Yellow hawkweed avoids mowing
Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.
Last year as I was cruising into work one morning scouting turf weeds at 55 mph, I noticed a trend of some folks mowing around yellow hawkweed as opposed to mowing right over it like almost every other weed that sprouts in turf. In my mind, I thought this must be an odd occurrence that is only happening in my neck of the woods. However, this year I’ve noticed this trend spreading as I’ve not only seen it on the occasional home lawn, but also in traffic medians where the “mowee” has gone to tremendous lengths to mow around the yellow hawkweed infestations. I guess folks are enjoying the yellow flowers for the couple weeks that they’ll be around. If you’re not familiar with yellow hawkweed, check it out at: www.msuturfweeds.net/details/_/yellow_hawkweed_25/.
In addition to yellow hawkweed, white clover has had a strong flowering presence in turf in the last couple weeks. Last night while mowing my own lawn, I noticed a familiar nemesis now flowering, black medic. One cultural recommendation to help turfgrass compete with both white clover and black medic is to fertilize. If you feel the need to kill either of these weeds before it takes over your entire lawn, products that contain the active ingredient triclopyr will be effective, especially if you can hit them while their flowering. If you can make it through the summer coexisting with these weeds in your lawn, the best time for treatment is in the fall when the weeds are storing carbohydrates in their roots for next year. Herbicide applications in the fall are more readily transported to the roots and effectively kill the weed once and for all.