The same gorgeous weather that attracts so many to the Sunshine State is also attractive to weeds. It seems like the same weeds attack our yards every year. This year, get ready to strike back. Below are some of the worst weeds in Tampa and how to get rid of them.
Crabgrass manages to sneak its way into Florida lawns every spring. If there’s an open spot of ground, you can expect crabgrass to weed its way in. Its seeds germinate every spring and summer, especially in weakened areas where the soil is compact, and the grass is sparse. Fight crabgrass by adjusting your mower’s height. Make sure you’re not mowing too short. Give your soil enough nutrients, so it’s strong enough to fight back. Overseed and aerate your lawn in early spring to crowd out the crabgrass.
If the weed still manages to sneak its way onto your lawn, dig it out at first sight, before the plant can produce seeds. Use a trowel or spade and made sure you get the entire root. Keep in mind, most weed & feed products won’t kill crabgrass, (after all, it is a grass.) A post-emergent made for crabgrass and dandelions can get rid of the crabgrass and prevent it from returning for the season.
This grass sticks out in your yard like a sore thumb. It can grow up to 7 feet tall and spreads quickly by its roots. It’s an invasive species that can crowd out crops and devastate farmland. So imagine what it can do to your nicely manicured lawn and plants. It’s nearly impossible to get rid of since the seeds can live in your soil for up to 10 years. You can control it by using an herbicide and pulling any weeds from the root as soon as you spot them. This will prevent them from reseeding. After pulling this noxious weed, be careful not to toss it on the ground where the seeds will continue o spread. Bag the weeds and throw them out.
This weed can look pretty — until its white, star-shaped flowers take over your yard. Chickweed grows low and has hair, oval-shaped leaves. A good way to get rid of chickweed is to pull up as much as you can. Pull the weeds or use a hoe, but make sure you get all of the plant and its attached roots.
Although ground ivy can add a pleasant aroma to your yard, it can take over your lawn before you know it. This invader can be one of the hardest weeds to get rid of. Ground ivy doesn’t like sunlight, but it does love water. Try trimming back trees, so it can’t find shady spots to spread. Use a trowel and dig out as much as possible before the ivy spreads. Some herbicides will work but check the label carefully. Some products will damage your lawn before they kill the weed. A broadleaf herbicide kills the ivy but leaves your grass intact.
Black medic is usually an indicator that your yard has low nitrogen, which is a common problem in Florida. You may have heard it referred to as clover. Its teardrop-shaped leaves can be hard to get rid of. Since black medic likes compacted soil, aerating your lawn and adding organic material can help get rid of the worst weeds in Tampa.
Remember the best defense is a good offense. Keep your lawn mowed and seeded, and give the weeds less room to sprout.
Want to learn more about lawn care in Tampa? Visit our Tampa Lawn Care page.