For those of you trying to maintain a beautiful lawn and garden, garden weeds are a huge problem that can be difficult to get rid of. There are hundreds of different kinds of weeds that can crop up in your garden, from grassy weeds that grow within your lawn, to broadleaf weeds and vines. We have all kinds of weeds that are commonly found across the UK. But which weeds are the most common in our UK gardens?

Dandelion (Taraxacum)

Dandelions are a common type of weed that pop up in lawns and fields nationwide. They have distinctive yellow flowers which dry out in the summer months to form the iconic spherical seed heads we associate with dandelions. These seeds are dispersed by the wind and travel to nearby lawns and fields, which is why they are one of the most common weeds in our gardens across the UK! You are likely to see dandelions appearing in your garden between March and November.

Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)

These low growing weeds have incredibly fibrous, robust roots which makes them hard to eradicate. They are identified by their bright yellow flowers and furry stems and leaves. Creeping Buttercups prefer lawns and fields with particularly wet soil, so you often find them in ditches and waterlogged fields. You are likely to see them most during spring and the late summer months.

Japanese Knotweed (Reynoutria japonica)

This weed is incredibly fast growing and deep-rooted, it causes a lot of problems for homeowners across the UK. Japanese Knotweed can be identified by its reddish-purple fleshy shoots, dense bamboo-like stems and flat, green, heart-shaped leaves. Its large network of underground roots makes getting rid of this weed incredibly difficult.  

Having Japanese knotweed around your home can cause you significant problems, especially if you plan to sell your home in the near future. If you’re concerned that you may have Japanese knotweed outside your property, contact our sister company Taylor Weed Control – the Japanese knotweed removal specialists. They will help you eradicate this common garden weed before it has a chance to cause any lasting damage!

Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort plantain is an incredibly resilient weed that can appear in your garden anytime during the year. It is identified by its brown, oval-shaped flower heads with protruding white stamens. The reason it is such a prevalent weed in our UK gardens is that it can live in a vast array of conditions - tolerating environments similar to a rainforest and incredibly dry soils too . Here in the UK our weather changes so frequently it can feel like a rainforest one day and a desert the next!  

Birds-Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

This perennial lawn weed is a member of the clover family (although we're not sure it has the same good luck charm). It has slowly crept its way into gardens all over the UK, causing a real problem! Much like Japanese knotweed, this common garden weed has a robust, deep root system and spreads both above and below ground level making it difficult to remove.

As you can see, birds-foot trefoil has bright yellow flowers that bloom between April and September. Although this is a pretty weed, we know it can still cause you a lot of problems, so don't hesitate to get in touch if you've spotted it in your garden!

If you are currently experiencing a problem with any of these common garden weeds – Lawn & Weed Expert can offer professional, effective treatment that will make your lawn and garden weed-free again in no time! Find out more about our effective weed control treatments by clicking the button below:

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Keep your grass green - and make your neighbours green with envy - with this handy guide on when to scarify your lawn.

Scarify your lawn

What is lawn scarifying?

Okay, first things first, just what exactly does “scarification” mean? While it may, at first glance, seem like something you would associate with horror movies, the real definition is luckily far less sinister.

Scarifying a lawn – also known as de-thatching – is essentially the process of removing thatch and moss from a garden surface (hence the aptly named alias). The word “scarify” is actually pronounced “skah-rify” – as opposed to “scare” (like Scary Movie) or “scar” (a la Scarface).

But how do you scarify a lawn? Well, say hello to my little friend…the scarifier!

While that name could also very easily pass as a horror movie title, the scarifier is anything but horrifying. This handy tool uses rolling blades to trim and remove thatch, moss and debris, keeping your lawn looking lush and healthy.

Scarifiers typically come in two forms: manually operated and machine powered. Machine scarifiers come with either an electrical or petrol-powered motor and boast self-rotating blades. Meanwhile, the manual version features simple, push/pull operated rollers on the end of a long handle – imagine the bigger, more talented brother of the humble rake and you won’t be far off.

When to scarify lawn surfaces

If your lawn has begun to possess a yellowy tinge, it could be time to break out the scarifier. After all, nobody wants a lawn that looks ill and on its last legs.

That being said, there are certain times of the year that are more suitable than others. Late spring and early autumn are considered to be the two best times to scarify your lawn, capitalising on both the weather and the conditions of the ground.

Most garden experts agree that the ideal time to scarify your lawn is when your grass is growing strongly. If you scarify at the wrong time of year when your grass isn’t growing as fast, you risk damaging your lawn severely.

Dusting off the scarifier too early can ruin your lawn, so be patient and don’t jump the gun – that lawn isn’t going anywhere. Similarly, if you miss your window and are tempted to scarify in the wintertime, do so at your peril. You could leave your lawn exposed to the cold weather making it more difficult for your grass to recover.

It’s also advisable to scarify your grass when it’s had a little rain and isn’t too dry. A lawn that’s moderately moist underneath but dry to the touch is ideal, making for the perfect time to unleash your inner horticultural handyman.

Finally, remember that scarifying can be an extremely stressful process for your lawn, so try to time it to coincide with good weather conditions to follow. Chances are that the grass is still going to need a few days to recover, so try to make the aftermath as comfortable as possible.

Top tips for scarifying your lawn

While timing is everything when it comes to scarifying your garden, there are also a few handy hints and tips you can employ to help give your lawn a fighting chance of flourishing.

Mowing your lawn a week prior to scarifying can be a great way to prep your garden for its impending makeover. This will remove excess grass and dice up any thatch patches, making it easier to shift later on.

Similarly, you may also want to apply moss killer to your lawn a week or so before your scheduled scarify day. This will ensure the moss is dead and prevent it from spreading any further during the scarifying process.

For the best results, it’s also a good idea to water your grass a couple of days before scarifying, if the weather is fine. Alternatively, you could just hold off scarifying your lawn until a day or two after a bout of rainfall and save yourself a job.

Whatever you do, don’t scarify when it’s wet – you could end up yanking out the grass by the root, removing the grass itself as well as the thatch. If your lawn does seem a little bare post-scarification, you may want to scatter some additional grass seed. This can help create a thicker, greener lawn, while also helping to limit weed growth.

Lastly, remember to be patient. You may find that scarifying your lawn leaves your garden looking worse than when you started. Don’t panic and have faith – if you’ve timed it right and followed these top tips, your garden will grow back looking healthy and better than ever.

Want to get the most out of your garden? Request a free lawn survey from Lawn & Weed Expert!

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