Doveweed Control

Most Effective Products

Celsius WG Herbicide
Water Dispersible Granule (WDG)
As low as $12.32
SpecticleGPre-EmergentHerbicide
Granular
As low as $161.96
Keith's Pro Tips

"Although herbicides are useful tools to control doveweed, the most important factor to prevent doveweed problems is to have vigorous healthy turf. Doveweed requires a lot of sunlight, so if the turf effectively shades the ground, doveweed will have a hard time growing and producing new seed."

Doveweed Control: How To Get Rid of Doveweed

This page is a general DIY guide for controlling doveweed. Using the products and methods suggested you get control of doveweed. Follow this DIY article and use the recommended products, and we guarantee 100% control of doveweed.

Doveweed is a summer annual weed species and usually germinates later in the growing season than usual compared to other summer annual weeds, becoming a problem late in the summer. 

This weed is believed to have originated in the Southeastern United States but has been rapidly expanding to other areas of the country. The light green color and texture of Doveweed has been a source of frustration for lawn owners due to how much it differs from the color and texture of desired turfgrasses.

Doveweed reproduces by seeds and stolons and grows at a fast rate under moist conditions. The plants form dense, pure stands that smother and outcompete other vegetation in the area. Doveweed also likes to reside in areas of moisture, so its presence in your yard is a dead giveaway that you have soil moisture problems.

Our DIY doveweed treatment guide covers everything you need to know about this plant and what herbicides work best to get rid of it. Follow the step-by-step instructions below using the recommended herbicides to the right and you will be guaranteed a lawn free of doveweed.

Identification

Before you can proceed with a treatment program, you need to be certain that the weed you are dealing with is doveweed. Misidentification can lead to using the wrong treatment methods, costing you time and money. Here is a description of what doveweed looks like so you can easily identify it:

  • Doveweed plants can be confused with St. Augustinegrass and centipedegrass due to its grassy apperance and similar leaf width. To differentiate between them, doveweed grass leaves are thick and can be up to 4 inches long with soft hairs on the sheaths, rubbery texture, and parallel veins. This weed will also produce small white or lavender colored flowers during the summer, each with three small petals. 
  • This prostrate weed grows low to the ground in small mats and takes advantage of any gaps in turf with its creeping stems, also called stolons that will branch horizontally. 
  • After flowering, smooth appearing capsule shaped seeds will appear. They will appear green or gray in coloration and measure 3/16 inch in diameter. 
  • Doveweed is known to give off a harsh unpleasant smell when they have been trampled or crushed.

Use the image and description above to help you in properly identifying doveweed. If you are not entirely sure, contact us and we will assist you with correct identification.

Inspection

Once you have properly identified doveweed on your property, you should then carry out an inspection. During this phase, you will locate the areas where doveweed is concentrated and what conducive conditions are helping the weed to thrive.

Doveweed inspection up close

Where to Inspect

Doveweed thrives in areas that sit low to the ground and collect water, like lawns, landscape beds, container nurseries, and agricultural fields.

Other common sites for doveweed to appear are lawns consisting one turf type or a mix of St. Augustine, Bermuda, hybrid Bermuda, and Zoysiagrass. 

What To Look For

As a summer annual weed, doveweed will usually germinate in the late spring when soil temperatures have reached between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. It produces flowers during the summer.

They will appear more visibly from late spring to early summer spreading rapidly above-ground with its fleshy, creeping stems. 

Treatment

Before you start with the treatment, protect your eyes, skin, mouth and nose by wearing protective equipment (gloves, protective eyewear, safety mask etc.) any time you use herbicide chemicals.

A selective post-emergent herbicide containing sulfentrazone, metsulfuron-methyl, 2,4-D, dicamba, or atrazine as its active ingredients would be best in removing doveweed. 

Since doveweed is a problem more commonly seen on warm-season lawns, we recommend you use Celsius WG Herbicide. This product offers broad-spectrum control of broad-leaf and grassy weeds on many types of warm-season grasses.

Step 1: Mix and Apply Celsius WG Herbicide

Determine how much Celsius WG Herbicide to use by measuring the square footage of the treatment area. To do this, measure the length and width of the treatment area in feet then multiply them together (length X width = square footage). 

For spot applications, use 0.113 oz (3.2 g) of Celsius WG Herbicide per 1 gallon of water per 1,000 sq. ft. 

Mix and apply this product with a handheld pump sprayer or backpack sprayer. 

Once mixed, spot treat your lawn where the doveweed is concentrated. We suggest spraying on a fan spray nozzle setting to get a nice fine even coating on the doveweed.

Do not use on bahiagrass or cool-season turf types, including tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, or creeping bentgrass. 

A second application may be needed when 2-4 weeks have passed from first application for complete weed control. 

Prevention

Once doveweed has been eliminated from your property, you will need to implement some preventative measures which will ensure that this weed does not return.

  • Pre-emergent herbicides such as Specticle G Pre-Emergent Herbicide are the best way to prevent doveweed from returning to your property. Specticle G Pre-Emergent Herbicide is a selective, granular pre-emergent that prevents weeds from developing in residential and commercial warm-seasoned lawns. Use 2.9 - 4.6 lbs. of product per 1,000 sq. ft. Spread the granules evenly across the treatment area with a push or broadcast spreader. To activate this product, irrigate lightly after application to move the herbicide into the soil.
  • Address any piles of water or saturated soils by evening the landscape and aerating the ground to improve drainage. 
  • Adjust irrigation practices to no more than 1 inch once per week, preferably in the early mornings so there is enough time for the plant to absorb moisture. 
  • Mow your grass at proper intervals to maintain a thick growing density. A lawn dense with taller trimmed grass is better able to choke out weeds and prevent them from establishing. Reduce the shade cast on your lawn by trimming overgrown shrubbery and tree branches, rake away leaf litter and pick up any debris.

Key Takeaways

What is Doveweed?

  • Doveweed is a frustrating grassy weed that thrives in moist conditions and can be tough to control without the help of chemical herbicides.

How to Get rid of Doveweed

  • We recommend using Celsius WG Herbicide to kill doveweed. It will likely take numerous applications to get complete control over this stubborn weed.

Preventing Doveweed Reemergence

  • Preventative measures for doveweed can be done by applying Specticle G Pre-Emergent Herbicide and ensuring your yard has a strong, nutrient-rich stand of grass. Be sure to also address any drainage issues to clear out excess moisture.
Questions and Answers
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    Specticle G Pre-Emergent Herbicide
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