Lately our customers have been bringing Jeremy gifts. They say, “what is this and how can I get rid of it?” The last few customers brought in what we identified as Common Chickweed.
Common Chickweed is primarily a winter annual broadleaf weed. Common chickweed produces small bunches of white flowers with five petals that may appear as 10 petals in early spring. Chickweed germinates in late summer or early fall however can vary throughout the year if soil conditions are shady and saturated enough.
There are several things you can do to help prevent chickweed. Improving turf density is the key. Ensure you are not over-irrigating (learn more about watering your lawn properly from Purdue at THIS LINK). Mow at the correct height (2-1/2-3 inches), and get on a routine fertilizer schedule to thicken turf (learn more HERE).
Common chickweed in your lawn may indicate poor turf issues. It thrives in compacted soils that may be consistently over saturated or poorly drained. Don’t rule out aeration as another option to maximize your turf resilience.
Chickweed also thrives in shady conditions so finding a solution for shady areas such as pruning trees to allow turf to grow and dominate the space will help.
If you have a few chickweeds, just pull them out. Triamine Jet Spray, a popular pre-mixed foamy herbicide in a can that we carry, is also a good product to use on smaller areas.
If you have larger areas needing treatment, there are two ways you can treat. Pre-emergent (before germination) and post-emergent (after germination).
Since we are currently in the post germination stage for chickweed (May), herbicides with the active ingredients of phenoxy acid and/or MCPP used alone or in combination with other phenoxies or non-phenoxy herbicides can be used. An example of a product to use from us is Speed Zone. You may find repeat applications are needed for post emergent treatment.
Pre-emergent treatment can be performed in the autumn months. Use herbicides that contain isoxaben, pendimethalin, prodiamine or dithiopyr such as Tenacity, which we also carry. Always read, understand, and follow the label directions.
Thanks to our customers for bringing in your “weird weed” gifts – although some of the staff here at Red Hen would prefer donuts (like me).
Have a weird weed? Bring it in or take a picture of it and email it to us – we’ll tell you what it is, how to prevent it and/or how to treat it.
~Michelle, Red Hen Customer Service Specialist