Dandelions, chickweed and plantain. While any of these broadleaf weeds (among others) may be easy to spot throughout your grass, the negative impact they have on your lawn is not always so clear. Broadleaf weeds can be unpleasant in terms of appearance, but they also introduce other problems that can harm lawn health — ones that homeowners may not otherwise see the connection between.
In an effort to paint a clearer picture, we’ve put together this list of lawn issues that can be attributed to broadleaf weeds.
Lack of Nutrients
By nature, broadleaf weeds compete with other plants. As they establish root systems, troublesome weeds are apt to quickly soak up nutrients intended to help your lawn thrive. A lack of nutrients causes lawn health to slowly decline and also creates a breeding ground for insects and disease.
Let’s use dandelions as an example. Often one of the first broadleaf weeds to appear in the spring, dandelions rapidly absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil, leaving other plants starved. And once these root systems are established, weeds will continue to survive even when portions above ground are cut off.
Most grass types require at least a few hours of sun each day to survive. Sunlight helps plants process nutrients that make them stronger and able to withstand stress. This explains why shaded areas of a lawn tend to show more wear from foot traffic than those that grow in the full sun.
When broadleaf weeds pop up in your lawn, they aren’t just competing for nutrients, they are competing for sunlight as well. While most weeds don’t require as much sunlight as other plants, the sunlight they do use is paired with the shade they cast around them. With its large spoon-shaped leaves, plantain can be especially problematic in this respect and give way to thin, weak grass in surrounding areas.
When not kept in check, broadleaf weeds can be very successful in competing with lawns for space. Not only can their presence impact the ability of grass to flourish in these areas, but broadleaf weeds can disrupt lawn health so much so that growth in these areas ceases. And because insects and disease are less familiar with broadleaf weeds, they are less likely to go near these plants and instead focus their attention on what’s already familiar: grass.
In this case, consider chickweed as an example. Combined with the speed at which it spreads, the dense, mat-like growth of this broadleaf weed can dominate lawns in a short time and smother out other grass in the process.
Don’t wait to let broadleaf weeds wreak havoc on your lawn. The team at Weed Pro will help you take a more proactive approach and keep your lawn weed-free all year. Contact your local provider for details.