“It killed all my new sod last summer. Now it’s everywhere!”

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Fox asks us:

“anybody know what this invasive plant is? It killed all my new sod last summer. Now it’s everywhere! killed my yard!”

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36 Comment

  • Looks like chickweed. Sorry, no idea on how to get rid of it. 🙁

  • Looks like chickweed and more specifically mouse-ear chickweed. It’s ferocious this year. Very invasive. Suggest that the change in climate had something to do with it. I had a really nice lawn, painstakingly cared for. Now this weed covers half of the front lawn. Kill it, rake debris getting down to dirt/soil, and then re-seed before it gets too hot for seed to germinate and grow a new lawn, without burning up.

  • Hard to tell from the photo, but I think it’s common chickweed. Fast-growing and gets an early start in cool weather, but it’s generally pretty easy to control with hand pulling. Just get it before it blooms and goes to seed! I’ve never heard of it killing a lawn–I guess it might shade out the grass if it’s thick enough, but I suspect your lawn may have other issues besides chickweed.

  • Remember, a lot of lawn grasses are invasive non-natives as well. Often they’ll get a later start but come roaring back and crush whatever cool season ground cover appears to be dominant right now.

  • That is your lawn now. Fear it. Feed it.

  • This is why you should have fake turf! (sarcasm)

  • Fire. And lots of it.

  • To have laid new sod, this pretty bad. Did you ever fertilize and treat the lawn?

  • That’s pretty much my lawn. I don’t care, it’s green and soft and my lawn is the size of a parking space. Part of the reason I was run out of NoVa those many years ago was because I never got why people cared about lawns.

    • While I certainly don’t need a big yard, some green is nice to have instead of concrete everywhere.
      .
      Especially considering how many of the street beds are just dead because of all the dogs peeing in them and people walking through them cause it’s saves them 2 feet of having to walk around.

      • Yeah me too, which is why I like the chickweed. It’s green and I don’t have to do anything it just keeps growing.

      • It’s not a grass/concrete either/or, though — there’s also the option of having mulch and shrubs/flowering plants/etc.
        .
        And for a treebox, there’s the option (depending on its size) of planting some kind of ground-cover plant.

        • This. I have never understood the point of growing lawns in these tiny spaces. It’s not like you can go out there and throw a ball around with your kid, or whatever else lawns are supposed to be used for. Flowering perennials are WAY less maintenance than a lawn and can also be much cheaper. But this is America…everyone must have a lawn to be a respectable citizen.

          • I mean I think it’s just a matter of personal preference. I don’t have grass edge to edge to my fence, I also have beds and a small patio. You can have a mix!

  • Hard to tell, I don’t know- looks like chickweed.

  • If it is chickweed- it’s edible…and tastes sort of like spinach…not what you probably were looking for in the way of info, but…

  • If it were me, I’d dig up all of the grass/weeds, put down landscaping fabric, put mulch over it, and plant some nice shrubs.

  • Is this invasive, or was the sod?

  • Hey Everyone,

    I had a landscaped install doc last spring. I regularly watered and fertilized. I kept trying to pull it up as I saw new weeds grow. I have started seeing the weed everywhere in the neighborhood. If you walk around Barnard elementary you’ll definitely see t too. I don’t like turf personally. I’m a huge fan of green so a complete concrete yard isn’t appealing to me. That’s why I tore down the garage and replaced the car pad ok the first place. Thanks for all the responses!

    • Anonomnom

      Well, sorry that you’re dealing with the Chickweed issue, but on the plus side tearing down the garage has really giving you a great space back there!

    • At this point, you’ll need to roto-till the entire area and re-start from scratch. Weeding ain’t gonna cut it.
      I spent my entire teenage years tilling, sodding, seeding, fertilizing and mowing my family’s giant lawns. I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend my adult years and my own money enslaved to a patch of grass.
      Xeriscaping is the future.

      • Instead of rototilling (which doesn’t kill the weed seeds), try smothering the chickweed with a layer of newspaper then cardboard then mulch. Add perennials, grasses, shrubs and/or trees for low maintenance green space

    • From Penn State: “Mouse-ear chickweed is a perennial herb that reproduces by seeds and spreads by rooting along its creeping stems. The root system is shallow and fibrous. Maintaining a healthy grass sod is the best way to prevent mouse-ear chickweed from invading turf. The weed can easily take over in areas where grass is thin. Close mowing does not kill mouse-ear chickweed; it only encourages the weed to hug the ground more closely. However, close mowing does help to prevent seed production. Mechanical control may be the best solution in lawns. Since the root system is shallow and weak, small patches may easily be hoed out, and the ground reseeded or laid with new sod. Liming the soil may discourage chickweed in bluegrass lawns.”

      So no need to rototill as others have suggested. It is fairly easy to remove. However you might consider an alternative landscape going forward. Set up a consult with these guys and I promise you won’t regret it – http://www.loveandcarrots.com/

  • The only way to fix it is goats. hire a team of goats. I am not kidding.

  • You wouldn’t have chickweed if your sod survived. It’s more likely that parts of your sod did not “take” – if sod isn’t installed properly (soil amendments added and care taken to make sure the sod is in good contact with the soil base) and watered enough, parts of it will die. The chickweed will just grow after the sod is dead. You could pull out the dead sod and install new sod, and the chickweed will not be able to compete as long as the grass is healthy.

  • Chickweed is an opportunistic winter annual. At this point the seed is set and the plants you see will die. It looks like you might have grubs or rhizoctonia. Your best bet would be to reseed or sod the affected areas with a grass MIX.

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