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5 Common Spring Weeds and How to Control and Prevent Them

Weeds Spring
18 min read

Spring welcomes sunshine, blooming flowers, and the return of your lush, green lawn. This is the time when you get to eagerly brush off your gardening tools, fire up your lawnmower, and get back out in your yard that’s been begging for some attention. This is also the time when you might find weeds in your lawn and are left wondering how to control them. With a little knowledge and patience, however, you’ll be able to rid your lawn of those pesky spring weeds and enjoy a beautiful lawn!   

Identifying what type of weed you have is the first step in controlling and preventing weeds. Once identified, you can determine the most effective control method. If you only have a few weeds in your lawn, you can start by carefully hand-pulling them to prevent them from spreading further. However, if you have many weeds this spring, or several types of weeds spread out across your lawn, we recommend applying weed control.

The Difference Between Broadleaf and Grassy Weeds

Each lawn weed is classified as either broadleaf or grassy weed. It is important to distinguish between the two before controlling weeds, as most weed controls target either broadleaf or grassy weeds, not both. 

Broadleaf Weeds

Are identifiable by their wide leaves with prominent net-like veins and pronounced flowers once they’ve reached maturity. Some common examples of broadleaf weeds are dandelions, clover, and chickweed. 

Broadleaf weed controls are typically post-emergent herbicides, meaning that they will only kill the weeds that are present when applying, and will not prevent new weeds from sprouting. With most broadleaf weeds, you must completely remove the taproot, or deep root system to prevent the weed from growing back. Look for a herbicide that kills weeds down to the root, like Veri-Green Weed & Feed Lawn Fertilizer

Grassy Weeds

Grassy weeds such as crabgrass, poa annua, and dallisgrass, are harder to identify as they look similar. Grassy weeds also have thick, unsightly leaves and have rounded stems with alternating leaf blades on each side. Using a pre-emergent herbicide is the most effective way to treat and control most grassy weeds, as it prevents weed seeds from germinating. 

Common Spring Weeds

Here are some common weeds you may find in your lawn in the spring:


Common chickweed is a winter annual broadleaf weed with pointed oval leaves and small, star-shaped white flowers that bloom in spring. It grows along the ground and forms a thick, dense mat in shady, moist areas in your yard. 

The seeds from common chickweed can lay dormant in your lawn during the winter and emerge in spring and summer (early March to late July) brought about by abundant spring rainfall. 

You can treat small infestations by hand-pulling, as the plant has a shallow root system that can easily be pulled from the earth. Be sure to remove the entire plant, including its roots, to avoid re-emergence. Common chickweed cannot tolerate hot, dry weather, so it’s best to use non-chemical methods first as the plant will dry out and die by midsummer. For larger infestations, use a post-emergent herbicide. 

Product recommendations: 

  • Veri-Green Weed & Feed Lawn Fertilizer
    • Controls existing broadleaf weeds in your lawn, such as chickweed.
    • Includes nitrogen-enriched fertilizer to give your lawn a boost of nutrients.
    • Greens up your lawn for spring. 
  • Jonathan Green Lawn Weed Control
    • Controls over 200 types of broadleaf weeds, including chickweed.
    • Contains an ingredient called Trimec, which helps to suppress actively growing broadleaf weeds. It can be used any time of year when weeds are actively growing in your yard.
    • This product does not contain fertilizer and can be used as a second application of broadleaf weed control.

Creeping Charlie

Ground ivy, commonly known as  “Creeping Charlie” is a perennial broadleaf weed with scalloped leaves and purple flowers at the stem that bloom in spring. This plant is part of the mint family, and when it is crushed it produces a strong mint-like smell. It is often confused with Henbit or Purple Deadnettle which are also members of the mint family. 

Creeping charlie spreads by seed and thrives in shaded areas with poorly drained soil. Small infestations can be pulled out by hand. Make sure to remove the entire plant, including the roots to avoid reemergence. 

You can use a post-emergent herbicide for larger infestations, however, it’s important to note that a second application may be needed to ensure the product properly adheres to the short hairs on the leaf surface. 

Product recommendations

  • Veri-Green Weed & Feed Lawn Fertilizer*
    • Use to control existing broadleaf weeds in your lawn, such as ground ivy.
    • Includes nitrogen-enriched fertilizer to give your lawn a boost of nutrients and deep greening for spring.
    • *Note: Do not immediately apply a second application of Weed & Feed to avoid burning your lawn. If the second application of weed control is needed, wait about 4 weeks and use Lawn Weed Control, as it contains no fertilizer


Clover is a low-growing, perennial broadleaf weed that has deep taproots and small white flowers. 

If found early, you can gently hand-pull small infestations by removing the entire plant, including the root, to prevent it from growing back. If you have a large infestation, use a post-emergent weed control that is specifically formulated to treat clover. 

Clover thrives in nitrogen-deficient soil, so we recommend using a post-emergent weed control with fertilizer, such as Veri-Green Weed & Feed Lawn Fertilizer, to give the lawn a boost of nitrogen, a necessary nutrient, to help thicken the lawn and discourage clover. 

Product recommendation:

  • Veri-Green Weed & Feed Lawn Fertilizer
    • Controls existing broadleaf weeds in your lawn, such as clover.
    • Includes nitrogen-enriched fertilizer to give grass a boost of nutrients to combat clover. 


Dandelions are broadleaf perennial weeds that are most identifiable by their yellow flowers, rosette-shaped leaves, and deep taproots. The keys to controlling dandelions are understanding their life cycle and focusing on removing the taproot. 

The seeds of a dandelion plant can lay dormant in your lawn for years until they germinate in early spring. The flowers bloom and then produce seeds that are attached to pappuses which carry the seeds in the wind, spreading them across your yard. These seeds then lay dormant until the following spring, beginning the cycle all over again. 

For small infestations, use the hand-pulling method, ensuring that you also remove its deep taproot. Fully removing the taproot when the dandelion plant is in its earliest stages is important, as it becomes more difficult to remove when the plant matures. For controlling large or severe infestations, use a post-emergent herbicide. 

Product recommendations:

  • Veri-Green Weed & Feed Lawn Fertilizer
    • Controls existing broadleaf weeds in your lawn, such as dandelions.
    • Includes nitrogen-enriched fertilizer to give your lawn a boost of nutrients and deep greening for spring. 
  • Jonathan Green Lawn Weed Control 
    • Controls over 200 types of broadleaf weeds, but does not contain fertilizer, so it can be used as a second weed control application 4 weeks after putting down Weed & Feed.

Check out this article for more information about how to get rid of dandelions. 


Crabgrass is an annual grassy weed that is distinguishable by its thick leaves and stems that grow outward to resemble crab legs. 

The key to controlling crabgrass is by understanding its life cycle. The crabgrass plant produces thousands of seeds in the fall that lay dormant in the lawn’s soil and begin to germinate in early spring when soil temperatures rise to 55°F. Once germinated, the crabgrass plant goes through various stages of leaf growth, starting with one leaf, and goes all the way up to seven tillers. 

Applying pre-emergent is the best method to control crabgrass because it prevents the plant from growing in the first place, saving you a lot of time and money down the road. Make sure to apply a crabgrass preventer before the plant germinates in spring. However, if you are running a bit behind, our Crabgrass Preventer not only prevents crabgrass from germinating but also kills crabgrass up to the three-leaf stage. If your lawn has become overrun with crabgrass, you can apply post-emergent grassy weed control.

Product recommendations

  • Veri-Green Crabgrass Preventer plus Lawn Fertilizer
    • Designed to kill crabgrass before and after germination.
    • Contains Dimension, which creates a barrier on the soil’s surface that prevents weed seeds from germinating.
    • Kills crabgrass up to the three-leaf stage and contains fertilizer to green up your lawn.
  • Season-Long Weed Preventer
    • Formulated to specifically control crabgrass before and after germination up to the three-leaf stage.
    • Contains Dimension, which helps to kill existing weeds, and prevents over 30 grassy and broadleaf weeds from emerging if applied prior to germination.
    • Use 30 days after an initial application of Veri-Green Crabgrass Preventer plus Lawn Fertilizer to treat a severe crabgrass infestation.
  • Jonathan Green Corn Gluten Weed Preventer plus Lawn Food
    • An organic solution to control crabgrass and other weeds.
    • Great to use if you want to prevent crabgrass naturally.
    • Slows the progression of crabgrass seeds.
    • Contains lawn food to give your lawn a gentle feeding and help green up your lawn for spring.
    • The only Jonathan Green weed control that suppresses both broadleaf and grassy weeds.

How to Prevent Spring Weeds

The best way to truly prevent weeds from becoming a recurring problem in your lawn is to be proactive and use prevention methods when possible. 

Apply pre-emergent herbicide to control grassy weeds in early spring

Applying a pre-emergent in early spring can help to control grassy weeds before they get the chance to germinate. It’s important to note, however, that you cannot apply pre-emergent if you are planning to seed. You can either put down an application of pre-emergent in the spring and wait until fall to seed or you can seed as early as possible in spring, and then apply pre-emergent after you have mowed your new grass twice.

Jonathan Green offers a variety of pre-emergent weed controls to help prevent grassy weeds before and after germination. To help prevent crabgrass before and after it germinates, use  Veri-Green Crabgrass Preventer plus Lawn Fertilizer, which also gently feeds your lawn with nitrogen-rich fertilizer for up to three months. To control a wide variety of grassy spring weeds without fertilizer, use Season-Long Weed Preventer. If you are thinking about switching to an organic lawn routine and want to naturally prevent grassy and broadleaf weeds, use Jonathan Green Corn Gluten Weed Preventer plus Lawn Food.

Raise mower height

Raising your mower height to 3 to 4 inches can also help to prevent lawn weeds. Mowing high encourages the grass to grow thicker, which will help to crowd out weeds. Taller grass also shades the soil underneath, making it harder for weed seeds to get the sunlight and oxygen needed to grow.

Maintain a balanced soil pH

Healthy lawns start with healthy soil. Maintaining a balanced soil pH (6.2 to 7.0 – slightly acidic to neutral) will allow your grass to access necessary nutrients and will discourage future weed infestations. Some lawn weeds prefer soil that is more acidic or alkaline, making it even more important to amend your soil pH.

Water your lawn deeply and infrequently

Watering your lawn regularly is an essential part of lawn maintenance. Giving your lawn deep, infrequent waterings, will encourage a deep rooting system. This is essential to grow tall, healthy grass that can crowd out weeds. 

Check out this article to help you properly water your lawn

Jonathan Green Weed Controls

When choosing weed control, make sure it is formulated to kill the specific type of weed you have in your lawn. Always read product labels and instructions carefully before applying products to avoid further damage to your lawn. 

Use the chart below as a reference tool to help you select the weed control that will solve your specific weed problem:

The Bottom Line

Weed infestations can feel unmanageable, but they don’t have to be with help from Jonathan Green! Once identified, weeds can be controlled and eliminated by either hand-pulling or using pre and post-emergent herbicides. The best way to prevent weeds from overtaking your lawn throughout the year, but especially in the spring, is to practice healthy lawn maintenance year-round. Raising your mower height, watering deeply and infrequently, and maintaining a balanced soil pH will all aid in keeping a weed-free lawn. 

Are you beginning to notice weeds in your lawn this spring? Need some advice? Sound off in the comments below and check out our Weed Control page for more articles, tips, and videos!

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