An annual broadleaf plant, chickweed (also known as starwort, satin flower, starweed, and winterweed) grows from seeds that germinate in autumn. With a shallow root system and a height that ranges from two to 12 inches, this quick growing weed creeps along the ground forming thick mats. Chickweed has oval, pointed leaves and small white star-shaped flowers. Often considered an invasive weed, it spreads fast, choking out your healthy grass if left untended. One plant alone produces hundreds of seeds. However, it can be controlled and prevented with the proper care. Read on to learn more about how to prevent chickweed from ruining your yard.
Pull by Hand
To remove this weed by hand, it’s important to do so before it flowers and sets seed. First, water your soil to soften it in mid-autumn. Then remove as much chickweed as you can by pulling it from the roots. A spade may be necessary to ensure that no roots are left in the soil. Then burn or destroy the plant to prevent its return.
If chickweed covers too much area to be removed by hand, you may have to use chemicals. Late fall is the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn before the seeds germinate in the cold winter weather. This helps prevent chickweed from growing. A post-emergent herbicide, on the other hand, attacks young chickweed buds after they’ve already started to grow. Take extra precautions to apply it correctly so you don’t expose or damage your healthy grass or plants. Next, apply about one inch of mulch where the chickweed used to be to prevent seeds from germinating.
Aerate, Fertilize, and Water
A healthy, dense lawn is best equipped to protect itself from chickweed.
- Aeration is another important part of lawn maintenance. Rent an aerator from your local garden center and use it to poke holes into the soil under your grass. This helps grass roots absorb fertilizer, water, sun, and other nutrients.
- To maintain a healthy lawn, water deeply and infrequently in the early morning.
- Give your grass a healthy feeding. In the spring and fall, spread lawn fertilizer and water according to the requirements detailed on the bag’s instructions.
The dedicated team at Free Spray Lawn Care knows how to deal with any lawn care issue, from weeds to lawn pests. Learn more about our Lawn CarePrograms so you can get rid of your chickweed problem. Call us today at [phone] to schedule a consultation.