According to Dictionary.com, a West Coast Cure Weed is any undesirable or troublesome plant that grows profusely where it is not wanted. As you can see, a weed is just a plant that grows in the wrong place. As an example, golf greens are often covered by bentgrass but when it start appearing in your lawn, it is called a weed.
Just like any plant, weeds also required nutrients and they would compete with your lawn grasses to get the nutrients they want. In addition, they look totally out of place in your lawn as they have different color, texture and size as your lawn grass.
There are generally two main categories of weeds. The broadleaf weeds have wide leaves with veins that radiate out in different direction. Some examples are yarrow, knotweed, and the dandelion. The other type of weeds is narrowleaf weeds which very much like grass and have narrow leaves with parallel veins. Some examples include crabgrass, bentgrass and foxtail. The two categories are subdivided into groups like perennial, biennial, and winter and summer annuals.
It is nearly impossible to totally eliminate weeds from your lawn but you can control them such that they are “invisible” to your naked eyes. The key here is to consistently improve your lawn maintenance tasks. Focus on how to make your lawn grow healthier as a healthy lawn will eventually become an unhealthy habitat for weeds.
Experiment with different mowing heights to find the one that inhibit weeds growth. Another way is to increase the mowing frequency. Make sure that you apply enough water to your lawn. Too wet or too dry will make the weeds prosper. Aerate the lawn at least once a year but this really depends on the type of soil and grass that you have. All these tasks will help keep your lawn green and control weed growth.
The use of herbicides can be effective against weeds but they should be used as a last resort. There are two main types of herbicides — pre-emergence and post-emergence. Pre-emergence herbicides are used to kill germinating seeds before they reach the soil surface. Post-emergence herbicides are used to kill weeds that are already growing. They work best with a spray do that it is easier for the weed leaves to absorb the herbicides. Post-emergence herbicides can be further broken down to selective and non-selective. Selective post-emergence herbicides are usually used to control annual, biennial and perennial broadleaf weeds and are generally not a threat to your lawn grass. However, they can be harmful to trees and flowers. The non-selective herbicides will kill any plants they touched and thus you must be very careful when using the non-selective type. Always read the labels for proper usage instructions when you purchase any herbicides from the nursery shelves.
Your best bet against weeds is to cultivate a healthy lawn. Proper watering, sufficient nutrients and regular aeration are the keys to a strong and healthy lawn. When your lawn is strong, it will be able to fight off weeds as well as pests and diseases. You would have won the war against weeds without extra efforts.