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dollar weed seeds

The best control for dollarweed, as it is for most lawn weeds, is prevention. A healthy, thriving turf, including appropriate irrigation will produce an environment where ddollarweed is unlikely to grow.

The plant spreads throughout stressed and over-watered lawns by means of seeds and running underground stems known as rhizomes. Dollarweed can and often does eventually form large mats of vegetation. It can also be brought to the landscape via mowing equipment, but will only take root if conditions are right for growth; dollarweed is an aquatic plant.

Q: Reading your clover article reminded me of my problem with dollarweeds growing throughout my yard. I’ve looked at various things to apply without killing the grass. Do they really work? What would you recommend applying in those random areas?

There are herbicides which will control dollarweed, check the University of Florida publication about dollarweed for recommendations at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP38900.pdf.

Using recommended irrigation practices can reduce the incidence of dollarweed. Apply irrigation only when the turf needs it and then apply enough water to fully wet the soil. As a guideline, start by applying ½ to ¾ of an inch of water 2-3 times per week in summer and every 10 – 14 days in winter. Watch the lawn to fine-tune the application looking for signs of wilt, turf thinning, and an increase weed growth.

— Pete

A: Dollarweed is a vexing problem and is always found in wet or constantly moist conditions. Known as pennywort and Hydrocotyle umbellate to horticulturists and scientists, this interesting plant is native from Maine to Florida, and west and south to Minnesota, Texas, Utah, Arizona and California. It is also found in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, the West Indies, Mexico, Central and South America and Southern Europe and Africa.

Dollar weed seeds

6. Mulberry Weed (Fatoua villosa)
Mulberry weed, at least in my book, is almost as bad as chamberbitter. Mulberry weed has a natural ability to blend in with many different plantings. With its ovate to cordate (heart shaped) leaf form and its dull green color, the leaves of this plant are pretty common and easy to overlook. Its ability to camouflage with surrounding plantings, as seen in the image below, is what makes it so successful as a weed, and thus prevalent in the garden. In many cases, it seems to evade detection until it has grown large… And therefore likely already spread its seeds about the garden for years to come.

1. Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine spp.)
Our first offender is an inconspicuous little plant called hairy bittercress. This weed is common in greenhouse settings and around garden beds. It’s a rather small weed with green, rounded off foliage. It has tiny white flowers that are barely noticeable, and small, slender, cigar shaped seed pods. Sounds innocent enough, right?

Wrong! Once these bad boys produce seeds in those cigar shaped pods we were talking about, they then start to dry out. Once the seed pods dry, the teensiest bit of pressure, be it from the wind, rain, or, say, my big clumsy hand, sets these pods erupting in a barrage of seeds. I’ve had these seeds slam me in and about the face, including landing in my mouth (likely as I was in a mid “No!”). Worse yet, there are so many of these seeds, that seem to germinate with a 100% success rate, that they easily pop up everywhere. Oh, and did I mention the seeds can stay viable in the soil for about seven years? One year seeding is seven years weeding indeed.

3. Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
Poison ivy. Everyone’s heard of it, and many of us have experienced it first hand (or wrist, or forearm…). This weed is definitely one we do not want in the garden. While weeds are obviously annoying for the sheer fact of how they undesirably alter our garden plans, no one wants one that will also leave you with an itchy rash for a couple weeks either!

While we often use this blog to look at plants we love having in our garden, I think it’s time we take a look at ones we definitely don’t want to see crossing our garden paths. Grab your gardening gloves and a weed bucket – we’re going in!

As a horticulturist in South Carolina, I have found one constant that I can always rely on – weeds. It could be the heat of the summer or the chill of winter, there are always weeds! We are in a unique climate where we get to contend with both warm season weeds, and cool season weeds. Lucky us.

Like Virginia creeper, poison ivy is a vine. It is recognized by its three leaflets that are sharply toothed. Some people say the leaves are shiny, but I’ve never quite considered them to be, and instead have focused on committing the leaf shape to memory. While the leaf shape certainly bears a resemblance to Virginia creeper, it’s helpful to keep in mind the infamous saying: “leaves of three, let them be”!

Another annoying aspect of this weed, other than the sheer fact that it’s a weed, is its “sticky” quality. When I’m pulling these out in the gardens, I sometimes feel like I end up with more weeds stuck to my glove than in my weed bucket. While you may be thinking it’s because of my magnetic personality, the truth is that this plant has hooked hairs on its stem that is likely the real culprit.

This is one tough weed to get a handle on! This plant is rhizomatous, which means it has an underground stem, as pictured below, that travels sneakily through the ground and pops up all over the place. In order to eradicate it, you need to remove all of the rhizome, which of course easily breaks when you attempt to pull it. Go figure.