Worst Weeds in Virginia Beach (and How to Get Rid of Them)

Your lawn is the crown jewel of your home. Brilliant, green, and expansive. Then some weed saunters in and ruins everything. After all the time and money you’ve put into maintaining your grass, weeds spread effortlessly and quickly. They compete with existing vegetation for water and sunlight, produce a lot of seeds and become the dominant greenery. Invasive plants may look pretty at first, but they can turn your dream lawn into a nightmare. Here are some of the worst weeds in Virginia Beach yards and gardens and ways to deal with them.

Dandelion

This oh-so-familiar shaggy, yellow flower is everywhere. We pick them as kids, blow the seeds into the wind and, spread that weed even more. The common dandelion (picture above) sprouts all year but mostly in the fall and spring. They’re everywhere — in fields, roadsides, and lawns — and they tolerate mowing. The leaves and stem have a milky sap. The yellow flowers turn into fluffy balls of white seeds that are taken by the wind, sometimes miles from where the original plant grows. There are several ways to keep your lawn from becoming a sea of yellow flowers. The best non-chemical method involves digging. But you have to make sure you get the entire root, or the weed will regenerate. You could try pouring an industrial-strength vinegar on the root, but beware. The vinegar will also kill any grass it touches.  If you opt for a synthetic weed-killer, shop for a selective broadleaf herbicide that kills dandelions but not your turf. Better still, get in the habit of inspecting your lawn and at the first sign of the yellow flower, pull it up, before it has a chance to go to seed.

English Ivy 

This invasive plant is known for its vigorous growth. The shiny, waxy leaves are dark green on top and lighter green underneath. Leaves are 2 to 4 inches long with small white hairs. It’s sometimes used for decorative purposes and makes an excellent indoor plant. But outside, it quickly overwhelms everything growing nearby. The ivy climbs buildings, the rootlets attaching to cracks and fissures, causing structural damage. It can even choke out tree growth by wrapping around the trunk and branches and limiting access to water and sun.  There are two options for getting rid of English ivy. The first is chemical. This can be tough because the waxy ivy leaves are hard to penetrate. If you decide to go this route, glyphosate is the most effective. Because it kills everything it touches, be sure to spray only the ivy and none of the surrounding vegetation. The second method is manual. Cut small vines with pruning shears and pull them up by the roots. If you don’t remove the roots, the vines will keep growing back. 

Hairy Bittercress

  Source

Hairy bittercress is part of the mustard family and you CAN eat it. But you don’t want it taking over your yard. This is one of the worst weeds in Virginia Beach because it grows pretty much anywhere, but mostly in lawns and flower gardens. Once it’s in your lawn, it’s hard to get rid of. This annual invasive plant seeds over winter and starts growing at the end of the season, into early spring. The small plant can hide among your and disperse thousands of seeds, causing the weed to multiply quickly. The key to getting rid of hairy bittercress is to start early before seed pods form. Use a weeding tool to dig down and remove each plant. Like most weeds, pulling it usually leaves the roots behind. Do not add pulled plants to the compost pile, in case they manage to set seed.

Virginia Buttonweed

This weed flowers from June through November. It’s a broadleaf plant that shows up in turfgrass across the Southeastern United States. Virginia buttonweed flourishes in moist and wet areas and tolerates mowing. It can overtake your lawn, stealing vital nutrients from the grass. Overwatering and too much rain encourage its growth. Virginia buttonweed is difficult to get rid of because pieces of the plant or root continue to regenerate. One way to control it is to improve the health of your lawn with deep, infrequent watering. This gives the grass a fighting chance to compete with weeds. Pre-emergence herbicides are ineffective on Virginia buttonweed but some post-emergence weed control has proven effective.

Henbit

Henbit produces a pretty purple flower, but unless you want those flowers across your entire yard, you’ve got to wage war on this weed. It’s a member of the mint family but doesn’t have the distinct minty smell. Henbit flowers in early spring and is self-pollinating.  It spreads easily by seed and is part of a meadow ecosystem. But, unless you live in a meadow, you’ll want to remove it from your lawn and garden. The best control is to remove the entire plant before it sets seed. Hand weed and then mulch the garden beds. Be careful not to break the roots. A pre-emergent herbicide can prevent henbit from sprouting in your lawn.

Knowing how to spot and control thee weeds will keep the worst weeds in Virginia Beach off your lawn. Remember, maintaining a healthy, thick lawn is the best way to discourage these weeds from getting a foothold.

Want to learn more about lawn care and gardening in Virginia Beach? visit our Virginia Beach lawn care page.

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Written by Jill Ramone

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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