While it’s fantastic that winter is finally over (both for our lawns and for us), now is a time when many weed seeds begin to germinate.
To help you get a handle on some of the most common weeds, have a read of our weed identification tips as well as some effective control measures to help you manage your weeds in spring.
Bindii (Jo Jo, Onehunga)
Out of all the weeds found in Australia, Bindiis are probably the most known (and hated) of them all. And if you’ve ever stepped on one, you’ll know why!
Bindiis are broadleaf weeds with annual lifecycles and can start appearing in your lawn from winter, setting seed between late winter and early spring. As the plant matures, the flower at the plant’s centre produces a prickly seed pod which becomes easily embedded in your foot – not fun!
The best way to get a handle on Bindiis is to spray them with a broadleaf herbicide like Bow & Arrow as soon as they start appearing before they have the chance to spread. It’s also a good idea to re-spray every three weeks to ensure any weeds that have germinated after the last spray are effectively dealt with.
Chickweed, also known as Stellaria Media) is another annual weed known to emerge throughout Australia in winter and spring, but can continue growing into summer.
This low growing weed has small, shiny leaves and can sprout white flowers as the temperatures begin to rise. Despite being an annual plant, Chickweed can mature quite quickly and re-seed for new growth in just six weeks.
If you catch Chickweed early in its lifecycle, removing this weed by hand is quite easy. Simply dig beneath the plant and pull it out, making sure to remove all of the roots.
To help keep Chickweed at bay and prevent reoccurrence, it’s also useful to maintain your lawn with regular mowing.
If the plant has already begun to flower, this means that the seed has already spread and will germinate again next year unless it is controlled with a post emergent herbicide like Dissaray.
Creeping Oxalis (Yellow Wood Sorrel)
Creeping Oxalis are fast-growing and fast-spreading perennial weeds that grow in spring, summer & autumn.
Unlike others in the Oxalidaceae family, this obnoxious weed doesn’t produce underground bulbs, but rather spreads through stolons taking root in surrounding soil. In addition, Creeping Oxalis is known for its volatile seed dispersal that allows it to occupy not only lawns but anything with soil (including pot plants).
Controlling Creeping Oxalis
To ensure complete management of Creeping Oxalis, every piece of stem must be removed or killed; if a single piece is left behind, the plant will begin to regrow.
For complete removal from lawns, we recommend using a herbicide like Bow & Arrow at the beginning of spring for maximum effectiveness. If you’re finding Creeping Oxalis in pot plants or garden beds, it’s probably best to try and remove these by hand to ensure none of the surrounding plants are harmed.
Khaki Weed is a low growing, dense lawn weed with annual stems and perennial rootstock.
This nuisance weed can be identified by its hairy stems and prickly burrs and is usually found in and around towns although most commonly in New South Wales and Queensland.
With seeds germinating in spring and summer and flowering in autumn, this unpleasant weed has an extensive growing season.
Controlling Khaki Weed
As such a pervasive weed, the key to gaining control of Khaki Weed is perseverance. This means de-weeding and applying a weed killer like Dissaray repeatedly until all traces of the plant (including the stems and roots) are gone.
It’s also helpful to avoid walking or driving over the seed heads as these can be easily spread to other areas of your lawn.
Good luck in your fight against spring weeds!