I have an obnoxious weed in my lawn that I can never pull out by hand because it always breaks off at the ground level. I have enclosed a picture of it but cannot find the name of it so I can learn out how to get rid of it.
Any help identifying this weed and/or advice on how to slay it would be much appreciated.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry.
The weed in your photo appears to be Tufted Vetch, Vicia cracca L., a member of the pea family, Leguminosae. Vetch reproduces by seed as well as underground rhizomes. It is because of these underground rhizomes that it is difficult to pull out the weed by hand. You can try digging out the vetch however, one must be sure to get rid of all the rhizomes, if even a smallest piece is left behind the vetch will re-grow from where it was snapped off.
The best method of keeping all weeds out of your lawn is to have a thick, vigorous, and healthy lawn through healthy mowing, fertilizing and irrigation. Also, by improving the soil quality with the yearly addition of organic compost will aid in improving the quality of the soil and lawn.
Lawns should be cut to a height of 3″. More frequent mowing maybe needed in Spring and Fall. A longer cutting height results in a deeper, stronger root system, shades the soil preventing weed seeds from germinating and retains moisture. For any grass height, no more than 1/3 of the blade should be removed at one cutting.
Most lawns requie 1-1 1’2″ of water /week. Regular deep water is better than daily light sprinkling.
Lastly, we receive a number of questions asking for help with weeds in their lawn. If you just type “weeds” into the search bar on the right you will see a number of our archived posts. You may also be interested in our Master Gardening Guide titled Tackling Weeds Organically