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  • Writer's pictureTiger Pride Lawn Care

How to Identify Common Weeds

Keeping your Iowa lawn beautiful and green can be a challenge, especially with pesky weeds popping up everywhere. These unwanted intruders are no good because they compete with your grass for sunlight, water, and nutrients. Knowing how to identify common weeds is the first step to keeping them under control. Continue reading this blog to explore some of the most common weed types found in Iowa lawns and how to spot them when they appear in your yard.


Dandelions are probably one of the most recognizable weeds in Iowa. They have bright yellow flowers that turn into fluffy white seed heads. You may have even enjoyed blowing on the seeds when you were a kid. But, what you may not have realized was that in doing this, you were spreading those seeds all over your lawn and you'd — in turn — have more dandelions the following year.

Dandelions have deep taproots, which make them incredibly hard to remove completely. To get rid of them, you need to dig out the entire root or treat them with a weed killing spray.

A field of dandelion seeds at sunset.
A field of dandelion seeds.


Despite its name, crabgrass is a tough weed (not a grass) that spreads quickly during the warmest months of the year. It has wide, light-green leaves that grow close to the ground. When crabgrass grows, it will form thick and unsightly clumps. You'll often see crabgrass in bare spots of your lawn or along your driveway or sidewalks. A pre-emergent herbicide can be applied to these areas in early spring to control crabgrass throughout the summer.

A clump of crabgrass.
Crabgrass grows in large clumps in your yard.


Clover is best identified by its small white or pink flowers and leaves grouped in threes. Clover is a low-growing plant and can also form dense patches throughout your lawn. While some people like clover in their lawns, it is technically a weed. To reduce clover, keep your lawn thick and healthy by fertilizing and watering regularly.

A lawn of clover.
Some homeowners like the look of clover.

Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie is also known as ground ivy and is a weed that grows and spreads quickly. Because of this, it can be extremely hard to manage. You'll recognize this weed by it's round, scalloped leaves and small, purple flowers. Creeping Charlie typically spreads by runners, which are stems that root at the nodes. It grows the best in shady, moist areas. To control Creeping Charlie, you'll need a broadleaf herbicide and you'll want to improve your lawn's drainage.

Creeping Charlie with small purple flowers.
Don't be fooled by purple flowers - this is a weed!

Broadleaf Plantain

You'll recognize this common weed by its broad, oval leaves and prominent veins. This weed produces long and leafless stalks with small, greenish flowers. Broadleaf thrives in compacted soil and can be controlled with aeration and applying a broadleaf herbicide.

Broadleaf Plantain has long leafless stalks.
Broadleaf Plantain is commonly found in compacted soil.

Keep Common Weeds Under Control

Recognizing common weeds is necessary so your lawn will stay healthy and green all summer long. By knowing what to look for, you can treat them quickly and keep your lawn looking its best.

For a weed-free lawn, contact the lawn care experts at Tiger Pride Lawn Care. We take the work out of lawn care for homeowners and businesses in Iowa.



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