If Florida gets bragging rights for anything, it would have to be for how mild our winters are. Actually, our winters are downright pleasant compared to most of the country. While most Americans are bundling up in coats and sweaters, we’re enjoying all that sun. Unfortunately, so are the weeds lurking in our lawns. If you neglect winter weed control as part of your lawn maintenance routine, you might end up with one of these common winter weeds in your turfgrass.
Why Floridians Can’t Skip Weed Control Even In Winter
Hop Clover (Trifolium campestre)
This winter annual has leaves that look similar to white clover, which it’s often mistaken for. The leaves also have prominent veins, short stems, and are reddish in color. The entire plant is covered in hair, and when it flowers, the blooms and yellow and clustered.
Annual Bluegrass (Poa annual)
Unlike broadleaf weeds, annual bluegrass is classified as a grassy weed that loves to grow tall and straight. If left undisturbed, it can easily reach heights of up to 15 inches and will start making seeds in just eight weeks. And because seeds are viable in a matter of days, annual bluegrass will swiftly take over an area if you don’t handle it quickly. The blades of this wild grass are a vibrant green with short blunt ends that look flattened. As if the fast growth cycle wasn’t annoying enough, annual bluegrass loves to lay dormant in lawns for months, so just when you think you’ve tackled the issue, it’ll rear its ugly head again. Fortunately, it responds well to herbicide products.
Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Believe it or not, chickweed hails from the carnation family. It begins to germinate in the fall and creates large matted areas of unwanted plants. However, it can get over a foot tall if you don’t take care of the problem. Look for oval leaves with stems that are thin and hairy. If it produces flowers, they will be small and white with exactly five petals on each flower.
Fireweed (Urtica chamaedryoides)
Fireweed is a common winter annual that often pops up in areas where the land was cleared recently. The name hints at why this weed is so annoying: it’s covered in stingy hairs that will embed in your skin if you touch it. Exposure to these hairs causes severe irritation for several hours. Fireweed has one more trick up its sleeve: the leaves look like strawberry plants. Triangle or heart-shaped, the leaves are blunted and coarsely toothed. The stems are square and between 4 and 20 inches in height. Flowers are spherical and grow in clusters of pale green blooms. Thankfully, fireweed can be wiped out by your lawn care services technician.
Lawn Burweed (Soliva sessilis)
If burning fireweed wasn’t bad enough, lawn burweed will rise to the occasion of the most annoying plant to have in your yard. This broadleaf weed is also known as stickerweed because it creates burs that will stick to your skin and clothing. Another winter annual burweed typically is small and keeps a low profile during the winter. It’s identified by its spiny tips and burs. The leaves are between 1/2 and 1.5″ in length and up to 1/2″ wide. The diameter typically is about six inches. Unlike some other overachiever weeds that grow tall, burweed likes to keep it down to earth – literally. You likely won’t find a plant taller than four inches.
Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Interestingly, henbit comes in both green and purple coloring. Its stems are hairy, its leaves egg-shaped, and it has a robust root system, which means spot treating this weed may not be enough. You’ll need pre-emergent weed control multiple times a year to keep henbit in line. Like other weeds, it’s capable of reaching over a foot in height if you’re not careful. If it hasn’t started flowering in your yard, it may soon and will continue to do so until spring comes. The flowers can be reddish or purple.
Find Lawn Service Near Fort Myers, Florida
Tired of weeds ruining the look of your lawn? We get it. That’s why Land Art Inc. offers a weed control program for customers in Florida. We’re a lawn company with many years of experience, and we’d like to put our expertise to work for you! Take back your yard – call 1-800-336-5296 or leave us a message through our online form here.
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