One can battle common weeds with or without success. Battling with success is, in large part, due to proper identification and treatment. Following are common weeds that become a problem in the Southeast::
• White Clover
• Wild Violet
Chickweed is an annual weed which reseeds prolifically. It can take over flowerbeds and gardens and invade thin spots of turf. Kill this type of weed before it is able to produce seed.
White clover is a winter perennial member of the legume family which spreads by its above-ground runners. It can destroy the aesthetic value of a lawn by invading thin spots. Pulling this weed may actually encourage spread if the runner is not completely removed.
Plantain weeds are perennial, broad-leafed and an invasive disturbance in many Southern lawns and gardens. These are said to have positive medicinal affects, however, that is likely not your concern when they are disrupting the growth of your lush lawn.
Wild violet is a somewhat attractive specimen when in bloom, but its prolific spread drastically decreases any beauty in the flowerbed.
Weed Prevention Strategies
A reliable strategy for killing some common weeds is to treat them before they emerge and become a problem. This can be accomplished with pre-emergent treatment, whether chemical or organic. Corn gluten based products are effective, but they also prevent the return of often-wanted annuals, such as cleome and marigold.
Direct suppression of any weed includes chemical sprays, physical and biological control. This will take care of the problem temporarily, but may damage plant material that is nearby.
Indirect suppression of common weeds includes design/redesign of the problem area, habitat modification and horticulture control. This is the most effective means of killing weeds and keeping the invasive specimens away from our valued flowers, edibles and turf grass.
Weeds grow from seeds. If the seed does not have what it needs to grow (sunlight), there will be no infestation. Seeds may be deprived of light by a technique called competitive planting. This involves plant material placed closely together, in masses. The wanted plant material can shade out weed seeds, stopping them from sprouting. A covering of mulch or pine needles may also be used to stop sunlight from reaching the seeds
Keep in mind it is not possible to kill all weeds and that some weeds are desirable. Consider other options before resorting to chemical control.
The Gardener’s Guide to Common Sense Pest Control
http://www.weedalert.com/weed_listing/southern_weeds/wa_weed_listing.htm accessed 4-25-2010
http://www.moscowfood.coop/archive/VinegarKillsWeeds.html accessed 4-27-2010