Worst Weeds in Cincinnati Lawns

Summer heat means summer weeds, and there are a number of these unwanted plants waiting to take over your lawn. We’ve identified some of the worst weeds in Cincinnati lawns, along with ways to get rid of them.

Crabgrass

This weed spreads across the ground from one central root, and has wide, flat leaf blades. Seeds start to sprout when temperatures reach the mid-50s, usually in mid-spring. Crabgrass spreads in hot weather and will take over any bare or thin spots in your lawn. It dies in the fall, but not before producing thousands of seeds that will take hold in the spring and repeat the cycle. You can prevent crabgrass seeds from spreading by applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring.

Nutsedge

This perennial weed is one of the worst weeds in Cincinnati lawns because it looks like grass and is extremely tough to kill. Its leaves grow in sets of three at its base, and it has nut-like seeds at its root. It thrives in unhealthy lawns that are watered too much and mowed too short. Getting rid of it may drive you to the edge of nuttiness because you have to pull it by hand, making sure to get the entire root and all the nuts/seeds. If not, this prolific plant will reappear in no time. The best way to avoid the insanity of this plant is to maintain a healthy, thick lawn and mow it no shorter than 2 inches. 

Oxalis

Oxalis, also called wood sorrel, is a pesky perennial weed that’s also kind of pretty. It has small heart-shaped green or purple-ish leaves and tiny yellow flowers, and it’s sometimes confused with clover. It grows well in sun and shade and in wet and dry conditions. Like crabgrass, it’ll take over bare or thin spots in your lawn. A thick lawn mowed no shorter than 2 inches will help keep oxalis away. You can also pull these invasives by hand before they seed or use a weed killer.

Purslane

Weed it or cook it for dinner? That’s the question many gardeners ask about purslane. It’s an annual creeper with thick reddish stems and paddle-like leaves. People who eat this plant say it tastes like spinach and can be a good substitute for lettuce and pickles (be sure to wash it thoroughly before putting it on your sandwich). If you prefer to keep it out of your garden, do everything you can to keep it from going to seed. The seeds can be viable in the soil for years, even decades. Pull plants while they’re young, making sure you’ve removed the entire plant. Purslane can reroot from any part of the leaves or stems.

Spurge

Spurge is an opportunistic warm-weather annual that loves to take over lawns and flower beds. It’s flat with mat-like growth, purple-hued leaves, and red or purple stems. Its most obvious characteristic is a milky white sap that appears when you break the stem. Spurge loves warm, humid nights, and it grows well in disturbed soil, such as cracks near driveways or in landscape beds. It goes to seed quickly and produces many seeds (we’re talking thousands). To prevent this, use a pre-emergent herbicide in late spring or pull young plants before the seeds can spread.

Keeping weeds out of your lawn takes persistence, patience, and prevention. One of the most effective methods of weed control is making sure you’ve got a healthy lawn that doesn’t give weeds a chance to take hold.

Looking to learn more about lawn care and gardening in Cincinnati? Visit our Cincinnati Lawn Care page.

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Written by Tina Hill

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

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