Managing tough perennial weeds
Florida Betony, Virginia buttonweed, pennywort, Dallisgrass and several other perennial broadleaf and grassy weeds have invaded many homeowners’ lawns and flowerbeds. Without an understanding of the biology and growth habits of these weeds, most homeowners have little success in controlling them once they have gotten a stronghold in their landscape.
The key to managing such aggressive and invasive species is to be diligent in scouting for their initial encroachment and taking action before they become so widespread that moving may be the only option of escape. This includes being very careful when purchasing or swapping plant material such as sod or ornamentals to be sure it is free of these weeds.
In the lawn, we still have effective chemicals that can applied to control most of these weeds, but once they encroach into flowerbeds it often comes down to physically pulling them out by hand. For most of these weeds this is only a temporary fix as underground tubers, roots, etc. quickly sprout new shoots with even a thicker density than before.
Learn to identify such weeds. If you don’t recognize a new one you discover, pull it up and have someone identify it for you. Develop a strategy for controlling weeds in your landscape that includes both pre-emerge and post emerge herbicides, but most importantly maintain a good sanitation program.
Extension publications Weed Control Guidelines for Mississippi and Establish and Manage Your Home Lawn will assist you in selecting herbicides to help control these weeds. These along with several other lawn and landscape care publications can be downloaded from this Web site.
Published April 2, 2007
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. firstname.lastname@example.org