Minnesota Weeds

In previous blogs we have talked about how to get rid of stubborn nutsedge and Creeping Charlie. Now let’s look at some other notoriously difficult Minnesota weeds and how to identify and eliminate them.

Spurge Family

There are numerous varieties of spurge, but leafy spurge and creeping spurge are a couple of the most common spurge pests in Minnesota, so we will focus on those species.

Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula)

This weed can grow over 3 feet tall!
This weed can grow over 3 feet tall!


  •  Grows in bare spots on turf
  • Tiny yellow flowers which usually bloom in May or June
  • Extensive underground root system
  •  Stems and leaves release a milky fluid when broken
  •  Can grow in almost any soil conditions, but thrives in dry soil

How to get rid of it:

  • Can be controlled with broadleaf spray

Prostrate or Creeping Spurge (Euphorbia supina)

Creeping Spurge


  • Grows in bare spots on turf
  • Small, oval leaves
  • Found in very dry areas, most often along curbs and driveways

How to get rid of it:

  • Can be controlled with broadleaf spray
  • Has a central taproot, so if you only have a couple weeds, you can simply pull them straight up when the soil is moist


Oxalis or Yellow Woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta)

As with spurge, there are many, many kinds of oxalis, but we find yellow woodsorrel to be the most common nuisance in our customer’s yards.



  •  Similar to clover in appearance
  • Heart-shaped leaves
  • Bright yellow flowers
  • Grows in full sun or shade
  • Will often regrow after being pulled unless the entire root is removed

How to get rid of it:

  • Can be difficult to eradicate completely
  • Can be controlled with broadleaf spray

Crabgrass (Digitaria)



  • Wide, coarse, bright green blades
  • Grows in a circular pattern
  • Thrives in sunny conditions

How to prevent it:

  • Water consistently!
  • Keep a healthy, thick lawn – the crabgrass will have less space and therefore less opportunity to grow
  • If your soil is compacted, aerate in the fall (link to Yard aeration blog)

How to get rid of it:

  • Because it is a grass and not a broadleaf weed, broadleaf spray will not help
  • Must use a post-emergent spray specifically for crabgrass
  • A pre-emergent spray in the spring will also help to prevent crabgrass

Remember: A healthy lawn will crowd out weeds, so plenty of water and fertilization are the most important tools to keeping weeds at bay!


Why do we Fertilize?

[…] There are many factors that play into why your turf may not be healthy including drainage, sunlight, traffic, etc. An established fertilizer program can start to alleviate some of these problems, but is not a cure all. The best bet for your lawn becoming as healthy as it can be is to contact a professional and get an honest opinion on what is happening in your yard. […]

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