What weed is this and how to combat

Asked March 27, 2020, 5:30 PM EDT

Attached is a weed in my lawn. I’m annoyed, but get when it takes over the shade sections where it’s really taking over. But it’s also showing up in parts of my sunny lawn that actually pretty healthy. Last year we started a multi year effort to improve the lawn using eco friendly means. We got a soil sample. Aeroated. Compost tea and other amendments. Seeded in the Fall. But I’m not sure what This is or what to do with this. It’s so intertwined and think I don’t even no how to hand weed other then taking it up almost like they must remove turf at sod farms Thanks for help

Montgomery County Maryland

3 Responses

Hi - This is called chickweed (Stellaria sp.). It is an annual plant that thrives in cool weather and is most often found in moist shady areas (but can move into other areas as well).

Chickweed is native to Europe and Asia and is common now in most areas of Maryland.

If you want to remove it from a lawn, the most natural solution to getting rid of it would be to hand-pull or dig it out before seed dispersal. In your last photo, it looks like seeds are already dispersing, so you might have a seed bank in your soil and this will be a multi-year project to tackle when seeds in the soil germinate. Here is our page about chickweed in lawns. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/common-chickweed

Montgomery County’s pesticide law bans the use of most synthetic pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides on private lawns, playgrounds, mulched recreation areas, and childcare facilities. Organic pesticides are allowed. Go to the following website for information regarding the law and organic lawn care information, www.MontgomeryCountyMD.gov/lawns

You can also ask them questions, Email AskDep@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov or call 240-777-0311.

If the weed problems persist and you find the weeds difficult to control with organic options, you might consider renovating and installing sod as an option, https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/sod

Christa

Thanks for the reply. I thought it might be that.

If it's a cool weather plant, does it die out in the summer?

Yes, it will die out in the summertime. Seeds remaining in the soil will germinate when the weather is cool again in the fall.

Christa