Saturday, November 03, 2007

Lawn Weeds

Two obnoxious weeds have invaded our lawn in the last few years. They are described in Penn State’s “Weed Management in Turf” publication as follows.

Nimblewill (Muhlenbergia schreberi)

Nimblewill is a blue-green perennial grass that is common in Pennsylvania lawns during summer. It spreads over existing turf by stolons and forms dense patches. Leaf blades have a medium texture (about ¼ inch wide) and are short (1½ to 2 inches) with leaf tips tapering to an abrupt point. The stems are long, slender, and wiry with prominent nodes. Ligules are short, membranous, and jagged. The leaf blades have long hairs at the margins but do not possess auricles. Seedheads are long, slender, and inconspicuous. Nimblewill grows rapidly during the warm summer months and turns brown or tan in winter.

Ground ivy (Glecoma hederacea)

Ground ivy is a low-growing, creeping, perennial broadleaf weed. Leaves are oppositely arranged on stems and are round or kidney-shaped with scalloped margins. The upper leaf surface has distinct veins and is sparsely hairy. Stems are square, creeping, and long. Ground ivy produces nodes that root at leaf and stem axils and that can form new stolons. Flowers are blue or purple and trumpet-shaped. This weed is most common in shaded areas, but it can also grow in full sun.

Penn State web sites contain information to help a homeowner deal responsibly with their lawn and

Turfgrass serves many purposes - earth cooling, open space, a playground, an athletic field, a filter, to reduce soil erosion, to increase property value, a frame for your flower or vegetable garden - among others.

With good lawn care management, some patience, and a little common sense and we won’t end up polluting the earth with chemicals. Every expert recommends taking a soil sample (see September 29, 2007 post). That way you can be sure to add only the fertilizers or herbicides (either organic or chemical) that the lawn can use.

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