The Q&A Archives: viney weed in grass

Question: I have a patch of grass/weeds that grows in my lawn. It grows in long strings or vines along the ground. At first you can't tell there is a problem until it starts to climb on the patio and that's when you realize it's viney. What is it and what do I do to get rid of it? thanks

Answer: The most commonly encountered viney weed in your area is Swallow-wort. Swallow-wort?s twining viney growthhabit is distinctive. The small slenderpods (2-2.5 inches) are a useful, almost year round, identification characteristic. The smooth, glossy, opposite leaves (2 to4 inches long by 2 to 2 ? inches wide) are ovate with pointed tips. The small, 5-lobed flowers are in loose clusters in the leaf axils. Pale swallow-wort has yellow-maroon to maroon flowers. Blackswallow-wort has very dark, almost blackflowers. In open areas, tangled growths ofthe plant grow two to three or more feet tall. With the support of shrubs and young trees, the vines may reach 6-8 or more feet, twining in ropes around each other and into branches of trees and shrubs.

If this sounds like the weedy growth in your lawn, spot treat with a vegetation killer such as Round-Up. Once you've killed the weed, dig out the remains and reseed the bare area in your lawn.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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