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I had new sod laid in July '15. I noticed a few of these weeds in Summer of '16. Now, in Spring of '17, there are clumps of them all over my lawn. There are none in my neighbor's or at the side of my house where it's still original grass. I'm figuring it came with the sod but I don't know what it is.

Any help and treatment ideas would be appreciated. I live in NE Canada/New Brunswick.

weed in lawn

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This is Galium mollugo, or Smooth Bedstraw. Distinguishing characteristics are the square stems, with clusters of leaves whorled around the stems. The stems and leaves are smooth, in comparison with its close relative, Galium aparine, or Rough Bedstraw, as I described in the Q&A What is this weed with ribbed stems and whorls of 1" to 2" long thin leaves? It is considered an invasive weed in many areas.

Control can be done by pulling the plant out at the base, or with the use of broad-leaf or systemic herbicides.

More information can be found in this paper on Smooth Bedstraw Management from the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries.

  • Pulling these out by hand would take forever. Do you think weed whacking them at ground level will help rid them? – Steve May 9 '17 at 11:15
  • @Steve I'd be concerned about damage to the surrounding grass and regrowth from the roots. If you keep it short enough to prevent it from flowering, it might stop it from spreading further. – Niall C. May 9 '17 at 13:44
  • Nice Niall, I didn't know there was a smooth bedstraw. I thought it did look slightly different than Galium aparine. – Tyler K. May 9 '17 at 16:07
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This looks like cleavers, or bedstraw to me. Galium aparine. If you pull up from the base of the plant does it feel sticky kind of like velcro?

Bedstraw isn't that difficult to manage. If it's not a ridiculous amount of them, I would recommend just pulling them out before they go to seed. That or they will probably die off after being mowed/weed whacked a few times.

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Iberis sempervirens leaf arrangementThis looks like 'Candy Tuff' or Iberis sempervirens. What is amazing is this is not considered a weed. Iberis, great shade ground cover I could be wrong but first impression...wait for others to give their ID's. Never have known this as lawn weed.

Easy to rid your lawn of this guy; mow it. Before it goes to seed. That will probably end this plant in your lawn. Pull it. Keep your grass NO SHORTER THAN 3" this causes enough shade to the soil so that unwanted seeds will have a hard time germinating. Watering deep and allowing the lawn to dry will also kill seedlings or new plants.

No matter the weed's ID this is a broadleaf and there is herbicide that is very selective. Trimec is a common broadleaf weed killer for lawns. Moisture will help the chemicals stick to the BROAD leafs of broad leaf weeds. This chemical does not work for grass weeds.

Too easy to control this plant just by maintenance practices. Send more pictures. How much of this is in your lawn? Is this full sun or partial sun?

  • ill add more pictures tomorrow, the lawn is full sun all day – Steve May 9 '17 at 1:39
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    Iberis doesn't have whorled leaves though. – Niall C. May 9 '17 at 3:02
  • Hi there Niall! You are totally correct but the leaf nodes are so short that it looks whorled. This was my first impression....bed straw is correct, however. Just nice to see you answering questions! I am far better with ID honest! if I can touch a specimen. Dunno how to get better by a picture! Stephie's ID on the birch recently was brilliant and much more informative so I will try to follow her example. – stormy May 9 '17 at 19:06
  • thanks for your help everyone. looks like hands and knees for the foreseeable future....... – Steve May 9 '17 at 20:56
  • @Steve You've misunderstood! You don't have pull the weeds! Get your mower out and chop these down NOW before they go to seed. You can bend over and pull a few every time you mow or walk across the lawn. Most important thing is to NOT allow those plants to flower and produce seed. If this stuff is a huge part of your lawn's population using a broadleaf herbicide after moistening your lawn will selectively kill all of these plants that do not belong in your lawn. If you don't moisten the lawn the herbicide tends to not stick to the broadleaf weeds. Forget getting on your knees to do this – stormy May 9 '17 at 21:39

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