Turf weeds are unwanted plants that disturb your lawn. They not only look messy on your property, but they also steal essential nutrients, sunlight, and water from your grass, disrupting its growth and quality.

Learning the terms associated with turf weeds can help you identify them, understand their life cycles, and eliminate them early on when they are easier to control. These terms include the types of harmful weeds (noxious, invasive), plant parts that are responsible for their continuous growth (taproot, rhizome), and more. Knowing these terms is necessary for developing an effective weed management program and choosing the proper time and herbicide application.


Turf Weed Terms Include Herbicide, Rhizome, Broadleaf, Taproot & More

Dandelion weeds growing in a yard near Independence, Missouri.

A basic understanding of the types of turf weeds comes in handy when identifying and selecting weed control treatments.

  • Herbicide - This is a pesticide application that will kill unwanted plant life. Herbicides can be applied through either pre-emergent or post-emergent treatments. Pre-emergent herbicide treatments stop weed seeds from fully germinating, preventing them from ever poking up out of your soil. Post-emergent herbicide treatments control the weeds that are already fully grown out of your soil.
  • Noxious - Noxious weeds are harmful threats to crops, ecosystems, and landscapes. These threats can include poisonous weeds, rash or allergens, and cost-prohibitive actions to control the weeds. Noxious weeds can be annual, biennial, or perennial plants. Examples of noxious weeds include bittersweet, knapweed, knotweed, and poison ivy, among others.
  • Invasive - This is a variety of weeds that have been introduced from other regions and spread persistently in their new habitats. They take over an area of your lawn or landscape and can spread quickly and out of control.
  • Taproot - Taproots are long roots that grow downward and where all the other parts of the plant grow from. They are the first roots to appear from the seed and remain the largest, central root of the plant. Carrots, parsnips, radishes, beets, and dandelions are all considered taproots.
  • Rhizome - a horizontal root that grows under the soil from a central root system. It will produce shoots that become new plants. It is difficult to eliminate an invasive plant that uses rhizomes to multiply because if a rhizome is left in the soil, a new plant can emerge. This is because they do their spreading underground. Plants that spread quickly with the help of rhizomes include ginger, stinging nettle, horsetails, and poison ivy.
  • Perennial - This is a type of weed that can live for many seasons and will most likely have a vast root system. Perennial weeds do not die at the end of the growing season and produce new growth over a few seasons. Dandelion and brambles are examples of perennial weeds.
  • Annual - Annual weeds only survive one growing season. Some varieties produce thousands of seeds that will grow the next year. Summer annual seeds take root in spring, grow in spring and summer, and then die in the fall. Winter annual seeds develop in fall, winter, and early spring, then die in late spring. Examples of summer annual weeds are crabgrass and Russian thistle, while winter annual weeds include annual bluegrass and prickly lettuce.
  • Broadleaf Weeds - This is a family of weed varieties with flat, wide leaves and netlike veins. Dandelion and thistle are examples of broadleaf weeds. The broadleaf term is used to distinguish them from other weeds, which is useful when choosing the right herbicide treatment to control them.
  • Grassy Weeds - These are weeds that grow throughout your lawn and blend in with your grass, hence their name. It can be tough to identify them, so it is best to reach out to a professional team like ours to help you identify if you have grassy weeds.

The herbicides used for weed elimination depends on if you are dealing with broadleaf or grassy weeds.


Got weeds? Let us tackle these pesky invaders - call us today!

Knowing what type of weeds are growing on your lawn and their life cycle will help you choose the beth method for elimination. At Sam's Turf Care, we have been identifying and eliminating weeds in the Independence, Gladstone, and North Kansas City, Missouri areas since 1985. Call us today at (816) 886-1121 to schedule our weed control treatments today!