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In the summer months, we often receive pictures of a particular weed from our clients.  They want to know why they have it and how to get rid of it.  Typically, this weed is Burnweed, which is an annual weed that is easily identifiable by its large, serrated leaves. Burnweed is a poor competitor and thrives in low-maintained areas. 

Why do clients who have had preventative weed treatments like pre-emergents have this weed?  

The most common reason is due to a lack of consistent weekly mowing, which leads to a layer of thick thatch in the lawn. Burnweed seeds typically germinate in the thatch layer, which makes it almost impossible to prevent this weed with pre-emergent herbicides. Thatch is a layer of organic matter that accumulates in the lawn around the base of the turf. Burnweed is one of the only weeds we tend to see in a treated lawn. Burnweed spreads quickly by seed and can be spread through wind, mowing, rain, or even walking through the lawn. The best control for Burnweed is good cultural practices. Follow these tips to keep Burnweed out of your lawn this summer. 

Weekly Mowing–Your lawn needs a regular 5-7 day mowing cycle. By mowing on a weekly basis, you can prevent the weeds from producing seed and help ease the spread of the Burnweed. Regular mowing will also put some stress on this weed and will help it decline naturally. Please refer to our blog, How Mowing Can Help Us Help You for some more information on mowing your lawn.

Core Aeration–Aeration is a great idea as this can help not only alleviate soil compaction but it can help reduce excessive thatch in the lawn. Lawns with a thick layer of thatch are more likely to have issues with Burnweed. We suggest you aerate your lawn at least one time per year to prevent thatch and soil compaction. Visit our website to learn more about Core Aeration.

Water Properly–We also recommend that your lawn receive at least one inch of water per week. This is important for the overall health of the turfgrass. A healthy lawn will be more resistant to weeds and disease. See our post for more information on watering. Watering-Why It’s A Must

Burnweed can be treated with post-emergent weed killer; however, good cultural practices will go a long way to ensuring you have a healthy, weed free lawn. Without changing the way the lawn is maintained, weed treatments alone will not resolve Burnweed long-term. The best way to keep burnweed out of your lawn is to mow weekly, aerate annually, and water 1’’ per week. If you are having an issue with this or any other weeds in the lawn, give us a call so we can help with your specific concerns.