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Lawn weeds

A beautiful lawn not only enhances the appearance of your home, but has many other advantages like preventing soil erosion and providing a welcome environment on which children can play and families relax.


However, invading weeds can spoil the appearance and evenness of lawns.


Below are some common lawn weeds and how to get rid of them.


This is a common perennial weed in South Africa with a strong taproot and a rosette of toothed leaves. It has a hollow, single stem that bears one bright yellow flower. Dandelions are prevalent all year round and young plants are easy to control with post-emergence herbicide, but become more difficult to control once established due to their strong taproots.


Treatment: Spray with a herbicide containing dicamba, 2,4-D or MCPA.


Creeping sorrel

 A lawn weed with slender stems that creep horizontally and trifoliate leaves along the stems. It produces small yellow flowers in clusters of one to six.


Treatment: Spray with a herbicide containing dicamba, 2,4-D or MCPA.


Yellow nut sedge

This weed is widespread throughout South Africa and is very difficult to control. It grows rapidly and reproduces by means of tubers (nuts), rhizomes and seeds. It is a competitive weed and gives off a toxin that suppresses the growth of surrounding plants. Removing the weed by hand is not that effective and the easiest way to eradicate it is by means of a herbicide.


Treatment: Spray with a herbicide containing bendioxide or halosulfuron.


Winter grass

This is common in all areas of South Africa and grows in damp and shady areas. During winter the conditions are ideal for this grass to flourish. Because it grows a lot quicker than other grasses like buffalo or kikuyu, it becomes unsightly, forming patches of bright green grass with small white flowers.


Treatment: Spray with a herbicide containing foramsulfuron or propyzamide


Broadleaf weeds:

There are many broadleaf weeds in South Africa. A lot of people see it as therapeutic to spend hours removing weeds from their lawn by hand, but this is not always the most efficient way. Weeds can be removed most efficiently by using a selective herbicide, which will kill the broadleaf weeds and not your lawn.


Treatment: Use herbicides containing dicamba, 2,4-d or MCPA.


Pre-emergence herbicide:

Refers to herbicide that is applied in early spring and takes action before the weed seeds germinate and start to grow underground.


Post-emergence herbicide:

Refers to herbicide that is applied to perennial weed plants once they have started to grow after seed germination.


Most chemicals are available from hardware stores and nurseries to help you eradicate pests, weeds and diseases, but if your own attempts fail to deliver results, it may be a good idea to get a professional company like Lawn Pro in to help you.


Read about different lawn types, lawn pests and lawn diseases common to South Africa.

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