If you’re a lawn care gardener, you will know that chickweed is one of the most persistent weeds to get rid of. You might not realize how much of an issue this weed is, since it grows very slowly and doesn’t produce many seeds like some other weeds do. But, chickweed is an invasive weed that can choke out other plants in your lawn, so you should kill it as soon as you realize you have it.
How can you get rid of chickweed? What are some effective methods for killing chickweed in your lawn? Is there anything else you should be doing to keep this pesky weed out? Read on and find out!
What is Chickweed?
Chickweed, also called Stellaria Media, is a garden weed that you will see in your lawn and other areas. It is a low lying plant with small white flowers. Chickweed is not very tall, so it can be easy to miss on first glance. But, you will see the leaves of chickweed popping up on your lawn constantly, and they’ll grow very quickly if you don’t kill them.
Where And How Does Chickweed Grow?
While Chickweed is native to Europe and Asia and has been used as a medicinal plant or salad greens, it is considered an invasive species in North America. Chickweed can be found growing singularly or in large patches throughout the United States and Canada.
Chickweed likes to grow in open areas like lawns, meadows, grasslands, fields, and waste places.
This pesky weed spreads through seeds and also grows very quickly from runners. The seeds last for years underground before sprouting up, so you might have it in your yard but not know it for a long time.
How Do You Know If You Have Chickweed In Your Lawn?
The first thing to look for when identifying chickweed is the leaves. The leaves will look much like clover and grow from either a single stem or from runners that spread from the plant.
On top of these leaves, chickweed has small five-petal white flowers that look similar to clematis. Chickweed flowers only open during the day, not at night like most other weeds.
Finally, you can also identify chickweed by its seeds. They are small and black with a white hilum (the part where it attaches to the plant). They will fall off of the plant easily when ripe.
How Can You Kill Chickweed?
Chickweed is a weed that is resilient, persistent and difficult to get rid of. Let’s take a look at how you can eradicate it from your yard for good!
First things first, the best way to control chickweed is by keeping up with watering your lawn on a regular basis. This will help prevent the spread of chickweed spores over time. The weed spreads easily and can choke out other plants, so remove as much as you can manually or with a weeding tool. Also, be sure to keep your garden well manicured and healthy.
Killing Chickweed With Chemical Methods
If you want to get rid of chickweed in your lawn, we recommend using organic methods. But if you need a quick fix and don’t have the time or money for an all-natural solution, try chemical treatments like glyphosate (Roundup), 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), Aminopyralid (Milestone) or Sulfentrazone (Authority).
They’re not as effective at killing chickweed but they do work. And remember that no matter what method you choose – be it natural or chemical – make sure to follow up with plenty of water after treatment so the root systems are eliminated and reoccurrence is prevented!
Herbicides like this can be very dangerous or deadly when used incorrectly. Read the instructions on the label and make sure to follow them carefully! Be sure to use all precautions, including protective clothing like gloves, goggles, masks etc. And never eat, drink or smoke while handling these chemicals – they are poisonous!
Killing Chickweed With Organic Methods
The most common way to remove Chickweed is by hand pulling by grasping the chickweed at its base near the soil. Use your fingers or a weeding tool for easy removal.
Pulling can be effective if you remove all of the root systems, but it should only be done when the soil is moist. Otherwise, it might dry out and damage surrounding plants.
Another organic treatment that can help stop the spread of Chickweed is applying White Vinegar directly to the plant’s leaves. Simply soak a rag or sponge in vinegar so it’s dripping, then wipe it on the leaves – do this up to five times a week to kill Chickweed.
You can also pout boiling water on it a few times a day, again for a few weeks until all of the weed has disappeared. These methods may take some time to work, but they will eventually produce results in the effort to rid your lawn of this pesky weed!
You can also use organic weed-killing options like corn gluten meal or dish soap mixed with water to kill off any living weeds in your garden before they have time to flower and produce more seeds. Products like corn gluten meal will inhibit weed seeds from sprouting and is readily available at most garden centers.
How Can You Prevent and Control Chickweed In The Future?
One thing that many people don’t realize is that by fertilizing your grass properly, you can actually help deter these types of weeds from growing up through the blades. By aerating your soil as well, you can help keep your grass healthy and also prevent further growth of the weed.
Lastly, keep your grass clippings out of sight so they don’t provide food for future weeds! You may not be able to get rid of chickweed completely, but you can definitely do your best to prevent it from growing back every year.
Don’t let Chickweed take over your lawn! Chickweed not only ruins a beautiful yard, it can also damage grass and other plants. So keep up with the proper watering and fertilizing methods, plus stay on top of manual or chemical removal.
Now that you know how to identify it and what methods are best for killing this weed, you can properly take care of your lawn so it will look great year round!