Chickweed can be a nuisance around a garden when you are trying to have a clean looking lawn.
If left unattended it can become quite invasive and will take over a lawn when given a chance. It can be hard to control, but it is possible when you go about it in the right way.
Here, we will take a look at what it is and how we can control chickweed problems, so it doesn’t ruin your garden.
You can quickly see the effects it can have from the many chickweed pictures, and how it can destroy a good garden.
What is Chickweed
Chickweed spreads across North America and is one of those uninvited garden guests. The most common of chickweeds Stellaria Media is the one most gardeners have to deal with. There are many other varieties such as:
- Ageratum conyzoides – Chickweed.
- Cerastium – Mouse-ear chickweed.
- Holosteum – Jagged chickweed.
- Moenchia – Upright chickweed.
- Paronychia – Chickweed.
- Stellaria pro parte – Chickweed
The variety we will be dealing with is recognizable by looking at chickweed images where you can see its small white flowers that are star-shaped, and with pairs of green leaves and stems.
The chickweed seeds sprout in the fall, and fall or early spring is the best time to deal with this shallow root bearing weed.
Chickweed is edible and is often used to feed chickens or livestock, but this is no reason to let it grow and take over your precious lawn.
Once it takes root, it will grow and form dense bunches and never really rises above two inches in height.
It does prefer moisture-rich soil but can thrive in most soil types and in any conditions. To show how invasive it can become, one single plant can produce around eight-hundred chickweed seeds in one season.
If this wasn’t enough to make it difficult to control, the chickweed plant can also spread by sprouting new roots from nodes that are on its stem. With this in mind, there are specific ways in which to rid your lawn of this weed.
How Can I Get Rid of Chickweed?
Although there are numerous types of chickweed, the two types which cause the main problems are the common chickweed, and also a perennial species called Mouse-ear chickweed. The common chickweed variety being the easiest to control.
Both types have shallow roots, but because new plants can grow from the stems, you will need to follow set methods on how to kill chickweed.
One of the best defenses of lawn weed control, and against a chickweed infestation is to keep a lawn which is thick and lush. This means you will need to feed your garden on a regular basis, and would be around four times per year. Along with this would be the mowing of your lawn at a set height so it is thick and tall and can overbear the sprouting chickweed.
One other way to maintain your lawn if it is prone to chickweed is to prevent overwatering and to keep it on the drier side.
Most lawns only require one inch of water per week, so you limit what you spray onto your grass, and also keep an eye on the weather in case mother nature decides to do the watering for you.
Removing Chickweed in Garden Areas
Because continuous weeding can be tiresome and somewhat not very effective, it will be down to chemicals as the best way which you can kill chickweed. Many people reach for common weed killer, but this isn’t the ideal solution.
However, with these two methods, there are types you can use, and each will have an effect not just on the chickweed, but they can also affect the remainder of your lawn like a lot of weed killers which will kill all they are sprayed onto.
Applying Pre-Emergent Lawn Control
These pre-emergent weed killers need to be used in a specific way, and at a particular time.
If you decide to seed your lawn in the fall, this type of chemical will not only stop chickweed from sprouting, but it will also prevent your grass seeds from germinating.
If you head down this route, it should ideally be early September when you sow your grass seeds, and then the pre-emergent compound should only be added once you have had the chance to mow your grass three times, or waited for a period of two months before spraying this lawn weed.
How to Use Post-Emergent Chemicals
This post-emergent chemical is a broad-leaf weed killer and will be marketed under many names. When searching always check they explicitly state they kill chickweed. Most of them use certain chemicals in their composition.
If you use this type, you should treat the problem areas first. Like the other type, you need to wait until your grass is established before applying, or your seeds won’t germinate.
Both of these weed killers have their uses, but in a proactive approach, it is better to use the first option.
For this to be the most effective, you need to apply it to your lawn areas before the star chickweed has a chance to germinate.
This would be in early September. Because of this, you would only sow your new grass seed in the following spring, but because of this late sowing, your lawn won’t be as fully established once the summer comes.
Although there is a trade-off between a later developing lawn and no chickweed, it can be a price which is worth paying due to the reduced amounts of effort required in controlling these annual weeds.
Getting rid of chickweed this way saves any weeding because you can cover the entire lawn rather than only small patches.
It should be noted that no matter how many precautions you take, a chickweed-free lawn isn’t guaranteed every year.
There is still the wind, and birds which can carry seeds into your garden, but you will see a significant reduction in the amount of chickweed in your garden.