It is common knowledge that most grasses and plants go dormant in the winter. However, winter annual weeds are different than most. These weeds start their life cycle in the fall when the moisture is sufficient and the temperatures begin to drop. In the spring, you can see them emerging on your lawn. Property owners in Ohio need to look out for common winter annual weeds such as the common chickweed, henbit, and the hairy bittercress.

These weeds, although very persistent, can be controlled. In the fall, a weed control treatment will prevent the seeds from germinating, while a fertilizer treatment will strengthen your lawn and allow it to fight off the stress from weeds. Keep reading to learn more about winter annual weeds in Ohio and how to avoid them.

Do Ohio property owners need to worry about winter annual weeds?

The short answer is yes. Most plants and weeds go dormant during the freezing winter in Ohio, but winter annual weeds are different. They germinate in the fall, survive in winter, and grow actively in the spring. These weeds spread thousands of seeds before the warmer summer months signal the end of their life. Their life cycle is the primary reason why most property owners get surprised that weeds have taken over their lawn in the spring. That is because most weeds only start germinating in spring, but winter annual weeds take advantage of the undisturbed soil and moisture during the fall and sprout in the spring.

If you are a property owner in Ohio, it’s best to take preventative measures to prevent winter annual weeds from growing in your lawn. That is because these weeds not only intend to steal nutrients from your grass but can also become hosts to insects and diseases. Your lawn does not need any of these stressful conditions when entering the growing season.

Common Winter Annual Weeds in Ohio

A bed of chickweeds by a home in Marion, OH.

Ohio is home to many different types of winter annual weeds. While some of them produce vibrant flowers that may trick you into thinking they are not weeds, don’t be fooled! Some common winter weeds found in Ohio include:

  • Henbit: The body of henbit is covered in fine hairs and is identifiable by its square stems and purple or pink flowers.
  • Common chickweed: With bright green leaves, slender stems, and white star-shaped flowers, the common chickweed is hard to miss and can produce up to 800 seeds.
  • Hairy bittercress: This persistent winter weed has alternating leaves and white flowers that emerge at the top of the stem. Beware of these white flowers as they turn into long seedpods and explode when touched. Once it explodes, the seedpod scatters hundreds of seeds that will germinate in the fall.

Protect Your Grass From Winter Annual Weeds

Winter annual weeds are something you don't want to deal with in the spring. Your lawn requires a lot of energy when coming back from dormancy and preparing to enter the growing season. To protect your grass from winter annual weeds, preventing their growth is critical. This means applying weed control treatments in the fall when the seeds are starting to germinate.

Still, resilient and robust grass can tolerate a range of stressful conditions, including weed growth. Give your lawn the nutrients it needs to thrive through fertilizer treatments. When your lawn receives enough nutrients, it won’t have to fight with weeds as much for resources.

We recommend applying liquid fertilizers to provide your grass with easy access to nutrients.

Prevent winter annual weeds from taking over your lawn. Call us today!

Don't get caught off guard by winter annual weeds in the spring. Prevent them from taking over your lawn with our weed control treatments! Our team at Ohio Green Lawn & Pest is committed to delivering top-quality results in everything we do, so you can rely on us to protect your lawn against persistent winter annual weeds. We provide our services to commercial, residential, and HOA properties in Mansfield, Ashland, Wooster, OH and nearby areas. Call us today at (419) 528-5698 to schedule!