You may imagine that after a spring and summer of sprouting, weeds would be ready to take a break with the rest of the plant world. Unfortunately, some weeds prefer sprouting during the cooler temperatures of fall. These weeds may appear early to mid-autumn, survive in a semi-dormant state through winter, and kick into high growth once Spring arrives. For most of the weeds, taking action in September to early October can help eliminate the future problems these weeds may bring. As fall arrives, look for the following Maryland weeds that may sprout during this season.
This winter annual favors cool, moist conditions, compacted soil, close mowing, and high nitrogen levels. In fact, overwatering or applying too much nitrogen fertilizer may enhance annual bluegrass growth. You can spot annual bluegrass by leaf blades that are hairless and often crinkled at the midsection. The tip of the leaf blade is shaped like the keel of a boat. It tends to grow and appear in bunches or clumps. It may also appear lighter green in color than tall fescue.
These common Maryland weeds are usually found creeping their way through a lawn. The chickweed plant is typically short enough that mowers may not even clip it and can often form dense patches in turf, landscape, and vegetable gardens. These plants thrive in the shade or sun and grow best in thin, weak lawns that are poorly drained. However, these weeds can be found in a range of soils and conditions. To identify, look for leaves that are light green, egg-shaped, arranged opposite each other on the shoots, with tiny hairs on the stems that connect leaves and shoots.
These Maryland weeds can often be mistaken for chickweed. That is because hairy bittercress can send up slender, 10 to 12-inch shoots from a small cluster of leaves. These weeds can grow in lawns, garden beds, and flower pots. Their growth is encouraged by shady areas and mowing a lawn too short. You can identify this plant by the initial rosette of small leaves that are heart-shaped with rounded edges. Once the larger shoots grow, small pairs of leaves are carried alternately on the stem rather than opposite each other. When the plant matures in Spring, it produces seed capsules that explode, sending seeds many feet away.
Ragweed can grow one to four feet. The leaves are deeply dissected and fernlike. Ragweed pollen is a primary cause of hay fever, so these Maryland weeds can be quite aggravating. Ragweed is common in cultivated crops, orchards, roadsides, and meadows. The plant prefers to grow in heavy, moist soils and can often be controlled by repeated mowing.
By keeping an eye out for weeds even into the fall, you can avoid uncontrolled growths that damage your lawn into the Spring.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!