Like the rest of the country, turf weeds can be a significant issue in your Pennsylvania landscape. With the potential to take over your turf, the last thing you want is to watch helplessly as brown patches pop up, and your lawn begins to decay. Although many of these turf weeds may look great when found naturally in the Pennsylvania wilderness, they are not so natural to your turf. As these are invasive species, they create deep roots and will do whatever it takes to expand. Our goal at Dream Greener is to provide you with the information you need to effectively combat these local weeds, with both preventative measures and proper treatments. Avoid infestation, and read up on your local lawn weeds.


Victim of many common misconceptions, not all species of thistle are invasive. However, the only types of thistle we care about, are those that are a threat to your landscape. With the most common invasive varieties being Musk Thistle, Canada Thistle, and Bull Thistle, these are the primary sources of pain for Pennsylvania homeowners. During the growing season especially, these weeds develop over a thousand seeds per flowering shoot, and blow all over your landscape. Even then, these seeds can survive in your soil for up to 22 years. Although seeds actively spread, most of the weed growth stems from the root system, as it rapidly extends underground and sprouts up new material. Due to this characteristic, hand pulling is not recommended, as it is nearly impossible to remove the entire root. This means that chemical treatment is the best option, which should be administered by a landscape professional in a safe manner. Pre-emergent applications can prevent initial growth, and multiple applications will likely be required for full coverage.


One of the most common and bothersome weeds found in the Pittsburgh area, nutsedge is extremely noticeable. If you have ever identified what looks to be unnaturally tall blades of grass, lighter in color than you turf, this is nutsedge. Typically sprouting up due to an excess of moisture in your lawn, as well as the presence of nutlets and rhizomes, it is tough to get rid of. Once it takes hold, seeds spread with ease, and even lay dormant, furthering the issue long term. Closer inspection will reveal a lime-green color, with a rib up the middle of the blade, confirming the presence of nutsedge. In terms of prevention, good lawn maintenance is the best deterrent, with regular services such as aeration, fertilization, and weed control. Good defense is the best offense, as we know so well in the Pittsburgh area. Arming your turf to fight if off, gives you the best chance of preventing initial infestation. Once it takes hold, herbicide is necessary to rid your turf of nutsedge, as any sort of hands on approach is ineffectual. The true issue lies within your soil, so it must be treated to clear up your turf.

Wild Violet

The most fertile areas for this pesky weed, are moist and wet. Although it grows like a perennial, and blooms with a bright violet color, it expands aggressively, quickly taking over turf. The rhizomes created by the weed act as food storage, while also giving life to new organisms. April and May are the peak growing season, for both new plants, and their violet bloom. Every flower possess two white petals, and each flower is at the peak of a stalk. Another identifying quality, two of the petals on each flower have small blotches of white coloring. Hand removal of these weeds is ineffective, as is the common theme with the worst Pittsburgh turf weeds. Regular lawn maintenance is the best preventative measure, and herbicide is a must. These treatments may be long term as Wild Violet has developed defenses to the repeated application of herbicide in a short timeframe.

Ground Ivy

Just like the name suggests, Ground Ivy is a variety of Ivy that spreads quickly along the ground. Rich, moist soil is the ideal environment, with shade or sun irrelevant to growth. It spreads though very dense patches that make their way through your turf, under the canopy. For identification, square stems with two leaves, combined with the foul odor that is emitted when the weed is crushed, make it easy to see. Additionally, Ground Ivy can sometimes include flower bloom. The leaves also grow visibly above the canopy of your turf. To prevent growth on your property, improving the surface runoff of your lawn will keep your turf dry, preventing the ideal environment from existing. Due to the hardiness of Ground Ivy, pre-emergent treatments are typically not viable, so post-emergent treatment is a must.

“I was BLOWN AWAY when I got home. Seriously could not be happier!! Very happy to have found Dream Greener and looking forward to using their services throughout the summer and fall. Jon was super responsive, easy to work with, and came right on time. If you are looking for help with your yard, hire Jon and his team!”

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