Ask the Lawn Care Expert

Why Do Weeds Grow Where They Grow?

weeds growing between bricks

Weeds are opportunistic plants and will grow just about anywhere they can find space to send down roots and send up their top growth. I am sure you have seen weeds growing in the cracks of sidewalks or along the seam between the street and the gutters.  You can even see weeds growing along expressways.

The same is true when it comes to weeds growing in your lawn. They will grow best in the places that provide the best conditions for them to germinate.

There are 100’s if not 1,000’s of weed seeds in any lawn, just waiting for the right conditions to germinate. 

Depending on the type of weed, you might find them in the following places:

  1. In hard, compacted soil
  2. Wet, loose soil
  3. Bright, sunny locations
  4. Shady locations
  5. Places where the grass may be thinned out due to insect or disease activity
  6. Places where excessive foot traffic has taken place

Weed growth is not limited to this list, but are still prime locations for weeds to germinate.

One place that weeds germinate always seems to be along sidewalks, driveways and street edges. If you think about it, these places can be the hottest spots in your yard. The sun heats up the driveway or sidewalk, which in turn dries out the soil and the turf begins to thin out. Once you give a weed a little bit of a chance, it will take advantage of the opportunity and it will germinate.

Weeds growing along the street

One of the best defenses against weeds is to mow your lawn high. If you live in the areas where cool-season grasses grow, you should be mowing your lawns between 3 to 4 inches. The reason behind this practice is that the longer grass blades will shade the ground underneath, preventing the sun from reaching the seed to heat it up and allowing it to germinate.

For those of you in the south, with the exception of St. Augustine grass, most grasses are mowed at 1½ to 2 inches. The advantage that these grasses have is their dense growth habit that prevents the sun from reaching down to the seeds. Weeds can still grow in areas where the grasses have thinned due to various reasons. Fertilizing your lawn and watering it to make sure it is growing properly will also help keep weeds from germinating.

Nothing beats proper mowing when it comes to preventing weed growth. Of course, if you are on Spring-Green’s lawn care program, we will take care of your controllable weeds when we service your lawn. The Weed Science Society of America claims that more than 200 species of weeds have grown resistant to common weed control products. Remember, for our full program customers, reapplying for broadleaf weeds is part of your program and provided at no charge to you. Contact your local Spring-Green for more information on our services.