The Ultimate Lawn Weed Guide - Lawn Solutions Australia

The Ultimate Lawn Weed Guide

Welcome to our blog on common lawn weeds and how to remove them! We all want to have a beautiful and lush lawn, but unfortunately, weeds can grow and affect the aesthetic of our outdoor space.

In this blog, we will be looking at a wide range of common lawn weeds and explore the best ways to remove them. From bindii and crabgrass to clover and winter grass, we will cover everything you need to know about identifying and controlling these pesky lawn weeds.

Skip to: Clover, Bindii, Winter Grass, Creeping Oxalis, Soursob, Cudweed, Nutgrass, Crowsfoot/Crabgrass, Common Chickweed, Onion Weed, Summer Grass, Mullumbimby Couch, Paspalum, Spurge/Red Caustic Weed, Khaki Weed, Mallow, Creeping Charlie, Burr Medic, Spotted Medic, Black Medic, Fleabane, Plantain, Trad, Capeweed, Dandelion, Common Daisy, Purslane.

Clover (Trifolium)

Clover is another weed commonly found in many Aussie lawns. This weed can be identified by its oval-shaped leaves. These leaves also have a white circular marking across all the leaves and will produce either a white, pink, red or yellow flower.

We recommend using a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die to remove clover.

clover

Bindii (Jo-Jo)

Bindii can be one of the more annoying and painful weeds to have growing in your lawn. This weed is low growing, with its flower at the centre of the plant. Bindii will start to grow in winter and will grow a green carrot-like leaf. As the temperatures warm up in spring and summer, the plant will begin to dry out and leave behind its prickly seeds.

Bindii can be removed with most broadleaf herbicides like All Purpose Weed Control and Amgrow Bin Die. Both herbicides are safe for common lawn varieties, including Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo, Sir Grange Zoysia, TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda, couch, zoysia, fescue, and ryegrass.

bindii

Winter Grass (Poa annua)

Winter Grass, or Poa annua as it is scientifically known, is a low growing turf grass. It has soft, drooping green leaves grown in tufts with triangular shaped seed heads.

Winter Grass Killer is a selective control that will kill Winter Grass by targeting the roots, so it is extremely important to spray early in its life cycle before seed heads appear. Munns Winter Grass Killer is another option that is safe to use on kikuyu lawns.

Targeting it before it emerges is the key to preventing it from germinating and going to seed. A pre-emergent like Oxafert can be applied and it will target the Winter Grass before it emerges from the soil.

winter grass

Oxalis (Oxalidaceae)

Oxalis, also known as wood-sorrel, is a genus of plants with green or purple leaves and many variations in flower colour including white, pink or yellow. Below we focus on the common species found in Australian lawns.

Creeping Oxalis (Oxalis Corniculata)

Creeping Oxalis, as its name suggests, quickly runs along the surface of the soil and produces roots from the leaf as it goes and creeps under and through your lawn. When seed pods mature, they dry out and explode, causing the seed to spread. It is a very invasive and nasty weed, so it’s important to take action against it as soon as possible.

Creeping Oxalis is difficult to remove as crowns break off leaving roots for re-growth. You can hand remove small plants or dig out sections where you need to if they aren’t particularly large. If there is a substantial spread of creeping oxalis through your lawn, you will get better results by spraying your lawn with a selective herbicide.

A selective herbicide such as All Purpose Weed Control or Bin Die Herbicide will help to eradicate Creeping Oxalis in all lawn types including kikuyu and couch and are safe to use on most varieties of buffalo except the ST varieties.

creeping oxalis

Soursob (Oxalis Pes-caprae)

Soursobs spread with leaves along the ground, producing large yellow flowers with 5 petals and a long white tuberous root. Soursob will also have black dots on its leaf.

Completely eradicating Soursobs from your lawn will take a bit of time and effort. Unlike many other weeds, it is not recommended to remove them by hand, as the bulbs will break off and continue to grow beneath the soil allowing it to reappear. There are also no selective herbicides readily available for domestic lawns that will target the Soursobs, so you will need to take a few other steps to try and remove it. Mowing them off regularly will weaken the plant helping your grass to overcome the infestation. Bulb exhaustion occurs just before flowering, so this is the perfect time to implement your mowing and non-selective herbicide application, when the plant is weak. This is the only stage that physical removal will be an option, by digging up under the plant and removing the soil around it as well.

soursob

Time for a new lawn?

Get Turf Quotes

 

Cudweed (Gnaphalium spp.)

Cudweed has glossy light green leaves in a rosette shape. Under the leaf, it is white and furry. It has various flowering habits from mid-spring to early summer, or in autumn.

When treating Cudweed, it is recommended to use a surfactant or add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the herbicide, to help it adhere to the leaf. We recommend using a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die to remove this.

cudweed

Nutgrass (Cyperus rotundus)

Nutgrass is a noxious Sedge weed that gets its name from its nut-like tubers found on the plant’s roots. It is usually identifiable from its lighter green leaves that grow taller than the rest of your lawn. It has 3 blades that will shoot up from the stem. The stem will be triangular rather than circular stem like most grasses.

If your lawn has nutgrass, it is not recommended to pull them out by hand as the bulbs will be left in the soil, and the plant will reappear. To remove nutgrass, we recommend using a selective herbicide like our Lawn Solutions Sedge Control.

nutgrass

Crowsfoot/Crabgrass (Eleusine Indica or Digitaria)

Crowsfoot is an annual summer weed that grows in easy-to-identify tufts, staying fairly flat to the ground with almost white flat sheathed stems and smooth strap-like leaves. Seed heads usually appear from late spring or early summer. These seed heads can have as many as ten spikelets on each long stem. In an unhealthy lawn, if left to seed and spread, Crowsfoot will quickly infiltrate right through the entire lawn. Crowsfoot is commonly found throughout most Australian states.

If there are only a few tufts of crowsfoot growing, the best way to remove the weed is to pull it out by hand. If there is an infestation across the lawn, we recommend using a herbicide with DSMA as the active, like David Greys 500ml Crab Grass and Clover Killer Selective Herbicide. Please note herbicides containing DSMA as the active ingredient are not safe for use on Kikuyu, buffalo lawns, and QLD blue couch.

crabgrass crowsfoot

Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Chickweed is a low growing, winter annual weed that can continue growing all through summer. It has paired leaves protruding opposite one another that have minimal fine hairs. As temperatures rise white flowers bloom in clusters at the end of a stem.

Chickweed can be removed by hand, but if you have a substantial spread of chickweed in your grass, then an application with a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die would be the go.

chickweed

Onion Weed (Nothoscordum sp)

Onion weed is a menace in lawns and garden beds right around Australia. It is one of the worst weeds that you can have take-hold in your yard as it is also one of the most difficult to get rid of.

Onion weed is a perennial with thin green strappy leaves growing from a mainly white bulb which gives off an onion smell when crushed. Flowers grow at the top of a long stalk and are mainly white.

Eradicating onion weed starts with removing as many of the plants as possible. Do not try to pull the plant out of the ground or shake excess dirt back off into the hole or compost. The small bulblets tend to pull away from the mother plant when pulled, which leaves more bulbs in the ground that will rapidly grow. If possible, dig the weed-clump out of the ground with a spade or a trowel, and throw the entire clump away. If you have an extensive problem, Onion weed and onion grass can be treated with a selective herbicide called ProForce Duke 10WG Herbicide.

onion weed

Summer Grass (Digitaria sanguinalis and Digitaria cilaris)

Summer grass is an annual weed which has soft hairy leaves that grow close to the ground in clusters. The grass roots at the node (joint) and the sheathes of the leaf are usually purple tinged in colour at the base. Because Summer grass spreads by seed, it is extremely important that you act before this happens.

If there is only a small amount of Summer grass growing, the best way to remove the weed is to pull it out by hand. If there is an infestation across the lawn, we recommend using a herbicide with DSMA as the active, like David Greys 500ml Crab Grass and Clover Killer Selective Herbicide. Please note herbicides containing DSMA as the active ingredient are not safe for use on kikuyu, buffalo lawns, and QLD blue couch.

A really effective way of stopping Summer grass from germinating in your lawn again next year is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide like Oxafert. These herbicides act by stopping weeds from germinating from the soil in the first place. In order for them to work effectively, you need to apply them before emergence. For Summer grass, this would mean you would be best applying it in early to mid-spring.

summer grass

Mullumbimby Couch (Cyperus brevifolius)

Mullumbimby Couch is a perennial mat-forming, grass like sedge with dark green, glossy, strap-like leaves. It possesses tough and long rhizomes which are red to purple in colour.

If you do notice this weed growing, it is best to act quickly before it spreads and becomes very difficult to remove. You can dig them out with a small spade. But you will have to be very diligent with this to ensure there are no roots or bulbs left in the soil as they will reappear if left behind. If there is a large amount of Mullumbimby couch in your lawn, you will need to treat it with a selective herbicide like Sedge Control.

mullumbimby couch

Paspalum (Paspalum dilatatum)

Paspalum has a purple tinge at the base of broad grass leaves that stem from a central crown. It primarily grows throughout the warmer months from late spring to early autumn.

If the paspalum has spread throughout your lawn and is out of control, you may need to look at applying a selective herbicide that contains the active DSMA (not safe for kikuyu and buffalo), something like David Greys 500ml Crab Grass and Clover Killer Selective Herbicide is ideal.

Paspalum

Spurge/Red Caustic Weed

Spurge/Red Caustic Weed is a low growing weed with a red stems and dark green leaves. The stems of these weeds contain a milky sap. The leaves can have a purple or red spot in the centre.

The best and easiest way to remove spurge is to pull it out by hand. Repeated applications of a broadleaf herbicide can also be used for removal.

spurge

Khaki weed

Khaki weed has reddish stems with oval shaped, hairy leaves. This weed produces greenish – yellowish flower and spreads mainly by its seeds located inside a burr. This burr can easily be transported between areas after attaching to objects like animals, clothing, and machinery.

Dicamba (not buffalo safe) and MCPA are the recommended active ingredients to treat this weed. You can also remove by using a non-selective herbicide containing glyphosate, like roundup. You will need to be careful to only apply it to the weed and not your lawn as it will harm it also. We recommend using a weed wand or small paint brush to help with accuracy.

khaki weed

Mallow

Mallow has woody base, large tap root and spreads mainly by its seed. Mallow’s leaves are dark green and have scalloped lobes.

While the mallow is young, hand removal is the most effective option. Dicamba (not buffalo safe) and MCPA based products can provide some control for Mallow.

mallow

Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie also known as ground ivy has kidney shaped leaves with scalloped edges. This weed’s viny stems can root into the ground at each node and has violet-blue flowers.

For removal it is recommended to use a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die.

creeping charlie

Burr Medic (Medicago polymorpha)

This hairless intruder likes to occupy soil high in phosphate. As the name suggests it produces burrs, which contain seeds. Beware! The burrs can attach to your dog’s coat or yours. Its leaves are heart shaped and clover-like, with serrated edges. Burr medic produces tap roots and small yellow flowers.

For removal it is recommended to use a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die.

Burr Medic

(Image Source: Turf Finder)

Spotted Medic (Medicago Arabica)

This encroacher has black spots on its leaves, which are again, clover-like and serrated. Spotted medic also produces a yellow flower.

For removal it is recommended to use a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die.

Spotted Medic

Black Medic (Medicago lupulina)

This trespasser grows well where soil is compacted and dry. It produces a small yellow flower and has clover-like leaves that are serrated near the tip. Black medic may produce a tap root. Don’t confuse it with oxalis or other clovers. The presence of black medic can indicate your soil lacks nitrogen.

For removal it is recommended to use a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die.

Black Medic

Fleabane

Fleabane grows tall with a tough hairy stem and long rosettes of leaves all the way up it.

For removal it is recommended to use a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die.

fleabane

Plantain (Lambs Tongue)

Plantain has thin veins on the leaves that form in rosettes and slender flowering stems with dense brown seed heads.

For removal it is recommended to use a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die.

lambs tongue

Trad (Tradescantia fluminensis) also known as Wandering Jew

Trad is a creeping weed with green oval-shaped leaves. This weed produces white flowers mostly between spring and summer. It is a highly invasive weed and will grow in mostly shaded and damp areas.

Trad can be removed by hand, or selectively treated with a non-selective herbicide containing glyphosate, like roundup. When using a non-selective herbicide, you will need to be careful to only apply it to the weed and not your lawn as it will harm it also. We recommend using a weed wand or small paint brush to help with accuracy.

wandering jew trad

Capeweed

Capeweed is an autumn/winter annual with a rosette forming dicit, with deeply lobed leaves and white downy underside. It has many small flowers on a black, pitted receptacles with radiating yellow florets. Capeweed has deep taproots that can make hand removal difficult.

For removal it is recommended to use a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die.

capeweed

Dandelion

Toothy leaves, light green milky sap, rosette shaped solitary, yellow daisy like flowers on hollow stems, with a thick taproot.

For removal it is recommended to use a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die.

Dandelion

Common Daisy

Daisies are easily identified by their flower with white petals and a yellow centre. It has green leaves that form clusters of rosettes in the grass.

For removal it is recommended to use a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die.

common daisy

Purslane

Purslane is a succulent type weed with tear drop shaped leaves, waxy coating, and purple/brown stems.

This weed is best chipped out manually by hand. It will generally not infiltrate a lawn unless it is extremely sparce and thin. Attention to improving the lawn should see purslane unable to infiltrate your lawn.

If a herbicide is required, a broadleaf herbicide like All Purpose Weed Control or Amgrow Bin Die is ideal.

purslane

Time for a new lawn?

Get Turf Quotes

For more lawn care tips and advice, check out our lawn care blogs here.

Buy lawn care products


Liquid Lawn Lover Bundle - with Handy Gardening Gloves

Do you prefer to use liquid lawn care products? Well, this bundle has every liquid you need to help maintain the health of both your lawn and the soil that it relies on.

Lawn Aerator Sandals

The easy way to aerate your lawn. Just strap on & walk!