All About Farming And Agriculture

All About Farming And Agriculture

What Your Weeds Can Tell You About Your Soil, And How To Remedy The Problem

by Gregory Peterson

From expensive herbicides to homemade concoctions that did more harm than good, you've tried just about everything to get rid of those pesky weeds. However, before you bemoan the presence of this nuisance foliage, the variety of weeds that have invaded your lawn and garden can tell you a lot about your soil. Here are a few common varieties of weeds found across the United States and what their presence can tell you about your soil:


Although your kids might mistake them for flowers, dandelions are indeed very hearty weeds that will quickly take over a lawn or garden. If dandelions, sorrel or wild pansies are growing unchecked in your soil, chances are it's acidic.

According to Today's Homeowner, the two best options to raise the pH of your soil are lime and wood ash. If you use either of these products, it's vital to follow the directions on the bag exactly. Raising the pH of your soil too much can prove damaging to your lawn and garden.

If you decide to use wood ash, Organic Gardening recommends applying no more than 25 pounds per 1,000 square feet every two to three years.

Luckily, there are several varieties of foliage, fruits and flowers that will thrive in acidic soil. These include blueberries, watermelon, hydrangeas and potatoes.

Creeping Charlie

Otherwise known as ground ivy, creeping charlie is the enemy of many gardeners because it is so hearty and will quickly overtake a lawn if not eliminated yearly. If you have creeping charlie, chances are your soil isn't properly draining.

According to the Texas A&M University Extension, if your topsoil is damp or wet for most of the year, drainage problems are the issue. Unfortunately, poor drainage is a common issue that can occur naturally and is often unavoidable. Luckily, it's easy to remedy poor drainage while improving the condition of your soil.

To correct your drainage issue, work a two to three-inch layer of compost into the topsoil with a shovel, hoe or rototiller. The compost will help increase the porosity of your soil, making it easier for the water to drain – which in turn will make your lawn much less hospitable for ground ivy!

Morning Glory

If you're having an issue with morning glory, quack grass or knotweed, chances are you're dealing with soil that is comprised of a higher concentration of clay particles. The higher the content of clay in your soil, the more compact it is, making it an ideal place for many types of weeds and nuisance foliage to thrive.

An easy way to determine if your soil is clay is to simply dig a small hole with a spade or hand shovel. If the soil is sticky and won't wash off the tool or your hands easily, it features a higher concentration of clay.

Creating a less hospitable environment for morning glory is once again not tricky. Just like poorly drained soil, the National Gardening Association recommends working a layer of organic compost or aged manure into your topsoil.

In addition, covering your lawn and garden with a thick layer of mulch from sites like during the winter months will help keep the weeds at bay while helping ensure your clay soil is more favorable for your flowerbeds and lawn once the spring arrives!

The variety of weed that is giving you trouble is a great way to pinpoint which type of soil you have. However, if you truly want to create an ideal soil for your lawn and garden to thrive, testing is the best solution. There are DIY kits available, but sending a soil sample to your local university's cooperative extension office will provide you with the most reliable results.  


About Me

All About Farming And Agriculture

Hi, my name is Ricky McDowell and I'm a third generation farmer. I've been farming all of my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I decided to write a blog because I wanted to spread the word about the importance of agriculture. The crops that a farmer grows on the farm feed people every day. A farmer makes it possible for you to pick up a loaf of bread at the store or eat a baked potato in a restaurant. In my blog, you'll learn about the different methods of farming and some of the new trends in agriculture today. I'll also tell you about the equipment that's necessary to run a successful farming operation. After reading my blog, I hope you have a better understanding of agriculture and the job of farming.