If you want to keep your lawn in immaculate condition all year round, you'll need to keep an eye out for weeds. As we've discussed previously on this blog, the definition of 'weeds' is somewhat subjective, but essentially, any plant that's growing where it isn't supposed to may be considered a weed.
As we've discussed previously (see What Makes a Plant a Weed?), there's no hard and fast rule to say which plants are weeds and which aren't. The word 'weed' can refer to any plant that's growing in a place where it isn't wanted.
Of course, some plants make weeds of themselves more often than others - see our list of common UK garden weeds for some of the most widespread examples.
Lawn weeds are a year-round nuisance, but they can be particularly pesky in the summertime. Long, warm days create ideal growing conditions for many varieties of weed, and periods of drought can limit your lawn's ability to compete with other plants.
Photo by wht_wolf9653 (Flickr)
Here are some common UK lawn weeds that tend to flower during the summer:
What is a weed? Put simply, it's a plant that's not wanted. There's no formal definition of what counts as a weed - it's not like the RHS website has a handy list of which plants are weeds and which plants aren't. Some plants that are considered weeds in one environment may be considered desirable elsewhere.
Common characteristics of weeds include:
- Aggressive growth and reproduction
- Growing in a place other than its natural habitat
- Ability to flourish despite inhospitable conditions
- Seeds that can lay dormant in the soil for a long time
Dandelions are a very common sight in British gardens, parks and fields. They are characterised by their bright yellow flowers, which eventually mature into 'dandelion clocks' - those fluffy seed heads that fly away when you blow on them.
The sunny yellow dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) might seem harmless enough, but it's still a weed, and a frustratingly resilient weed at that. If you have dandelions on your lawn, they may be robbing your grass of vital nutrients and moisture. So it's important to get rid of them in order to keep your lawn as healthy as possible.