All gardeners know that weeds can become a great hassle for newly-planted grasses. Some or all of these weeds can find their way into existing Zoysia lawns sometimes even before it comes out of dormancy. When the Zoysia does come up, it will start to crowd out these weeds. Regularly mowing your lawn can eliminate some of these issues. Below, we have provided a list of common weeds with a picture and short description to help you identify what is invading your lawn.
Summer Annual Weeds (Warm Seasons):
- Crabgrass- Seeds germinate from spring to late summer. Mowing the lawn too short can cause this to thrive. It also thrives along the edges of hot surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks. It is known to survive until the first frost of the year.
- Dandelion- This is one of the first plants to bloom in spring and continues to grow all summer long. They can be found almost everywhere, but especially in open ground, disturbed soil, and gardens. They can also be used as a food source if nothing else works.
- Black Medic- This weed grows between June and August. It colonizes dry, infertile spots where little else will grow. Plants stay close to the ground until flowers bloom.
- Ground Ivy– It grows in a sprawling carpet-like mass, putting down roots as it creeps along horizontally. It goes by many names such as Creeping Charlie and Cat’s Foot. Because it grows best in semi-shaded areas and wetlands, ground ivy is not usually an issue in Zoysia. It may come out at certain times of the year in Zoysia whenever a specific area is getting shadier or wetter than usual.
- Wild Violet– Violets bloom between March and May. They normally prefer cooler weather.
Winter Annual Weeds (Cool Seasons):
These weeds normally come up whenever Zoysia enters dormancy. Because the Zoysia is not active at that time, the weeds are able to occupy that area for the time being. When the Zoysia springs back up, it will overtake these weeds.
- Common Chickweed- Seeds germinate from late fall to early spring. It thrives in cool, moist weather. It disappears under high temperature stress.
- White Clover- It grows best during cool, moist weather on well-drained, fertile soils. White clover propagates by seed or creeping stolons which root at the nodes. They are especially difficult to get rid of.
- Buttercup- Reproduction is normally seeds. The plant can be very difficult to control due to its long spidery roots that can re-sprout a new plant if left in the ground. It grows in woodland beds and borders in shade.
- Spurweed- Spurweed becomes a major problem in the landscape in mid-late spring when it flowers and sets fruit that are surrounded by razor sharp spines. There is little that can be done once it has flowered and produced its spines. These weeds should be eliminated with an herbicide if noticed.
- Field Pennycress- Field pennycress may produce from 1600 to 15,000 seeds that scatter readily.
While Zoysia is great at crowding out most summer weeds, it cannot prevent all weeds from getting started. Millions of weed seeds are blown from other lawns and forest areas every year. A few are bound to find some soil in which to start growing. Keeping your lawn mowed regularly will help you control these weeds and have a healthier lawn. Organic and non-organic weed killers can be used as well. Check out this link to our Zoysia safe weed killers; this one helps get rid of crabgrass.