A Guide to the Most Common Lawn Weeds

A Guide to the Most Common Lawn Weeds

lawn weedsWeeds may be green, but they are plants growing where they’re not wanted within your lawn.

Weeds can take any form and can vary depending on where they grow and typically produce large numbers of seeds, assisting their spread.

Unfortunately, weeds are often excellent at surviving and reproducing and are commonly the first plants to colonise and dominate.

In our full guide below, myhomeTURF offers lawn lovers a comprehensive guide that helps identify Common Lawn Weeds and gives guidance on prevention, control & best herbicides to use.

 

WINTER GRASS

About the weed

Winter Grass is a widespread weed problem throughout Australia and is more prevalent in winter and spring.

Winter Grass is characterised by its prolific seed production which makes it hard to manage.

If seeds appear, they are quick to germinate, and it is more than likely you will have Winter Green in your lawn again the following year.

The Winter Grass weed is a pale green colour with smooth leaves and has a white cotton-like root zone.

While Winter Grass is easy to remove my hand, as there is so much of it often it grows back.

Control

There are two methods of controlling Winter Grass –post-emergent and pre-emergent herbicide control.

Post-emergent control is when you selectively poison out the Winter Grass weed after it germinates (for example, during the autumn and winter months).

The most important thing is to apply the post-emergent control exactly as directed. The herbicide can take a considerable amount of time to work, anywhere from between two weeks and two months.

If the post-emergent is applied too late into the winter, it can be hard to get a result.

Pre-emergent control works on the basis that you control the seed before it germinates which is an easier way to manage the problem. Application is usually going into winter.

myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Oxadiazon.

myhomeTURF suggests using OxaFert, a combination fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert, which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

SHOP NOW

CROWSFOOT GRASS

About the weed

Crowsfoot Grass is a hardy annual weed that grows during spring, summer and autumn.

It is a tufted, short-lived, grass with spreading of semi-upright stems growing up to 60cm tall.

Crowsfoot has leaf sheaths that are prominently keeled with a membranous structure (5cm to 10cm long) at the base of the leaf blade.

Its narrow leaf blades (3cm to 35cm long and 30cm to 80cm wide) are mostly hairless.

Crowsfoot Grass has seed-heads with 1-15 branches (3.5cm to 15.5cm long) that radiate outwards from the same point.

Numerous flower spikelets (35cm to 70cm long) are densely arranged along the seed-head branches.

Crowsfoot grows in all soil conditions and can survive in heavily compacted areas where Couch grass won’t grow and may survive for more than a year in climates not subject to frost

This low-growing weed is capable of setting seed even when closely mown.

​Control

For the control of Crowsfoot, myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Oxadiazon.

myhomeTURF suggests using OxaFert, a combination fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert, which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

SHOP NOW

CRABGRASS

About the weed

Crabgrass is one of the worst lawn weeds in the world, and when found the homeowner should never hesitate in removing or killing it as soon as possible.

Due to the severity of Crab Grass weed and how fast it can spread, it simply must not be ignored.

Crabgrass is easily known by most people, it is most noticeable by its wide leaf blade and grass-like appearance.

This grass, however, will send out tough stems with fingers of seed heads at its tips. Crabgrass will become most prominent when it’s leaf blades grow faster than the surrounding lawn and when it reaches out and become taller than the other turf.

The seed production of Crabgrass is extremely prolific. Every season, a single weed can send out thousands of seeds, so it’s easy to see how it can quickly spread and take-over and ruin an entire lawn.

​Control

Ongoing control of Crabgrass involves regular year-round lawn mowing which will aid in constantly removing new weed seeds as they are produced and before they mature.

If you need to use a herbicide, myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Oxadiazon.

myhomeTURF suggests using OxaFert, a combination fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert, which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

SHOP NOW

OXALIS WEED

About the weed

Oxalis can appear like a miniature clover plant, but it bears tiny yellow flowers.

Some gardeners occasionally grow Oxalis for groundcover but for most of us it is an annoying weed.

Oxalis is a perennial weed, which spreads through interlocking rhizomes that are easy to break apart, these rhizomes eventually produces tiny bulbils.

The seeds of Oxalis are prolific and ejected when ripe from tiny seed pods that look like mini okra.

Anywhere the stem touches the ground the Oxalis weed can root, potentially producing more and more plants.

Oxalis also forms a fleshy taproot and an extensive branching root system which can make it challenging to manage.

Control

Hand removal can be done but it is slow and laborious, and it may take several seasons to remove the Oxalis from your lawn.

For the control of Oxalis, myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Oxadiazon.

myhomeTURF suggests using OxaFert, a combination fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert, which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

SHOP NOW

SUMMER GRASS 

About the weed

Summer Grass is a common fast-growing weed, found Australia-wide, that sends out shoots in all directions from its centre during conditions of high heat and humidity.

Summer Grass spreads prolifically through its stolons, with stems that can be brown or red in colour and thin grey-green leaves with fine spiky seed heads that shoot upwards. 

When first noticed in your lawn, Summer Grass should be removed immediately by hand as it competes with your turf for nutrients and growing space.

Summer Grass goes to seed during autumn and if not controlled re-emerges the next year.

Competition is greatest from Summer Grass when it is thin and open, the mowing height is incorrect and light frequent irrigations are applied.

Control

Once Summer Grass appears it is hard to control so prevention is the key and feeding your lawn with fertiliser will assist.

Therefore, for the control of Summer Grass, myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Oxadiazon.

myhomeTURF suggests using OxaFert, a combination fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert, which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

SHOP NOW

MULLUMBIMBY COUCH

About the weed

Mullumbimby Couch grows year-round and is a mat-forming grass-like plant with long underground runners and upright flowering stems measuring up to 40cm in height.

The weed has tough long, rhizomes which are red to purple in colour and stems that are triangular in cross-section.

Mullumbimby Couch has bright green leaves (10cm to 30cm wide) that are hairless and sheath the stem at the base.

Its pale green seed-heads (60cm to 70cm long) have three or four green leafy bracts at the base and contain numerous small flower spikelets which appear throughout spring and summer.

Mullumbimby Couch has ‘seeds’ yellow to reddish-brown in colour. 

Conducive growing conditions for Mullumbimby Couch occur when there is excessive soil moisture and humidity.

Mullumbimby Couch is a member of the Sedge family and can quickly colonise areas of the garden by setting seed and underground rhizomes.

Control

Control of Mullumbimby Couch is difficult. You can use a spade to remove the weed but ensure that no roots or bulbs are left in the soil or it will reappear.

Alternately for the control of Mullumbimby Couch, myhomeTURF recommends a selective herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Halosulfuron-methyl.

myhomeTURF suggests using Indigo Halo-Force, a selective herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Indigo Halo-Force 750WG 25gm

Indigo Halo-Force 750WG 25gm is a dry flowable granule Herbicide that disperses in water and can be used for selective post-emergence control of Mullumbimby Couch in your lawn. Suitable for KikuyuCouch and Buffalo grasses. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

SHOP NOW

NUT GRASS

About the weed

Nut Grass is a long-lived grass-like plant that is a member of the Sedge family and can be found in your lawn year-round.

The weed usually grows to about 20cm to 50cm in height and produces a network of creeping underground stems with small tubers (100cm to 250cm long).

Nut Grass has upright flowering stems that are smooth and three-angled in cross section.

The weed has very narrow leaves (7cm to 20cm long and 20cm to 60cm wide) which are borne in a tuft at the base of the stems.

Its seed heads have three to eight branches that vary in length (up to 10cm long) and are supported by two to four green leafy bracts.

The easiest way to distinguish Nut Grass is through the branches which have several elongated reddish-brown or purplish-brown flower spikelets (100cm to 250cm long and 20cm to 25cm wide).

Control

Nut Grass control is very similar to that of Mullumbimby Couch and is also difficult to control.

A spade can be used to remove the weed but ensure no roots or bulbs are left in the soil or it will reappear.

Alternately for the control of Nut Grass, myhomeTURF recommends a selective herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Halosulfuron-methyl.

myhomeTURF suggests using Indigo Halo-Force, a selective herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Indigo Halo-Force 750WG 25gm

Indigo Halo-Force 750WG 25gm is a dry flowable granule Herbicide that disperses in water and can be used for selective post-emergence control of Mullumbimby Couch in your lawn. Suitable for KikuyuCouch and Buffalo grasses. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

SHOP NOW

PASPALUM

About the weed

Paspalum is one of the most difficult weeds to control and predominantly found in the south-eastern states of Australia.

It is a long-lived tufted grass growing up to 1.5m tall with slightly folded leaf blades at the base which are usually hairless.

Paspalum’s seed-heads are borne at the tips of upright flowering stems and have 2-11 branches (2.5cm-11cm long) that are alternatively arranged along a main stalk.

Each Paspalum seed-head branch bears numerous small flower spikelets that are covered with hairs.

Paspalum mainly grows throughout the warmer months from late spring to autumn.

The weed prolifically spreads through its sticky seeds which easily grasp onto pets and shoes before been relocated.

Control

Like with most weed control, removing by hand is the best method as long as the entire plant and roots are removed.

Alternately for the control of Paspalum, myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Prodiamine.

myhomeTURF suggests using Barricade, a herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Barricade 1L

Barricade 1L is a pre-emergent liquid herbicide that controls a wide range of weeds and is suitable for use on ZoysiaKikuyuBuffalo and Couch grasses. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

SHOP NOW

DANDELION WEEDS

About the weed

Dandelions have green leaves edged with teeth’ that grow mostly flat to the ground and are distinguished by their bright yellow flowers that fade to form a white puffball.

They appear in spring and autumn in lawns that aren’t as full and healthy as they could be.

Above-ground, Dandelion seeds ride the wind currents, and drop into the slightest opening in your lawn and propagate.

Below-ground, the Dandelion weed lays down a taproot up to 25cm long however, pulling the taproot as a means of removal is problematic.

The Dandelion’s thick, brittle roots easily split, and any fraction left behind will regenerate.

Control

With careful digging and pulling the Dandelion weed can be removed by hand.

Using post-emergence herbicides (referred to as broadleaf weed control) are the most effective dandelion killers that are safe for lawns. The Common Active Ingredient 2,4-D is an example of a selective and systemic post-emergent herbicide.

myhomeTURF recommends a post-emergence herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

WHITE CLOVER

About the weed

White Clover is a classic three-leaf clover with bright green leaves adorned with white crescent shapes.

It appears from spring through to autumn and usually in thin lawns with nutrient-poor soil.

White Clover grows in a creeping manner and will develop roots wherever a stem node touches the ground.

The flowers on White Clover are spiky and white with a brownish green centre.

Control

If White Clover is established in your lawn you can start by hand removal.

However, if White Clover is prolific throughout your lawn then a pre or post-emergent herbicide is recommended but first check with your Local Garden Centre to ensure it is suitable for your lawn type.

It is important to note that killing White Clover weed is easy but killing the White Clover seed is not.

White Clover has seeds that can survive high heat, low temperatures and can stay dormant for years before germinating.

Therefore, be prepared to hand weed or, myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Oxadiazon.

myhomeTURF suggests using OxaFert, a combination fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert, which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

SHOP NOW

BINDI WEED

About the weed

Bindi Weed is a broadleaf winter annual that is also known as Lawn Burweed and Spurweed.

It is a very invasive, low growing weed that produces bur-like fruit that poses a hazard to humans and animals due to their sharp edges.

The weed evolves during winter and develops carrot-like leaves, during spring it produces a single flower that matures to form a prickly seed pod with three spines.

Control

The best time to remove Bindi Weeds is during late winter or spring.

If you only have a small amount of Bindi in your lawn, then hand removal is suitable if you remove the plant along with the roots.

If your lawn is rife with Bindi, then myhomeTurf recommends a Broadleaf Weed Herbicide with the Common Active Ingredients of Clopyralid, Diflufenican and Potassium Salt.

myhomeTURF suggests using Bow & Arrow, a Broadleaf herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

For more information see our specific article about Controlling Broadleaf Weeds

Additional Articles that you may be interested in:

Buffalo Weed Grass Killer

Buffalo Grass Weed Killing Program

Bow and Arrow 500mL

Bow and Arrow 500mL is one of the most effective broadleaf liquid herbicides on the market. Suitable for ZoysiaKikuyuCouch and Buffalo grasses however transient discolouration may occur on Kikuyu, Carpet and Queensland Blue Couch lawns. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

SHOP NOW

How to Get Rid of Lawn Weeds Manually

The trick to preventing weeds from taking hold is to keep your lawn in good condition with a solid lawn care routine.

However, if you do find yourself in the position where you want to remove weeds from your lawn yourself, always remove seed heads from weeds and take care when digging them out to remove all of the roots. Watch our helpful video below for advice.

Free Lawn Guide

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive your free guide.

View our Privacy policy
Seasonal

See More Articles About:

Share Article:

Related Articles

How to remove White Clover from your lawn

White Clover is easily recognisable from its smooth trifoliate leaves but once established can require patience to beat. A hardy, herbaceous perennial plant that tolerates ...

Read More
Chickweed

Controlling Chickweed in your lawn

There are several types of Chickweed, a common herbaceous plant, that prefers cool, damp shady sites and can quickly take hold in your lawn during winter. Mouse-ear Chickweed ...

Read More

Removing Sedge Grass from your lawn

There are hundreds of sedges in the genus Cyperus, which is found in both tropical and warm temperate environments across the world. Some Sedge Grass is grown as ornamentals ...

Read More
Dandelion Weed

Dandelion Weed removal from your lawn

Dandelions are a perennial herb that gardeners either love or hate. Some people loathe Dandelion Weed with a passion because it can reappear in lawns year after year, despite ...

Read More
Crowsfoot Grass

Controlling of Crows Foot Grass from your lawn

Crows Foot Grass is a common weed of lawns, gardens, parks, footpaths and roadsides. It was recently ranked in the top 200 environmental weeds in south-eastern Queensland and ...

Read More

Ridding Mullumbimby Couch from your lawn

Mullumbimby Couch is one of the hundreds of sedges in the genus Cyperus, which is found in both tropical and warm temperate environments across the World. Some Sedge Grass is ...

Read More
Summer Grass

Ridding Summer Grass from your lawn?

Summer grass is a common invasive annual grass that also goes by the name crabgrass. Not surprisingly, Summer Grass seeds germinate when temperatures begin to rise above 20 ...

Read More

How to remove Soursob from your lawn?

Also known as Sour Grass, Bermuda Buttercup and Creeping Oxalis, Soursob is an extremely annoying fast-spreading weed. Soursob is sometimes confused with Clover – they have ...

Read More

Identifying and Removing Onion Weed from your Lawn

The bulb of an Onion Weed plant gives off an onion-like scent when crushed or cut and an outbreak can be enough to make any lawn-lover cry. A perennial, Onion Weed has been ...

Read More
Nut Grass

Nut Grass – Identification and Control

Nut Grass is an annoying fast-spreading long-lived perennial lawn weed that grows from underground tubers. A member of the sedge family – other names are nut sedge, coco grass ...

Read More