Importance of Weed Identification

Mulch Spreading

When treating your lawn for pests, disease, and worst of all: weeds, it is vital to know exactly what it is that you are dealing with. Weeds are a problem all across the world, hurting lawns, crops and gardens. Different lawn killers have different tells, and the symptoms you see present in your lawn will vary depending on the weed. Each different type of weed will also need a varied approach to removal, so knowing which weed is which, can be very important. Generally speaking, you need to be able to identify weeds, in order for you to effectively get rid of them. Sometimes, this may include altering your landscaping practices, from mow height, to watering. You could unknowingly be assisting in the growth of these weeds. Whether it be you or your landscaping company, weed identification can give you the leg up you need when attacking your weed problem.

Understanding Naming

Like plants, every weed has a common name and a scientific name. The species' name is spelled out in Latin, like “Taraxacum officinale”, which is commonly known as “Dandelion.” This is an important distinction to make when discussing weeds. Scientific names are going to be unique and thus more precise, whereas a common name may refer to a broad swath of types of that weed. As plants, weeds can also be broken down into scientific families, giving you the combination of specificity, while still referring to a general type of weed.

How to Identify

When attempting to distinguish between various weeds, utilize a field guide, or a taxonomic key that is specific to your region. You are going to want to gather a full sample, including the foliage, stem, flower and roots. Then, take a look at the shape of the leaves, the structure of the leaves, and the arrangement of the leaves, as well as the color and size.

As you narrow down your options, you can then take into consideration other qualities you have noticed over time, such as the weed’s habits and life cycle, as well as how it spreads. If you are having a really tough time, there are many characteristics that you can break down even further such as:

  • Stems in Cross-Section
  • Presence of Spines or Thorns
  • Leaf Size and Coloration

The more of these characteristics you can identify, the easier it will be for you to make a clear ID.

If You Cannot Identify

On the off chance you are not able to clearly identify the weed in question, and thus unable to get rid of it effectively, then you can very easily bring a sample to Nature’s Mulch, where we would be happy to assist in any identification and direct you to the proper weed control materials to get rid of your problem. Many weeds are specific to an area or region, and we know all about Louisville weeds.

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