Cool season weeds

With abundant rains come bountiful weeds.  Some of the most troublesome in early spring are common groundsel, oxalis, mallows, and nutsedges. 

Common groundsel produces many seeds and can rapidly infest landscape beds. It is best controlled before it flowers. Remove young plants with a hoe, and top soil with mulch. 

Mallows are annual weeds that begin growing with the first rains. This plant develops a long taproot so pull when it has four or fewer true leaves and be sure to get the entire root. At least three inches of mulch is needed to keep this under control.

Purple and yellow nutsedge are perennial plants that sprout in spring from tubers. Remove these weeds as soon as possible to prevent tuber production. Tubers (sometimes referred to as “nuts” or “nutlets”) are key to nutsedge survival. Once established, nutsedge plants are difficult to control. They don’t grow well in shade so dense plantings of ground cover or shrubs will suppress nutsedges.

While oxalis (creeping woodsorrel) can bloom almost any time during the year, spring is a time of heavy flowering and seed formation. Buttercup oxalis sprouts in fall and is a major weed in ornamental plantings. Hand pulling can control these weeds.  Landscape fabric with two to three inches of organic mulch on top can control oxalis.

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