By Nicole Wise on Jul 12, 2012 1:08:00 PM
Behind the Science of Holganix
Entry 22: What Kind of Weed Does Your Lawn Have?
When it comes to applying weed control effectively, it’s important to know what kind of plant you’re spraying. The type of plant you’re dealing with directly correlates to the type of herbicide that will be most effective. For example, your lawn specialist sprays the lawn with herbicide. The reason why the herbicide kills clover but not grass is because the grass is a different kind of plant than the clover. In fact, there are two different kinds of plants: monocotyledon (monocots) and dicotyledon (dicots).
(Photograph by: Jennifer Hulbert-Hortman)
Monocotyledon plants have many distinct characteristics that separate them from their dicot cousins. The biggest characteristic, however, is their parallel veins that run down the length of the leaf; an example is grass. If you look at the picture above, you can see the blade of grass and its parallel veins.
On the other hand, dicots (among other differences) have a network of veins that sprout off from the center vein. Look at the picture above; you can see how the leaf’s veins begin at the center but then spread out, forming web-like patterns.
In order to kill off ugly weeds, knowing what kind of weed you are dealing with is vital. For example, crab grass and dandelions are monocots, which mean they need a completely different kind of herbicide than clover (a dicot).
So if you are dealing with a weed infestation, distinguish the type of plant before spraying down herbicides. For a list of popular weeds and their classification, check out this helpful website. If you are looking for more information on monocots or dicots, then stay tuned for more Behind the Science of Holganix entries, where we will be diving into more of the distinct characteristics that separate these two plants. If you’re interested in learning more about weed suppression, check out these two blog entries: Getting Rid of Nasty Weeds Naturally and The Secret to a Weed Free Lawn.
Photograph of grass: Jennifer Hulbert-Hortman http://www.redbubble.com/people/jhortman/works/7344306-a-single-blade-of-grass
Photograph of dicot leaf: http://forum.homeone.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=39288