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Know Your Weeds

Every lawn has them. They germinate every day and they’re part of our environment and your lawn’s ecosystem. They can take over your lawn and suck up the nutrients intended for your grass ruining your beautiful lawn. These plants are weeds.

Hardy Weeds

Some weeds are extremely difficult to control after they’ve germinated and become plants. They’re difficult to kill and require multiple treatments to be eliminated. These weeds are called “Hardy Weeds”.

They require what is referred to in the industry as “post-emergent applications”. In other words, they require a product that is applied to the plant after the plant has emerged.

Types of Hardy Weeds

These are the most common hardy weeds found in lawns in Bergen & Passaic Counties in New Jersey and Orange & Rockland Counties in New York.

Ground-Ivy or Creeping Charlie

Glechoma hederacea L. This is a perennial weed that has a creeping growth pattern. It lies along the ground with stems and roots at every node, making it very supported. Its leaves are round with scalloped edges. Creeping Charlie is controllable with repeated applications during warm weather.


Viola spp. Violets come in two types, field violet which is annual and sweet violet which is perennial. Violets are distinguished by their heart shaped leaves and their white, yellow, or purple flowers. While both types of violets can be extremely difficult and hardy weeds to control, many homeowners do not mind Violets in that the flowers are so pretty.

Japanese or Asian Knotweed

Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. Zucc. As an invasive species, Asian Knotweed is particularly difficult to control. Often growing along boarders, it can grow very quickly and may resemble a bush if not controlled early. Knotweeds are very hardy weeds that can partially die back and still recover, making repeated application almost always necessary. On occasion, a non-selective herbicide is required for total kill.

Yellow or Purple Nutsedge

Cyperus esculentus or Cyperus rotundus As recently as fifteen years ago, a discussion of common weeds in our area would not include Nutsedge. It does now, however! On certain lawns, Nutsedge seems to be taking over the world. Nutsedge is a perennial weed in the sedge family and superficially resembles grass. Our area now supports both yellow and purple Nutsedge. As mentioned above, they are relatively new to the Northeast in homeowner lawns. They thrive down south and love hot weather. In our area, they are noticed first in late June and they die back by September with cooler nights. Both Nutsedge species reproduce by underground tubers that are attached to underground stems. Yellow Nutsedge also produce flowers and seed during the hottest part of the summer. They are among the most noticeable of weeds in that they grow much faster than the surrounding turf grass. These hardy weeds require special attention.


Stellaria media. Chickweed is particularly hard to control due to its fall germination and its vigorous growth in the early spring. When Chickweed germinates in the fall, there are usually very little signs of it as it stays low to the ground and is hidden by the thick, healthy turfgrass growth at that time of year. As a result of it being hidden and the fact that, out of environmental responsibility, we only spot spray weeds, it often goes untreated in the fall. That allows the Chickweed to mature, overwinter and return as hardy weeds in the spring. Further complicating control is that it is usually too cool yet in the early spring for the plant to adequately metabolize the herbicide, leading to diminished control results.

If you have questions regarding these weeds or would like help identifying what’s on your lawn and how to treat it, give us a call at 891-4131 or (845) 986-8836. We’ll be more than happy to help! You can also visit our Website at

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