The Q&A Archives: How do I kill a weed?

Question: How do I kill a broadleaf grass/weed? that grows extremely fast and is spreading fast throughout my lawn. It appears every summer. It has short roots and can be easily pulled out by hand. This year I can't keep up with it. My neighbor calls it nut grass but I'm not sure this is the correct name. Does Home Depot have anything that will kill it and not kill my lawn? Myron, Folsom, CA

Answer: Lawn weeds are divided into two classes based on the way they emerge from the seed. Monocots emerge with a single seed leaf; dicots emerge with two seed leaves. Most monocot weeds found in turfgrass are from the family Gramineae and are termed weedy grasses. Examples include crabgrass, annual bluegrass, tall fescue, and quackgrass. Dicots, on the other hand, are termed broadleaf weeds and include such plants as dandelion, clover, ground ivy, knotweed, and plantain. Nutgrass is not a broadleaf weed. If you don't know exactly which weed is causing the problem, take a sample of it to your local garden center for identification. If it is a broadleaf weed, you can us 2,4-D (sold as dandelion killer). If it is a grassy weed, you'll need to know the specific name so you can spot treat your lawn, targeting the weed but not affecting the lawn.

Best wishes with your lawn!

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