Healthy Lawns — Read the Weeds

Read the Weeds

It’s that time of year again for open windows, fresh breezes, chirping birds. And weeds. Lots of weeds, sprouting up overnight.

But did you know that the weeds you have indicate your lawn health? The healthier your soil, the more naturally beautiful your property will be. So before you opt for environmentally unfriendly chemical treatments, that may actually hinder the support of beneficial insects such as butterflies and bees, get to know your weeds. Your lawn (and pets) will thank you.

What are the most common problems your weeds can communicate to you?

  • pH imbalance, meaning your soil is too acidic or too alkaline
  • fertility imbalance, meaning your soil is too rich or too poor
  • soil compaction or crusting
  • moisture imbalance, meaning it’s too wet or too dry

Here are just a few of the common offenders that a landscaping service can help you rectify:


Was your lawn newly planted? Chances are crabgrass has made its way there. Soggy lawns, and conversely, times of drought, are both prime times for crabgrass. Don’t cut your grass too low. You may use corn gluten on established lawns to offset germination.


Chances are you’ve seen this big leafy perennial already. It has big leaves that grow fast and high with a flower stalk. You’ll find them in lawns with bare patches that are acidic or wet. Check your drainage and keep up with the mowing to avoid having to sever the deep root systems of these spindles.


Did you know this pretty yellow flower that attracts kids everywhere is edible? Be careful—they’ll take over your yard. What does this mean? If you don’t rid your lawn of dandelions, they’ll weaken your grass and compete with new seedlings. Also, your soil probably has a calcium deficiency or an excess of potassium.

Dandelions thrive in compacted soil. An aerator will help if compaction is your soil’s problem. Also, try mowing your grass at three inches to shade the leaves and correct your soil’s imbalances and texture

Annual Bluegrass

Lay off the watering of your lawn otherwise you’ll get overrun by these tuft-like grasses. What causes annual bluegrass? Lots of moisture and shade and low mowing height. You may be able to correct the occurrence of annual bluegrass by aerating your lawn. Unlike conventional grass, annual bluegrass thrives in poorly-drained ground.

Prostrate Knotweed

This weed strikes early and quickly. Prostrate knotweed will claim its territory in your lawn before your plants do this spring. Watch out for bare spots again. This low, tenderly plant may disguise itself as grass at first. Don’t be fooled. This weed loves high acidity lawns and compacted soil. Are you starting to see a trend here?