Pesky weeds, every yard has them. Depending on your location, your weeds may be different than mine. Nonetheless, they are unwanted and difficult to control if you are reactive versus proactive. Three common weeds in Spartanburg County, South Carolina are dandelion, crabgrass, and common chickweed.
Dandelions are one of South Carolina’s most persistent and invasive weeds, growing in abundance in lawns, flowerbeds, pastures and orchards. It is identifiable by its single yellow flower on a hollow stem and with a very stout taproot. This weed is a perennial, meaning it dies back in the winter but reappears in the spring. The flower has a milky sap in it when broken. Dandelions are pollinated easily by birds and winds spreading its seeds.
How to control Dandelions
Digging and pulling can be a means to remove dandelions. However they provide a challenge in that their sturdy taproot grows deep and are hard to budge by hand. Try using a narrow bladed shovel and insert it alongside the taproot. Firmly grasp the crown of the plant with one hand as you lever the plant out with the shovel.
Another method for getting rid of dandelions is to use a weed killer product like Scott’s Ortho or Roundup that contains dandelion control herbicides.
If you prefer a biological method of control, sheep and geese have been used to eat the dandelion weeds. Slugs are also known to find the dandelion tasty; therefore they could be used to control your dandelion population.
In South Carolina, the weed crabgrass is very prevalent. It appears annually when spring temperatures reach 50-55 degrees and sticks around all summer unless you are lucky enough to kill it before it starts to germinate. Low growing, crabgrass has many arms spreading from it and it looks for any cracks and crevices to thrive in. A perfect example is a driveway that has cracked asphalt. This is the perfect home for crabgrass. Crabgrass plants are killed by frost, but its seeds are not.
How to control Crabgrass
The best way to kill or control crabgrass is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring before crabgrass seed starts to germinate. If you normally aerate your lawn, do so before applying the pre-emergent. According to landscaping.about.com, the best time to apply the pre-emergent is after the forsythias stop blooming and before the lilac bushes begin blooming. Timing is of the essence if you want to be successful in killing crabgrass seeds. Visit your local Lowe’s or Home Depot to ask about the best pre-emergent to use.
Chickweed, also known as Starwort or Starweed is a common weed in South Carolina. Chickweed grows low to the ground as a dense mat and can smother other plants in the area. It can mature to seed many times a year. Chickweed has small star-like flowers. Its leaves contain a sap-like substance which when crushed and applied to the skin can sooth irritation.
How to control Chickweed
You can reduce chickweed germination by cultivating the ground for several years. You can also apply an herbicide before flowering to deter its growth.
Weeds are a nuisance but can be controlled if you are proactive early in the spring. I personally use the ortho products by Scott. They work well for me.
Getting Rid of Crab Grass | Pictures | How to Kill Crabgrass
Weeds in Lawn – Weed Killers – Ortho – Scotts Miracle-Gro