Asked October 11, 2019, 1:22 PM EDT

This year for the first time we had weeds/grass growing in an area they never grew before. We didn't plant grass seeds in these areas. The first picture is or an area where we had an overgrown Burning Bush that we removed. The second picture is nearby the first area. I would hand weed these areas and within a couple weeks, the weeds are back. Do you know how I can control these weeds? I don't know if I'll be doing anything in these areas yet this year. Ellen Boisvert

Calhoun County Michigan

5 Responses

Hello Ellen,

Weeds seeds lie dormant in soil for years and then germinate when conditions of light and moisture are right. This is what happened when your shrub was removed, coupled with this years consistent rainfall over the spring and summer.

Weed seeds continuously disperse thorough our environment by birds dropping seed, wind, and somewhat by insects moving them through soil.

Once weeded, bare soil needs a thick mulch to discourage more germination. Mulch with shredded wood, wood chips or other mulch at least two inches deep- up to 4 inches deep. Deeper is better. Check mulch depth each spring and apply more as needed.

Weeds coming from seed can also be stopped using a pre-emergent type chemical labeled for use in garden beds such as trifluralin. Preen is one brand name. These chemicals have a life span of several weeks, sometimes more, and need to be re-applied. Read the product label for how long to wait before applying again.

Your picture shows several weeds, and some sort of grass or possibly a grass type weed called nimblewill.

Here are good pictures of various weeds and their control options in turf-


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Thanks for replying. Makes sense that disturbing the ground aided the weeds in growing where the a Burning Bush was. We have so many weeds here that I don’t know the name of. Weeding after a nice soaking from rain helps in pulling of the weeds.

It’s just a mystery where this grass type weeds came from, that’s why I asked what the weed was. Never had many weeds before in these areas.

Where the stones are I don’t want to put mulch.

Guess I’ll get a pre-emergent next year for these 2 areas. I’ve been avoiding using weed killer as much as possible but at 74 yrs old I’m tired of the weeding, LOL.

Our house is about 70 ft by 40 ft and we have mulch around the house with plants and flowers in among the mulch. This area is the last area I need to work on to scale back some of the outdoor work.

Ellen Boisvert

Very understandable Ellen. A somewhat effective organic pre-emergent is corn gluten meal, and it is sold in garden centers and online. You may try that as a weed suppressor, too.
Make your stone mulch thicker by applying more stone where possible. Many seeds germinate when sunlight reaches the soil in between the stone, so thick layers of stone block sunlight. A pre emergent will work here, too.

It has been a very good year for weeds due to consistent rainfall. Folks in my neighborhood who never water their lawns, and thus usually have golden lawns all summer, kept their green lawns all season. This moisture allows weeds to grow all season, too.
Regards, Laura

In our area of Calhoun County, North of Albion, we've had very little rain until the past couple of weeks so the weeds growing so vigorously surprised me. We have a rain gauge and from June 1st through the end of September, we had a total of 3-1/2" of rain. Since the end of September, we have had 4-1/2". Our veggie garden suffered as it is too far from the house to water. We live in the country and have well water.

I copied and pasted onto Word our conversations for usage next year.

Have a great weekend,


Amazing how tough weeds are compared to the veggies!

Here is the Enviroweather tool - very handy - and there is a station in the Albion area. Of course, each location will be different but this is a nice tool to use for soil temperatures, etc.