Identifying Unknown Plants/Bad company for my lawn
QUESTION: Hello Susan,
My lawn has been for a long time free of bad weeds--I personally take care of them--but lately there's one that has been proliferating and it's got me worried. I'm sending a couple of pictures hoping you please tell me about these, like the names, and how to get rid of them. The one that has flowers is not so pervasive, but the other one worries me the most.
Thanks in advance,
ANSWER: Hi Rick,
The first picture just looks like the seed heads of St. Augustine grass. You may never have seen this before if you keep the lawn mowed fairly short. Usually, these seed heads are sporadic, but certain weather conditions (such as a drought period followed by rain, summer cool front, etc) will cause your lawn to bloom prolifically. To see if this is the case, follow one of the heads down to the soil level and see if it is attached to a grass runner, or if it has roots of it's own.
The second one is deer pea, which is in the legume (clover) family. Any lawn weed and feed labeled for St. Augustine grass should take care of it, if the vines are too many to remove by hand.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi Susan,
Silly me... I've been pulling out these seed heads :-P
Yes they seem to be coming out the regular grass (St. Augustime) but I thought they were bad weed in (a perfect) desguise LOL
So what I should be doing instead of pulling them out is getting the seeds and spreading them around, right?
Thank you in advance,
Lol! If you collect them, St. Augustine grass seed sells for about $60 a pound. The bad news is, St. Augustine grass seed has a very poor germination rate - 40% or less. If you have some bare areas to fill in, you can buy St. Augustine plugs for about $7 a flat in spring, or you can make your own. Just take a sharp tool (knife with a sturdy blade, etc) and cut small squares from inconspicuous areas of your yard. Go at least an inch deep to get some roots. You won't even be able to tell where you took them from in about 2-3 weeks; the grass runners fill in quickly. Plugs will fill in a bare area even faster than sod, because there is already a good root system there.
So, don't give yourself a heatstroke collecting the seeds!