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Learn How To Get Rid Of Weeds In Your Lawn
Few things are as rewarding as watching your freshly laid and thoroughly watered new lawn thrive, which is precisely why it’s so frustrating to see patchy and spiky weeds thriving amongst the grass.
Here’s the thing: lawn weeds are inevitable. Weeding is just part of the responsibility of having a lawn. In this guide, we will teach you how to identify 8 of the most common lawn weeds found in Melbourne. We’ll also teach you how to remove them.
If you learn better by watching, then check out our video guide instead.
While hand-weeding is usually recommended, sometimes you need a little help to get rid of pesky weeds. Browse our extensive range of weed killers and herbicides, and don’t hesitate to get in touch for a recommendation if you’re unsure what the best product is for your lawn.
Common Weed Identification & Removal
Accurately identifying your lawn weeds is essential for choosing the right way to fight weed infestation. Knowing your weed will let you know whether hand removal is appropriate or even possible. It will also let you know if a herbicide is necessary, and what type of herbicide to use.
Manual weed removal
If removing weeds by hand or by using hand tools, you need to make sure you remove the entire root system. This can be done by hand for small weeds or by using a weeding tool for larger weeds. Just remember that the larger the weed is, the larger and stronger its root system will be. Natural weed control methods like hand weeding are often the fastest way to remove weeds, though these can be labour-intensive.
There are also some weeds that you should avoid pulling out by hand, including:
- Onion weed
- Winter grass or poa which has gone to seed
Herbicides for common weeds
Non-selective herbicides will kill any plant life you apply them to, including weeds and your lawn. This means you must be extremely careful if you use chemical control methods. Consider using a small paintbrush to only apply to the weed and never the lawn.
Selective herbicides are weed killers that will only attack a particular type of plant life, so in some cases, it may be safe to apply to your entire lawn. However, you first need to ensure the selective herbicide is an effective chemical control against your weeds and that it’s safe to use on your turf variety.
A pre-emergent is the most proactive way of controlling weeds. It creates a protective barrier on your soil, preventing new weed seeds from germinating without impacting your lawn or other plants. This can be very effective for stopping new weeds, but it won’t prevent weeds from regrowing from roots that are still in your soil.
Oxafert is a product that combines fertiliser with a pre-emergent to give your lawn regular and proactive maintenance against hidden weed seeds.
8 Common Lawn Weeds: Identification & Removal Tips
So now let’s get into common weed species and effective weed control methods for your Melbourne lawn.
1. Bindii (Jo-Jo) (Soliva sessilis)
How to identify Bindii
Bindii is an annoying weed species best known for its painful prickly seed pod. Removing bindii early (in August or September) will prevent it from seeding, making it easier to remove.
How to remove Bindii
- Removed by hand
- Spot spray with Amgrow Bin-Die or Lawn Solutions All-Purpose Weed Control selective herbicide
2. Creeping Oxalis (Oxalis corniculata)
How to identify Creeping Oxalis
Creeping oxalis has compound leaves of three small, light-green, heart-shaped leaflets. Its bright yellow flowers are 3–4 mm in diameter. It grows from bulbs deep in your soil, so eradicating it can be quite challenging.
How to remove Creeping Oxalis
- Hand removal can help if the plant is caught early enough, but more established bulbs can be as deep as 100 mm in your soil.
- The most effective control method for creeping lawn weeds is applying pre-emergent fertiliser such as Oxafert to prevent initial germination.
- Spray the plants with an Amgrow Bin-Die or Lawn Solutions All-Purpose Weed Control selective herbicide.
- If Oxalis is prolific, a second application of selective herbicide may be needed two weeks after the first application.
3. Dandelion (Taraxacum)
How to identify Dandelion
Dandelion weeds are light green with toothed leaves arranged in a rosette and solitary, daisy-like yellow flowers on hollow stems. They have a bitter, milky sap.
How to remove Dandelion
- Hand removal is usually the most effective and quickest method
- A healthy lawn should be able to crowd out the growth of dandelions
- Amgrow Bin-Die or Lawn Solutions All-Purpose Weed Control is also effective
4. Clover (Trifolium repens)
How to identify Clover
Clovers have compound leaves consisting of three or four heart-shaped green leaflets on a thin stem with a central circular marking. They also have small pinkish-white flowers in globular clusters. Clovers often grow densely and can crowd out your lawn if left uncontrolled
How to remove Clover
- The quickest way to remove clover from your lawn is to weed it out by hand, being careful to minimise soil disturbance.
- If the clover is too widely spread, apply Amgrow Bin-Die or Lawn Solutions All-Purpose Weed Control.
- Once you’ve done this first application, wait one week, mow the entire lawn, and re-apply the herbicide. Ensuring your lawn is adequately fertilised can also help keep clover at bay, as it doesn’t like nitrogen.
5. Winter Grass (Poa annua)
How to identify Winter Grass
Winter grass is a low-growing, thin-blade grass weed. It has soft, drooping leaves in tufts with triangular seed heads. Winter grass is widespread throughout Melbourne.
How to remove Winter Grass
- The best way to prevent winter grass weeds is to use a pre-emergent product such as Oxafert every three months. Each winter grass plant can drop hundreds of seeds, so applying a pre-emergent herbicide is the most effective way to eradicate these grassy weeds.
- If this grassy weed has already established itself in your lawn, we recommend using Winter Grass Killer selective herbicide.
6. Paspalum (Paspalum dilatatum)
How to identify Paspalum
Paspalum is a perennial weed that is found throughout Victoria. It is a broadleaf weed with a purple tinge at the base, stemming from a central crown. It produces weed seeds at the end of long, upright flowering stems.
How to remove Paspalum
- As with many perennial weeds, hand weeding is an effective weed control method as long as you dig underneath the crown below soil level to remove the plant's entire root system.
- If Paspalum broadleaf weeds are already out of control, you can use a selective herbicide appropriate for your turf variety.
7. Summer grass (Digitaria ciliaris)
How to identify Summer Grass
Summer grass is an extremely common lawn weed that, as you can imagine, thrives during Australia’s hot summer months. You can identify summer grass by its long, thin brown stems and thin greyish leaves. Summer grass also creates spiky seeds, which your feet are sure to locate before your eyes do.
How to remove Summer Grass
- We recommend using a selective herbicide like our All Purpose Weed Control to get rid of summer grass.
- Summer grass spreads exceptionally quickly during the warm spring and summer months, so it’s essential to treat it as soon as you notice it.
8. Onion grass (Allium triquetrum)
How to identify Onion grass
Onion grass is quite easy to identify by sight, as it looks like a spurt of tall tubular chives. However, the easiest way to identify this weed is by smell. As you’ve likely guessed, onion grass reeks of onion when crushed. Simply pinch one of its leaves, and you’ll know what it is.
How to remove Onion grass
- We suggest using a non-selective herbicide such as our All Purpose Weed Control to get rid of onion grass.
- To avoid damaging your grass, apply the non-selective herbicide with extreme precision. We recommend applying the herbicide with a paintbrush so that you don’t accidentally spill any onto your lawn grass.