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Martyn Davey, Head of Horticulture and Design, Easton College
Monday, May 21, 2012
Question: Am I right in thinking this weed is sorrel? It has appeared in my lawn after all this rain. I have a fairly weed-free lawn I use ‘feed and weed’ but I think it needs something stronger to kill the roots. (K Bennett, Wheatacre)
Successfully controlling weeds in lawns with weedkillers depends upon identifying what weeds you have and then selecting the appropriate chemical – and the right dose.
You will be most successful at controlling the weeds in your lawn if you can identify what they are. This is because certain weedkillers are more effective at killing some weeds than others. Help is at hand in the form of simple lawn care and British wildflower books. Alternatively, images can often be found on the internet.
The plant you have sent in is Sheep’s Sorrel, Rumex acetosella, (also known as red sorrel, sour weed, and field sorrel) is a common perennial weed and a member of the Polygonaceae (knotweed) family.
These plants are seldom more than 30cm tall and have alternate spear-shaped leaves, often with arrowlike bases, very small flowers, and often reddish stems.
These plants need two or three applications of weedkillers containing 2,4-D plus mecoprop-P; 2,4-D plus dichlorprop-P; 2,4-D plus dicamba; or MCPA. These chemicals will be in all good lawn weedkillers such as Verdone Extra and Evergreen feed and weed. Prevent its return by applying lime in winter.