiky dandelion, but in this case, the leaves of both plants look alike, and the spiny plants are a bit more prickly and are a beautiful bluish-green. It is much larger than the dandelion plant but produces similar yellow flowers and the same clump of white seeds.
– Creeping Charlie
The invasive weed was initially brought to the United States for medicinal and ground-covering purposes. But it is now widely used around the globe, and it is also known as ground ivy and cat’s foot and belongs to the mint family.
It has an aggressive growth rate, and if it is not stopped at the right time, it can invade your neighbor’s property, too from your own lawn. The creeping weed lives its best life in moist and shaded areas, and when the conditions are met, they would thrive. It grows to form a dense mat over the common lawn and deprives the grass of basic survival nutrients.
This weed is a hard-to-miss because of its tall height, approximately fifteen inches in length. It has square stems that bear scalloped leaves one to two inches across. Furthermore, the plant blooms blue-violet funnel-shaped flowers in a bunch.
It is a beautiful plant to have around if it is not that invasive, the plant is a source of attraction for beneficial pollinators like butterflies and bees. On the other hand, it is not toxic to people or pets unless consumed in large amounts, because people also use it in their teas to combat colds, headaches, and various kidney problems, but the benefits are not useful when it is eaten raw.
– Canada Thistle
It is an aggressive perennial with a robust root system that produces new shoots one after the other, occupying most of your lawn. Its seedlings merge as rosettes in fall or early spring and bloom from June till August. It mostly grows in the undisturbed areas of a lawn.
The weed is two to five feet tall, the tallest of all. Its leaves are spear-shaped, have an alternate arrangement, and have toothy margins. The stems are mostly smooth but sometimes have hair on them too. It bears pink, purple, and white flowers half an inch across.
How To Get Rid of Prickly Weeds
To get rid of prickly weeds in law, you must pull them out, include a pre-emergent herbicide in your lawn care routine, you can aim to burn them, or to use herbicides in winter. In addition, try to pour some acid on them, or prune them off and mow.
Weeds will always be a part of our lawns and gardens, but you can still control their spread by following a few simple techniques. Weed control can be as simple as identifying the weed at its earliest and then taking the necessary measures.
– Pull Them Out
If you let the weeds grow to the extent that they tower over their neighboring plants, you will have difficulty getting rid of them. Simply, you can pluck them out when they are small and have a weak root system. Make it a habit to stroll through your lawn daily and remove unwanted visitors, whenever you see them, and examine the whole lawn.
If your area is small, you can remove the spiny weed plant by hand, but if the root is deep, then you can dig them out and pull from the roots. Before digging into the plant’s roots, ensure you have protective gear, like goggles, gloves, full skin coverings, and closed shoes.
– Include a Pre-emergent Herbicide
To be safe, if you have successfully pulled them out, spray your lawn with a pre-emergent, so there is less chance of the weeds returning and ruining all of your efforts.
The granules dissolve and penetrate through the soil, creating a barrier around the seeds. This would be very helpful to use in spring, because that is when they are ready to grow so strong.
– Burn Them
The last and ultimate option for garden weeds that remain indifferent to any method is to burn them. You can burn them with a weed burner, easily available everywhere, and this method works best for weeds growing under fences or similar shaded areas.
But before you go ahead, consult your local authorities, as some communities do not allow a burning torch to control weeds, you do not want to do anything that can have different consequences.
– Spray Herbicides in Winter
To create unfavorable growing conditions for the uncomfortable weeds, you must maintain a lush green lawn or turf throughout winter. If you successfully identify it in winter, you can spray your lawn with a post-emergence herbicide throughout the rest of the winter months, including December, January, and February.
The most you can do is rake your turf with protective gloves and plan the course of action for the upcoming winter season. Note that this is a way to stop their growth throughout the rest of the seasons and taking cautions is important.
– Pour Acid
The perfect time to do it is spring before the plant bears flowers. You can also discourage new growth by pouring vinegar around the base of the weed plant.
However, for larger areas, you need something stronger than vinegar, like a glyphosate herbicide, or you can also pour some acid on it, too.
– Proper Pruning or Mowing
The best and most effective way to ensure the creeping weed stays out of your garden is to maintain your lawn’s natural beauty. Since the ivy weed prefers shady spots, prune the overhead branches, exposing them to as much light as possible. You can also aerate your soil to improve its quality and make it difficult for the weed to survive.
Mowing the plant’s stands before the plant flowers is an effective way to control the spread of the weed. You need to be very patient with this method, as the weed is not immediately affected by it. It takes a few tries before you can see the results, and everything will turn out better with an even layered lawn that you will have in the end.
People are intimidated by weeds because of their prickly and stingy nature.
But you do not need to worry as through our article you have learned ways to control them and get rid of them, so let’s sum up the main points:
- Keep your lawn tidy as the weeds grow in the weirdest places. They may be disliked because of their overwhelming invasiveness.
- Weeds love to grow in shady areas, so ensure you keep the overhead branches trimmed.
- Make it a habit to regularly check your lawn for weeds to stop them from growing to an invasive extent.
With these points in mind, we are sure that these weeds, or even the common weeds, can be controlled and, even better, gotten rid of once and for all. All you need to be is remain patient and trust the process, and we promise you will be satisfied.
- Chris Tyson. (May 4, 2015). Ouch! What is that weed in my lawn?. Tattnall County Extension.
Retrieved from https://site.extension.uga.edu/tattnall/2015/05/ouch-what-is-that-weed-in-my-lawn/
- Tiffanee Boone. What Is This Prickly Weed?. NC State University Extension.
Retrieved from https://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/2022/02/what-is-this-prickly-weed/
- Controlling Creeping Charlie, Gleochoma hederaceae. University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Retrieved from https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/controlling-creeping-charlie/