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7 of The Worst Lawn Weeds in Idaho and How to Get Rid of Them

We’re about to put you in a bad mood with just one word: weeds.

Sorry about that.

We hate them, too — which is why we do everything in our power to keep the dastardly pests out of your lawn.

But weeds have secret powers that defy the most dogged weed control tactics.

The good news is, we have some pretty impressive super powers, too, when it comes to common lawn weeds in Idaho.

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Here’s a look at the worst lawn weeds in Idaho, and what to do about them.

Common Lawn Weeds in Idaho: the Villains

1. Crabgrass

Battling crabgrass? Each crabgrass plant produces as many as 150,000 seeds. No wonder it’s so hard to banish.

What Crabgrass Looks Like

The leaves of crabgrass are broader than grass blades and it grows in clumps close to the ground. The stems grow outward rather than up, and look like the legs of a crab.

Pretty sure you have crabgrass? You might not. Here in Idaho, it’s often misidentified. It might actually be quackgrass or tall fescue.Crabgrass in lawn in Idaho

How to Get Rid of Crabgrass

Those pesky seeds stay behind, ready to germinate the following spring. The key is preventing those stubborn seeds from becoming more seed-producing plants.

Pre-emergent treatment is really important. You have to destroy those seeds before they take root in the soil.

2. White Clover

As weeds go, clover isn’t the worst weed on the block. Seed companies used to include clover seed in their lawn mixes on purpose. Clover takes nitrogen out of the air and soil and makes it available to your lawn.

But it’s still a weed.

What White Clover Looks Like

A sure sign of clover is its delicate round white or pink flowers. You’ll also see three leaflets at the end of a long stem.White Clover

How to Get Rid of White Clover

Clover thrives in lawns that are undernourished, so a healthy, well-fed lawn means fewer clover. Fertilize regularly — a thick lawn will crowd out clover.

3. Canada Thistle

Yes, it’s as prickly as it sounds. If you step on this guy in your bare feet, you’ll know it.

What Canada Thistle Looks Like

Canada thistle has soft green, deeply lobed, spear-like leaves with sharp barbs on them, practically daring you to tug them.

If allowed to go to flower, the flower is a purple pom-pom produced in clusters at the top of the plant.Canadian Thistle

How to Get Rid of Canada Thistle

This perennial is double trouble. It spreads not just by seed, but by its tough roots that can extend for 10 feet.

Apply weed control products to kill thistle, especially in spring and fall, before it can flower and seed. You can also prevent thistle by keeping your Idaho lawn healthy and thick. (More on this in a bit.)

4. Dandelions

Seeds are everything with dandelions. When you blow on a dandelion’s white puffy seed head, you help a bunch more dandelions grow by scattering those seeds. (Don’t feel bad — it’s fun.)

What Dandelions Look Like

Dandelions have smooth, sharply toothed leaves; bright yellow spiky flowers; and round, puffy white seed heads.Dandelion

How to Get Rid of Dandelions

The quickest way to get rid of dandelions is to spray them with a broadleaf herbicide that will kill the entire plant, not just the leaves, without harming the surrounding grass. The key is to kill or remove all of the taproot, or the pesky plant will just keep coming back.

5. Black Medic

Black medic is more confusing than most weeds because it’s considered an annual clover, but it’s not technically a clover.

What Black Medic Looks Like

It has the teardrop-shaped leaves that are often found on clovers but, unlike other clovers, this has yellow flowers. It’s called black medic because the seeds turn black when they’re ready to drop.Black Medic

How to Get Rid of Black Medic

Black medic loves compacted soil. You’ll often see it growing by the roadside or next to sidewalks, where soil has been compacted by wheel and foot traffic.

So, think aeration. Those tiny cores of soil that aeration removes helps break up compacted soil, allowing water, air and other nutrients to reach the roots so your lawn will breathe easier.

6. Field Bindweed

This tenacious weed has a root system so deep, it’s been known to survive bulldozer operations.

What Field Bindweed Looks Like

This perennial has creeping and twining stems that grow along the ground and up through other plants and structures. It has white to pinkish bell-shaped flowers and arrowhead-shaped leaves.Field Bindweed

How to Get Rid of Field Bindweed

Broadleaf herbicides can help, but this is a tough one. It forms an extensive root system, often climbing or forming dense tangled mats.

7. Common Mallow

Quick weed trivia: you know those marshmallows you love to toast for s’mores? They were originally made from the sap of the roots of mallow grown in marshes. Gelatin has replaced the sap, but the name stuck.

You still want it out of your lawn? We get it.

What Common Mallow Looks Like

This weed is easily recognized by its geranium-like leaves that have five or seven lobes. Its flowers seem small and drab compared to its dramatic display of leaves.Common Mallow

How to Get Rid of Common Mallow

Mallow produces a lot of seeds, so using a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring will help prevent seeds from germinating.

Too late? Broadleaf herbicides applied in mid-spring through early summer when the plant is young and actively growing can help, but mallow is a tough one.

How We Attack the Worst Lawn Weeds in Idaho

When you choose Lawn Buddies, you get one premium, six-visit lawn care program that includes everything your lawn needs to grow healthy and green, including weed control that’s perfectly timed throughout the year.

Most weeds are banished over the course of the six-step program.

But some extra-tough weeds like thistle, field bindweed, and black medic often require a different herbicide, which is an additional visit on top of the normal lawn treatment.

Controlling weeds is a process, not a one-shot deal.Lawn technician spot spraying weeds

A Healthy Lawn Helps Prevent Common Idaho Lawn Weeds

The best method of control for weeds is establishing healthy turf, including proper fertilizing, watering, and mowing.

Weeds hate a thick, healthy lawn. Dense grass crowds out weeds and blocks the sunlight their seeds need to sprout.

Weeds love to push through struggling lawns to take over weak spots. So your best line of defense is to keep your grass thick, lush. and healthy with a lawn care service annual maintenance program for healthy, strong roots. Then weed seeds will have a tougher time sprouting.

The Importance of Realistic Expectations

Here’s the thing about weeds. You’ll still see a few stray weeds in your lawn — even after you’ve paid us to come prevent and kill them.

The truth about any lawn care service is we can’t keep your yard completely weed free.


  • Weeds are shifty. They love to lurk in your lawn as seeds, sometimes for years, just waiting for the right conditions to come along.
  • Some resistant perennial weeds can take multiple herbicide applications over several seasons to control — even with the best weed control tactics.
  • Seeds, seeds, seeds. If your neighbor didn’t tend to his weeds, the seeds from his are happily blowing into your yard, and settling in to sprout. Birds drop them in your yard. They nestle in your dog’s fur when you’re out for a walk. You even track them into your yard on your shoes.
  • No herbicide kills every weed. No single herbicide, weeding technique or lawn care strategy works against all weeds. They come in too many varieties. Some succumb quickly to a treatment. Others hang on. And on. And on.
  • Herbicide breakdown. Nope, it’s not a catchy song title. If you notice more weeds along walkways and curbs, blame herbicide breakdown. High temperatures break down herbicides. So you might notice more weeds by hardscape areas that absorb heat, like concrete curbs, pavers and stone.

Battle Common Idaho Lawn Weeds with Lawn Buddies

Weeds are the worst. Getting rid of them can be complicated.

But if you want simple, hassle-free lawn care that offers quality core lawn care services for a healthy green lawn, it doesn’t get easier than Lawn Buddies.

No puzzling over a weed control visit here or a fertilizer treatment there. No stressing about which complicated combination of lawn care services is best for your lawn.

You don’t have time to fuss with all that. Give yourself a break.

Welcome to one premium, six-visit lawn care program that includes everything your Idaho lawn needs to grow healthy and green.

Fertilizer, weed treatments, and grub control, all wrapped up in six visits, each perfectly timed throughout the season, so your grass is green and strong and resists weeds.

Is Your Lawn Ready for a New Best Friend?

Stop worrying about weeds and partner with a company that makes lawn care easy.

Choose a professional lawn care service in the Idaho Falls, or Boise, ID area that bundles your yard’s most-needed treatments into one convenient, no-fuss plan that tells you the cost up front.

We’ve got your back.

Got a few minutes? That’s all you need to get started.

Then kick back and relax in your healthy, thriving yard.

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Image Source: Crabgrass, White Clover, Canada Thistle, Dandelion, Black Medic, Field Bindweed, Common Mallow

Is your lawn ready for a new best friend?

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