Broadleaf weeds, grassy weeds, actual grass… your lawn probably contains a mixture of everything right now! So how do you tell the difference between grass and weeds so that you can achieve a lush, healthy lawn?
Grass is what you want, weeds are what you don’t.
This difference may sound like an oversimplification, but at the end of the day, grass looks nice and even and doesn’t wreck your soil or your flowers. Weeds do the opposite, making your lawn look patchy and disheveled and choking the life out of the plants you want to keep around. Weeds can be thorny as well and are content with dry, nutrient-deficient soil. Grass, on the other hand, relies on healthy soil and optimal conditions to survive.
Ultimately, if you’re wondering if your lawn is full of weeds or grass, observe its overall appearance. Does it look uniform and lush or textured and patchy? Horticulturist Blake Arthur says, “It’s very important in lawns to check for consistency in look. The lawn should look the same color and texture. If it’s mottled, there’s a problem either from water, nutrition, or weeds.”
Grass, weeds–does it really matter which is which? What difference does it make?
It’s very important to distinguish which parts of your lawn are grass and which parts are weeds, because you don’t want to accidentally kill your grass in the process of trying to get rid of your weeds. Your lawn may need a combination of treatments such as pre-emergent, post-emergent, or you may determine you need a selective herbicide, a chemical that strategically kills weeds but not grass.
I can just search the internet for examples of weeds and compare the photos to my lawn, you may think. Unfortunately, the average homeowner could Google all day long, researching endlessly, and still “get it wrong.” Because you may not be able to rely on your untrained eye to tell the difference, you might want to consult a local lawn expert with your weed vs. grass questions. Having someone who has a degree in horticulture like EnviroSpray’s Austin Phillips look at your lawn will be invaluable in your efforts to treat your weeds without ruining the rest of your lawn.