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Weeds & Lawn Management Problems

Plantain. Photo credit: NC State University

By now weeds are making themselves known in all parts of the garden. Properly identifying them is key to controlling them. In lawns, especially, they can indicate various issues related to improper management practices such as too much nitrogen fertilizer, scalping or mowing too low and heavy compacted soils.

Below is a table of “indicator weeds” that may be present under problematic growing conditions.


Condition Indicator Weeds
Dry Soil Prostrate spurge, yellow woodsorrel, goosegrass, annual lespedeza, prostrate knotweed, plantain
Wet Soil Annual bluegrass, moss, liverwort, rushes, sedges
Compacted Soil Annual bluegrass, annual sedge, annual lespedeza, broadleaf plantain, corn speedwell, goosegrass, prostrate knotweed, prostrate spurge
Low nitrogen Broomsedge, clovers, common speedwell, hawkweed, moss, white clover, crabgrass
Excess nitrogen Annual bluegrass, chickweed, moss, ryegrass
Infrequent mowing Bull thistle, burdock, chicory, smooth bedstraw, sweet clover, wild carrot
Close/frequent mowing Annual bluegrass, chickweed, moss, crabgrass








For more information, contact Buncombe County Cooperative Extension at 255-5522.