How to Get Rid of Chickweed From Your Lawn

If you have a lawn, it’s probably safe to say you’ve had to deal with weeds at some point. Weeds can be frustrating and difficult to get rid of, especially when they are not removed in the early stages of growth. One such weed that can be hard to remove is chickweed.

Everyone loves their lawns, but when they start getting invaded by some unwanted chickweed, you know that you have to do something. Chickweed can be very stubborn and take over your whole garden if you don’t take care of it as soon as possible.

What is chickweed and how do you identify it?

Chickweed is an annual or perennial plant with small white flowers and bright green leaves that grow low to the ground. The stems are covered with tiny hairs, which gives them a “furry” appearance when viewed through a magnifying glass. They belong to the family of Amaranthaceae. They include wintergreen, ground ivy or chicken weed, and mouse-ear chickweed.

Chickweeds can be very difficult to identify because they look similar to other weeds such as henbit, speedwells (Veronica), and knotweeds (Polygonum). Some people confuse chickweed for clover, but their leaves have three leaflets instead of four like clovers do. They also produce seedpods at maturity rather than seeds like clover does.

Chickweed grows quickly during the spring and fall when temperatures are cool. During the summer months, chickweed is dormant until cooler weather returns. Although chickweed can be difficult to control without herbicides, there are many methods to effectively eliminate chickweed from your lawn without using chemicals.

What causes chickweed?

Chickweed is a common weed that can be found in lawns and gardens. It grows low to the ground and has small, white flowers.

Chickweed thrives in moist environments and will often become a problem during the springtime when temperatures are mild, and rainfall is high.

Chickweed has small, oval-shaped leaves and small white flowers with 5 petals each. It produces hundreds of seeds that spread by air or water, and its long stems can easily root at the nodes. It is attracted to nitrogen-rich soils, so maintaining a healthy lawn is the best way to prevent chickweed from taking over.

How do you get rid of chickweed?

You can use different methods to control the growth of weeds in your lawn and garden, but there are some that work better than others.

Manual removal

Hand pulling is one way to remove them from an area where they don’t want them to grow back again because once pulled out by hand. It might not be possible for those roots systems to come back up anytime soon.

Pull out young chickweed plants by hand before they have the chance to flower and set seeds. Wear gloves while pulling the weed out by hand to avoid skin irritation from the rough stems of the weed. 

Digging with shovels usually does the trick since these types of grasses tend to have shallow root systems only, so sometimes going deep enough can get rid of most of the weed.

Use of herbicide

Another method is using herbicide which will kill all living things around that territory, including any beneficial bugs or butterflies, so consider carefully before spraying down chemicals if you care about other creatures too.

Herbicides are available for eliminating chickweed without harming surrounding plants, but these chemicals don’t work as well when temperatures are warm, and the weeds have matured. Time your application according to the package directions and follow all safety precautions listed on the herbicide label.

Mow the lawn

The best way to control weed growth is by maintaining a healthy lawn. This can be done by mowing your lawn regularly and keeping the height at around three inches. Taller grass will shade out the weeds and make it difficult for them to grow.

Aerate the soil

Aerating the lawn will help reduce compaction and promote better drainage, which can prevent weed growth in your yard.

How do you prevent chickweed from coming back?

The best way to keep chickweed from invading your lawn and garden is to keep an eye on it and take care of it as soon as possible. Prevention is always better than cure.

  • Make sure that you remove any debris, such as fallen leaves or sticks, from your lawn and garden so the chickweed can’t take root.
  • Be sure to water your lawn regularly; chickweeds thrive in dry conditions. If you live in a climate where there is frost in the winter, make sure to cover your plants with a thick layer of mulch to protect them from the cold weather.
  • Keep thick turf: If you have an area that’s thin on grass, it’s going to be more susceptible to weeds coming through because there are cracks where they could grow into those spaces. So keep up with mowing your lawn regularly to ensure a thick turf that won’t allow any weeds to get through.
  • Remove the chickweed as soon as it’s spotted: If you see chickweed in your garden, don’t wait for it to spread before pulling out the plant. Remove all parts of each individual weed by hand or use an herbicide (if necessary). You should also make sure that no seeds have fallen on top of other plants nearby, so they’re not being carried around where they shouldn’t be growing at all times.
  • Aerate the soil: Aerating will loosen compacted earth and provide nutrients for grass roots; this means fewer opportunities for weeds like chickweed, dandelions, and clover because their growth will be hindered by aeration.
  • Apply mulch: Mulching your garden beds will help keep moisture in the soil, which can slow down weed growth; it also looks nice! You should apply a layer of mulch at least three inches thick to be most effective.
  • Maintain a healthy lawn: This is the best way to prevent weed growth in general, chickweed or not. A well-maintained lawn doesn’t provide an environment that’s hospitable for weeds to grow and will crowd out any potential invaders.


Benefits of removing chickweed from your lawn:

Some of the benefits of removing this weed from your lawn include:

  1. Improved appearance of your lawn: While chickweed is edible, it may have an adverse effect on the appearance of your lawn if it is allowed to spread. Once it has taken hold on your lawn, chickweed will germinate rapidly and begin to displace grasses. If left unchecked, large areas of your lawn can become infested with chickweed, producing an area of poor quality turf that is patchy and unattractive.
  2. A healthier lawn that is better able to resist pests and diseases: Chickweed can harbor pests and diseases that can affect your lawn. Removing chickweed will help to reduce the severity of any pest or disease problems that may be present in your lawn and will improve the overall health of your turf.
  3. Enhanced enjoyment of your outdoor spaces: A well-manicured lawn is not only more attractive but also provides a comfortable space for relaxing or playing outdoors. By removing chickweed from your lawn, you can create an inviting outdoor space that you and your family can enjoy year-round.


Frequently Asked Questions


Can you eat chickweed?

Yes, chickweed is edible and has a mild flavor. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is often used in salads or as a garnish.

Is chickweed poisonous?

No, chickweed is not poisonous. However, it may have an adverse effect on the appearance of your lawn if it is allowed to spread.

What causes chickweed to grow?

Chickweed is a cool-season weed that germinates during late summer or early fall. It prefers moist, shaded areas of your lawn and can be found growing in turfgrass varieties such as ryegrass, bluegrass, and fescues.

What animal eats chickweed?

Chickweed is a favorite food of many small mammals, including deer, rabbits, and groundhogs. If left unchecked, these animals can do significant damage to your lawn by feeding on chickweed.

Is chickweed a good ground cover?

No, chickweed is not a good ground cover. It will quickly germinate and spread in moist, shaded areas of your lawn, displacing grasses and creating an area of poor quality turf.

Can chickweed be composted?

Yes, chickweed can be composted. However, it is important to remember that composting will not kill all of the weed seeds present in the plant material. Therefore, it is best to avoid adding large amounts of chickweed to your compost pile.

Conclusion

It’s not easy to remove chickweed from your lawn by yourself. But, you can try to eliminate it with the proper steps and products. To ensure that the chickweed is completely gone, you should follow up immediately after treatment with proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing of the turf area where the weed is growing.

If you have a chickweed problem, you do have some options when it comes to how to remove them from the lawn. In most cases, you can use traditional weed killers. These are often found in gardening stores and will contain glyphosate or other chemicals.