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St George Landscaping, Masonry and Excavation

Getting Rid Of Clover, Crabgrass, and Dandelions

Crabgrass

You go to a nursery and pick out just the right the variety of grass for a luxuriant lawn. Next, you carefully lay the sod, or have a local landscaping company do so, and care for your fledgling turf until it takes off. Then it’s onto the balancing act characteristic of landscaping in Southern Utah, watering in a way that keeps your grass green without being wasteful.

It’s a considerable effort that yields satisfaction when you see your children playing on your lawn or you walk barefoot on that crinkly green carpet. So it can be disheartening when you see another species take hold in your turf, whether it’s a weed or a plant that’s so invasive it may as well be. Three of the most common lawn weeds in the St. George area are crabgrass, dandelions, and clover. If you want to get rid of them, each requires its own approach.

Clover

Clover, more specifically white clover, is deemed lucky in Irish lore. It’s actually a legume but when it overruns carefully cultivated turf, it’s viewed as a lawn weed.

Clover

In Defense Of Clover

Before you put the kibosh on clover, it’s only fair to talk about this plant’s benefits. Among its finer qualities, clover attracts pollinators like butterflies and bees. Visits from the latter are a good thing if you are aiming to mitigate the honeybee crisis. It should be noted, however, that having clover in your yard raises the risk of getting stung.

Clover draws nitrogen from the air and deposits it in the earth—providing nutrients to itself and surrounding plants—so it can help naturally fertilize your lawn. Clover also demands less care to stay green than grass, because it needs less water and is disease- and insect-resistant.

If you want these benefits but prefer a closely manicured lawn, you might consider introducing microflower. It flowers less prolifically than white clover, has a more uniform appearance and spreads eagerly.

Getting Rid Of Clover

One way to get rid of clover in your lawn is to encourage the grass to thrive. Think of it as a footrace: grass against clover. Feed your lawn with an organic fertilizer and it will help the grass keep up and, hopefully, advance past self-fertilizing clover.

You can also alter your mowing habits to suit your grass. When you mow your lawn below three inches, clover does just fine while grass get stressed. So consider giving your grass a hand-up by mowing higher. You can also get to the root of the problem by using a weedkiller. Make sure you’re giving your lawn enough water before taking this route, though, because weedkiller can destroy dry grass.

If you notice bare spots in your lawn after killing off clover, you can spur new lawn growth by plugging, sprigging or overseeding your preferred turfgrass.

Crabgrass

Crabgrass is, as its name implies, a form of grass that thrives in warm temperate regions. Because it tends to run amuck in turf, it’s considered a lawn pest. It grows low to the ground in clumps, with coarse stems radiating outward like a crab’s legs.
Crabgrass

Crabgrass seeds sprout in the spring and it grows enthusiastically in hot, dry conditions. It lives only a year before dying off in fall but each plant can produce some 150,000 seeds, just waiting for spring to germinate.

Getting Rid of Crabgrass

One of the best ways to defend your lawn against crabgrass is maintaining a healthy lawn, because it sets root in bare and unhealthy patches of your turf. You can encourage your preferred turf by watering properly, mowing high, fertilizing and by plugging, sprigging or overseeding anywhere it’s gotten thin.

If crabgrass has already gained a foothold, you can use a pre-emergent herbicide. It prevents seed germination and root development in crabgrass. Because pre-emergents also inhibit the germination and growth of lawn seed, you’ll want to wait a couple of months before overseeding in the areas you’ve applied it.

You need to use crabgrass preventer before the seeds germinate in spring. Once crabgrass sprouts have emerged, you need to use a selective herbicide aimed at killing weeds while allowing your lawn to flourish.

Dandelions

The dandelion has some dandy qualities. Its flowers are a bright, cheery yellow and the entire plant is edible. Once the bloom dries, that distinctive white ball emerges—chock-full of seeds, each attached to a parachute and ready to glide in the wind.

Dandelions
Children love to blow on dandelions to send the seeds floating into the air. It’s even said that if you make a wish just before doing so, it’ll come true.

Getting rid of dandelions

But what if your greatest wish is to have a luxuriant green lawn, unbroken by weeds? Yes, dandelions are weeds, and tenacious ones.

Dandelion seeds germinate with little effort and take hold quickly. You can’t remove them as easily as many weeds, because if you leave their deep tap roots, they’ll simply grow new leaves. If you want to nip this plant in the bud, you should eradicate your dandelions before they bloom, seed and take flight.

You can do so by hand, using a garden implement to help you lift out the entire plant, including its root system. You can also use a broadleaf weed killer designed to get rid of pesky growth without harming your lawn.

If you want help eradicating weeds or cultivating a beautiful new lawn—whether comprised of grass, clover or artificial turf—the experts at Stone Tree Landscaping are ready to help you. Contact us for a free estimate.

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