Spring Weeds: Chickweed and Plantain
Peter Newcombe

Following last week’s blog on clover and dandelions, this week we’re looking at the spring weeds: chickweed and plantain.

Our Organic Turf Care Calendar breaks down cultural practices April-May to encourage a healthy lawn. It can’t be overstated enough to work in the Spring and Fall to establish dense and healthy turf. A thick stand of turf grass will crowd out annual weeds.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what these weeds are up to…

Chickweed

Chickweed is a winter annual that typically pops up in April. Like most forms of weed control in an organic lawn, improving turf density is critical in controlling common chickweed. Once the sunny warm weather appears, common chickweed is going to die off and leave bare ground for the next weed to appear. Therefore, at this time of the season, it’s best to seed-slice those areas where there is chickweed as soon as possible. Due to chickweed’s poorly developed root system, the act of seed slicing should take care of the existing root system.

Plantain

Plantain often appears in lawns that are compacted. As such, it is important to relieve areas of compaction mechanically through aeration and by encouraging earthworm and other microbial activity. Plantain is easily pulled and grass seed should be put in its place.

When looking at these spring weeds: chickweed and plantain, the best form of weed control is changing soil conditions. Changing soil conditions can be done through the use of soil amendments, organic fertilizers, and proper cultural practices. In short, important cultural practices include: mowing, aerating, topdressing, over-seeding and irrigation. 

Above all, remember that we’re here to help! Contact us for more specific help with your weed defense.