purple deadnettle

Eliminate Purple Deadnettle With Effective Lawn Care Techniques | Allentown, PA

The dreaded weed Purple Deadnettle is also known as the Red Deadnettle or even the Red Henbit. It is commonly found in fields or in moist conditions and can invade your garden or lawn. Purple deadnettle is found to thrive in most climates across North America, and can pose quite a challenge without proper lawn care and vigilant maintenance.

The truth is, you don’t have to be an expert in gardening to keep a great looking lawn. A weed-free lawn is what many homeowners consider to be a great scenario in which you enjoy your healthy and lush grass. Control of deadnettle, just like other weeds, is one of the tasks that turf keepers face every year. Even though it sounds tricky, you should not be afraid…

If you notice a purple deadnettle breakout in your lawn, you are not the only one with the same problem. One of the first signs are usually short and stubby petioles. Since it is common in the springtime, Purple Deadnettle can also be identified through the lower, triangular leaves and longer petioles. 

If left without any action taken, the weed will culminate in light purple flower petals that are arranged in a unique whorl formation.

Did You Know?

Purple dead nettle is a weed which is edible and rich in nutrients. Since it is a member of the mint family, it is therefore considered to be a superfood. Its leaves are edible and the purple tops are even a little sweet. However, we don’t recommend eating purple deadnettle but instead – getting rid of the weeds in your lawn.

purple deadnettle

Purple Deadnettle Control: How To Eliminate The Weed?

As an annual weed which belongs to the mint family, purple deadnettle is a pest. It is also an aggressive grower that spreads like wildfire in any place where it can get a foothold. You can easily recognize it and its cousin by their distinctive square stems that hold up a variety of tiny flowers and small pointed leaves which can reach up to an inch long.

Therefore, getting rid of deadnettle weeds is much more challenging than dealing with many other annual weeds mostly because deadnettle seeds before the mowing season begins. If you take that into account along with the fact that it can spread to the thousands of seeds – it is safe to conclude that we have one durable weed which is not easy to control at all. So, even though one, two or three deadnettle weeds seem like an easy job – they can spread quickly and become a larger population which always requires a more complicated solution.

Overseeding And Weed Control: The Perfect Answer For Deadnettle

The biggest challenge when eliminating purple deadnettle is growing a thick and healthy lawn. The grass will easily outperform the weeds for nutrients and growing space, which is our recommended advice.

So, you should consider planting a grass that is more compatible with the growing conditions – especially if you have spots in the yard which are plagued with these plants. Sometimes, a thick shade casted by a tree or a low spot that catches water can be the most vulnerable things, making it difficult for the grass that lives on the rest of your flat and sunny lawn to grow.

This is the time when you need a special grass blend and when our Pennsylvania lawn company can help you.

what is purple deadnettle

Pre-Emergence Or Post-Emergence Herbicides for Dead Nettle: Which To Use?

At Green Turf Care, we use the best post-emergence herbicides which contain metsulfuron or trifloxysulfuron-sodium. They can be used against purple deadnettle that is erupting in grasses like the Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass.

Pre-emergence herbicides, however, are much safer for other types of grasses. Ideally, they should be applied in late fall or early winter right before the purple deadnettle starts germinating and taking over your grass.

Even though purple deadnettle causes no serious problems, it seeds sprout in spring or fall (depending on the climate) and plants can flower at any time of the year. This is why the best way to eliminate it is through light infestations and herbicides depending on your specific grass type.

4 Common Ways To Remove Purple Deadnettle From Your Grass

At this point, you know that overseeding and weed control with the use of herbicides is by far one of the best ways to remove purple deadnettle from your grass. However, there are other ways to control this weed. Even though they are not as effective as a professional lawn treatment approach, they include:

Hand Weeding

This is a common tactic in eliminating small purple deadnettle infestations, but does not work for infestations of larger regions. In other weeds, if the deadnettle has just started showing up in small areas in your flower or vegetable beds, you can pull the plants out before they have time to flower and form the seed.

Also, it is important to water the soil if it is dry and firmly grasp each plant at the base in order to pull it out with the root system being intact. Pick up all of the purple deadnettle parts, place them in plastic bags and throw them in the trash. If your soil is poor, the weeds will only rise up to 2 and 3 inches of height, so make sure to check your infested site weekly for new plants.

Organic Mulches

Areas which have been infested with purple deadnettle for many years can be properly taken care of with organic mulches. These mulches prevent seeds sprouting and won’t trigger the weed to re-grow from their roots – but sprout each year from the seed.

This way, a long term purple deadnettle infestation can be formed, creating a soil filled with seeds and one that is ready to sprout. However, excluding the light from the seeds with a mulch will prevent weeds from sprouting.

In an ideal scenario, you should remove the purple deadnettle plants and spread a layer of mulch (about 2 to 3 inches) such as a garden compost, wood chips, shredded bark or other organic matter. You should know that organic mulches thin out over time – so make sure to top up the mulch if you want to maintain a solid layer.

Inorganic Mulches

Inorganic mulches are another way to control purple deadnettle that is growing in your permanent garden beds or shrubs. These are areas where digging the soil is rarely required which is why landscape fabric can offer long-term control of purple deadnettle.

All you need to do is remove the purple deadnettle plants and spread the landscape fabric over the soil. You should overlap the edges by 3-4 inches just in case, not allowing the fabric to touch the plant stems (this can cause rotting). Next, spread a layer of 1 to 2 inches comprising of an inorganic mulch (gravel or pebbles) and pull up the purple deadnettle plants that appear in the bare soil.

Herbicidal Controls

Last but not the least is the herbicidal way of controlling purple deadnettle. We all know that herbicides are able to clear a large purple deadnettle infestation which is why they are commonly used.

Herbicides including glyphosate can control this weed – but also harm the desired plants. So, make sure to protect your desired plants with sheets of cardboard and spray your weeds with a ready-to-use 2% glyphosate product on a still and dry day. Make sure to wear long sleeves though – this herbicide is not safe for your skin.

Glyphosate is most effective when the plants are actively growing (in spring/fall and cold climates) and only controls living plants, without an effect to seeds. After planting the cleared area, make sure to spread a mulch and control the purple deadnettle seedings.

ways to eliminate deadnettle

Purple Deadnettle Control: How To Eliminate The Weed?

Before you start any landscaping project or take on any task in lawn maintenance, you’ll want to address your Purple Deadnettle problem. This weed propagates through seeds that are released in the flower. Not only that, but Purple Deadnettle can pose a challenge to even the most seasoned gardener.

Herbicides – Unlike other weeds, manually removing Purple Deadnettle only takes you so far. Because of the long taproot and the overall hardy nature of Purple Deadnettle, this weed can be a troublesome one indeed. You can make some progress on your own, but for best results it may be wise to turn to a professional.

This is why herbicides that are applied by trained professionals can be your best method to remove Purple Deadnettle. However you can get rid of Purple Deadnettle through proper application as well; here’s a brief rundown on how.

Manual Removal – This broadleaf weed can be removed manually, but chances are you will leave some root behind. This will eventually result in the Purple Deadnettle growing back in place. Not only that but you also run the risk of spreading the seeds without careful removal.

Application – Regardless of the type of herbicide used, you’ll need to affect the entire area when trying to get rid of Purple Deadnettle. This causes the remaining root’s effectiveness, and stops the weed from growing back. Many of the superior over the counter herbicides are applied in stages, which kills off this pesky weed for good.

Affected area – When Purple Deadnettle keeps returning, it may take a dig to properly remove the root. Applying the herbicide over a wide area could affect patches of your lawn, but you may need to resort to this choice. When affecting a wide range of lawn, make sure to apply the herbicide according to the instructions.

Lawn Care Maintenance – Of course the best way to prevent Purple Deadnettle from setting in is to maintain your grass through proper lawn care. Taking care of your lawn ensures that this pesky weed doesn’t have any room to take root. This is also known as your grass choking out any possible weeds in your garden.

deadnettle eliminatingWhen you use the right level of lawn care, there’s no chance for any weed to take root. Prepare your grass with the right level of lawn care and prevent seeing this weed in the future!

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