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Summer Annual Weeds

Posted by Nate Bahler on Jun 29, 2021 12:28:43 PM
Nate Bahler

Some customers ask us why they have weeds in the Summer if we have already treated their lawns for weeds in the Spring. Treating weeds is an ongoing process. Why? Because there are different generations of annual weeds. 

Summer annual weeds can be difficult to manage in the Northeast because they are suited to thrive in many of the same conditions that cool season grasses thrive in. 


What are Annual Weeds?

Annual weeds are plants that sprout from seed and grow for a single year then die. Annual weeds reproduce by leaving behind many seeds that can germinate the following year. 

Annual weeds can be spread by self-seeding (the plant reproducing) or the seeds can be carried and spread by animals or by sticking to our clothing. Annual seeds remain dormant until the proper conditions are present the following season. 

Summer Annual Weeds common to the Northeast:

  • Purslane: a summer annual weed that can produce up to 200,000 seeds per year, making it difficult to control. 
  • Oxalis: also known as yellow wood sorrel and can sometimes be confused with clover. 
  • Spurge: grows from a central root system and can thrive in compacted soil. 
  • Nutsedge: an aggressive, bright, yellow/green weed. 
  • Crabgrass: each crab grass plant will produce up to 150,000 seeds.  While some people aren’t bothered by grab crass because it ‘looks’ like grass - what we have to remember  is that it dies every year.  If you let crabgrass take over your lawn, you will be left with a bare lawn. 


Summer Annual Weed Prevention and Maintenance:

  • Mow high.  This allows grass to form a strong root system.  The stronger your grass, the less room it allows for weeds to grow. 
  • Feed your lawn - feeding your lawn with a fertilization program helps it remain thick so it crowds out many common summer weeds.  Fertilization programs will incorporate weed control. 

Bottom Line:  Whether it's you or a lawn care company taking care of your lawn and more weeds keep coming up after you have already treated for weeds - don’t beat yourself up! You’re not doing anything wrong, it’s just a different generation of weeds passing through.

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