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I am trying to find out what this is growing in large patches in our lawn and choking out the grass. We are trying to find organic or natural means to get rid of it but it is spreading. Thank you. Nicole


Shiny Cudweed or Rabbit Tobacco Hi Nicole,
My best guess for the name of the weed in your lawn is Shiny Cudweed or Rabbit Tobacco (Gnaphalium spicatum). Shiny Cudweed is annual weed here in Connecticut. An annual weed goes through its complete life cycle in one year. It prefers dry, sandy, well drained, lean (very little nutrient content) soils. Most weeds thrive in this type of soil.

First things first - you get the soil in your lawn tested to find out the pH, organic content, Calcium/Magnesium ratio, etc. Without a soil test you would be shooting in the dark as to how to fix the problem.

Physical removal is an option to control this weed, but if nothing is done to improve the existing soil structure you will be wasting your time... the Shiny Cudweed will come back.

The basic soil structure of your soil needs to change from dry, sandy and lean to a soil that holds moisture with lots of organic matter and is full of nutrients and microorganisms. Fertilizing with a slow-release, organic fertilizer is the next step after improving the soil structure. Over time, as the health of the soil improves the Shiny Cudweed will naturally disappear because the soil has now become inhospitable to weed growth.

Sprigs and Twigs would be pleased to perform a soil test on your lawn. We have a completely organic lawn care protocol we follow to grow a safe and healthy lawn. Thank you for your question.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.


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