Chickweed Control

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Barricade Granular Pre-emergent Herbicide
Granular
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Eraser 41% Glyphosate
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Vision Pro Max Indicator Dye
Dye
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Keith's Pro Tips

"In order to best prevent Chickweed, pre-emergent must be applied before Chickweed germinates, so apply it in September. You can then apply new grass seed next spring. Your new grass won’t be as established when summer comes, but that’s the tradeoff you’ll have to make."

Chickweed Control: How To Get Rid of Chickweed

Chickweed is a common pesky winter weed that landowners have to deal with on an annual basis. There are three species of chickweed: common chickweed, star chickweed and mouse-ear Chickweed.

Homeowners tend to overlook the growth of chickweed in the fall and usually notice its presence in the spring when it begins to grow vigorously in thin and bare spots of the lawn. By the time action is taken, the weed has already disbursed seeds for next year and will die out on its own. Seeds will then lie dormant until the cooler weather of fall arrives and then they will start to germinate and grow throughout the winter.

If you have chickweed on your lawn, our DIY guide can help. The instructions below were put together by lawn care experts and will show you how to properly conduct chickweed treatment so this plant no longer dominates your yard.

Identification

Before you can carry out a treatment application, you need to be sure that you are dealing with chickweed and not some other invasive plant. Misidentification of weeds can lead to using the wrong treatment method, resulting in wasted time and money. Here are some traits to help you to identify chickweed:

Chickweed

  • Chickweed is a winter annual weed. Many homeowners notice patches growing in late winter or early spring. There are three variations of chickweeds you could possibly find on your lawn. The first is known as common chickweed. It is common in yards, along the edges of gardens and more. It has simple lance-shaped to ovate leaves that are smooth along the margins. It has a small white flower which appears as if it has ten petals but it is just because the split in the petals. Chickweed is also edible and known for its pleasant taste.
  • The second type of chickweed is mouse-ear chickweed. It is also common in lawns but generally grows a little further away from the home. The reason its named Mouse-ear Chickweed because of how hairy it is. The leaves are just like common chickweed in shape and along the margins, however the stem is red rather than green. The white flower is the same as common chickweed.
  • The third type of chickweed is star chickweed. It is commonly found in the Eastern woodlands where it is native. This plant is a little larger in size but grow in less dense clumps than it's other two relatives. The leaves and flowers are the same shape, with the same features, however the flower and leaves are much larger overall. The stem is red and there are fine little hairs that run it's length.
  • Chickweed in lawns typically grows in patches up to 2 inches in height. This weed grows ovular, pointed, opposite leaves, and the flowers are small with five white petals that appear split down the middle.

Use the description above and the images to help you to identify whether chickweed is on your lawn. If you need help, contact us and we will assist you in properly identifying your lawn weed.

Inspection

After you have confirmed that you are dealing with a type of chickweed, proceed with an inspection. Walk through your yard to observe the infestation of chickweed. Depending on how severe of a chickweed issue you have, your approach can then either be a manual or chemical means of control or a combination of both.

Chickweed

Where to Inspect

Chickweed grows well in areas with poor drainage. Look around your property and note areas that are shaded throughout the day, or where the soil is compacted. After normal rainfall, note spots in the turf where puddles form.

What To Look For

Because of the multiple species, chickweed can vary in appearance but look in particular for plants with small egg-shaped leaves that grow in clumps.

Treatment

Before handling any chemicals, make sure to put on the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for safety.

To kill any chickweed on your lawn, use a post-emergent herbicide labeled for chickweed control. Check out Eraser. Eraser is a non-selective weed killer made with glyphosate. Glyphosate is a very powerful ingredient, however, it is non-selective, meaning the product will affect and kill any plant it is applied to.

Step 1: Mix and Apply Eraser

Mixing Eraser in a Sprayer

Eraser contains 41% Glyphosate as an active ingredient and is the best weed killer for Chickweed. Eraser works systemically through the foliage down to the root killing the entire plant within days. Keep in mind that Eraser is a non-selective herbicide and thus is a kill-all treatment.

Use Eraser 41% as a spot treatment and be careful not to get the chemical on any of your desired vegetation. An indicator dye like Vision Pro Max mixed with the spray application will aid you in keeping track of where you spray so you don't accidentally spray on your desired grass.

Measure the square footage of the treatment area to determine how much Eraser 41% you need. For spot treatments, 2.5 oz. of Eraser 41% in a gallon of water can treat 300 sq. ft. Mix the appropriate amount of product into your sprayer with Vision Pro Max indicator dye (at a rate of 6 to 10 fl. oz. per 100 gallons of spray solution) to help you keep track of where you spray. Agitate the sprayer and you are ready to spray.

Once you’ve completed your solution, spray any chickweed on your lawn directly with low pressure. Use a fan spray setting to thoroughly coat the leaves of the weed, and spray to the point of wet but not runoff. To prevent spray drift, you can block off surrounding areas with cardboard.

When finished, allow treated areas to dry completely before allowing people or pets back in. You should start to see weeds dying within 4 to 6 weeks.

Step 2: Monitor and Re-Apply As Needed

Spot treating eraser

You may need to do repeat applications of Eraser after 7 to 10 days if the chickweed is particularly persistent and problematic. Its best to spot treat your problem areas in general.

You also want to be careful to not treat newly seeded lawns until they have had a chance to mature. The best way to gauge this is to wait until you have mowed your new lawn at least three times. Otherwise, the Eraser weed killer may harm the tender new grass as well.

Prevention

Once chickweed has been eliminated from your property, you will need to take on some preventative practices to keep chickweed from returning. Listed below are some preventative measures to prevent chickweed:

Spreading granules

  • If chickweed is a problem that persists year after year, then consider laying down a pre-emergent herbicide with prodiamine. We recommend you use a product like Barricade. When applied properly, Barricade will form a chemical barrier that will stop weed seeds from sprouting. It will have no affect on weeds that are already established. To prevent chickweed, we recommend you make your application during fall before the soil temperatures cool to below 70 degrees. Barricade comes as a granular herbicide, so you’ll need a broadcast push spreader to apply it. Depending on your turf type, you’ll make an application at the labeled rate of 1.5 to 4 pounds of product per 1,000 square feet of treatment area. Broadcast half your granules in parallel lines once across the area. Then broadcast the other half at a perpendicular angle to cover the area in its entirety. Once the product is fully applied, water it in. Most effective control can be achieved with at least half an inch of water within 14 days of application. When applied properly, Barricade will prevent weeds from emerging on your lawn for the winter season.
  • Another thing you can do to prevent Chickweed is address drainage issues. Normally, Chickweed grows in areas that have poor drainage. Don't water frequently and use an organic mulch to make it tougher for Chickweed seeds to germinate. Last but not least, maintaining a thick vigorous lawn can choke out any Chickweed seedlings from growing or trying to take over so make sure to keep a good lawn maintenance schedule.

Key Takeaways

What is Chickweed?

  • Chickweed is a wild edible green leafy plant that grows predominantly throughout Europe and North American climates. It is one of the top most common weeds on residences as its seeds are easily transported.

How To Get Rid of Chickweed

  • We recommend treating Chickweed post-emergently with spot treatments of Eraser Herbicide. It is the best weed killer for Chickweed.

Preventing Chickweed Reinfestation

  • Prevent chickweed establishment by applying Nitrophos Barricade, addressing drainage issues on your lawn, and regular lawn maintenance.
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