Weeds as indicators of other lawn problems (02-20-2006)
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If your lawn is choked with weeds they could be indicators of other lawn problems. Having an understanding of weeds that seem to dominate under certain conditions can help in improving overall turf management.
Goose grass and path rush are indicators of soil compaction. Sedges and kyllinga often predominate in poorly drained soils. High populations of wood sorrel (oxalis) may indicate low soil pH and plantains tend to favor soils with higher soil pH.
Lawns that are deficient of nitrogen often are infested with legumes such as clovers, vetch, or lespedeza. Where there is standing water, algae appears.
Correcting the problems associated with these indicator weeds will greatly improve the competitiveness of the turf and weed problems will be lessened.
Published February 20, 2006
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. email@example.com