A weed is simply an unwanted plant or a plant growing out of place. There are different categories of weeds and proper identification helps determine the proper treatment. Herbicide treatments should always be applied per manufacturers’ labeled instructions and only for the weeds you have present. Caution should be taken when applying chemicals around trees. Over applying can cause increased pollution of stormwater runoff.


There are different categories of weed treatments. Understanding their purpose and applying them properly should be taken very seriously.

  • Non-Selective weed treatments are not selective of what they kill so caution should be taken to not spray the leaves of desired plants.
  • Selective weed treatments are specific as to what type of plant they will kill; however, caution should still be taken to not spray desired plants that the chemical may still affect.
  • Post-Emergent weed treatments are used to treat weeds that are already present. Apply per label instructions when weeds are green and actively growing.
  • Pre-Emergent weed treatments are used to stop weeds before they ever emerge from the soil; they are used to treat annual weeds. Apply pre-emergents around late September for winter weeds and around early March for summer weeds. Most pre-emergents control grassy annual weeds but might not be effective against broadleaf weeds. As always, follow label instructions.

Weed Identification


Broadleaf weeds have wider leaves with netted veins and can be identified by distinct leaf shapes depending on the species.


Grassy weeds have narrow leaves with parallel veins and round hollow stems. Seedlings can be difficult to identify, but most have similar control methods.


Sedges have narrow leaves and can look very similar to grasses, but can be easily identified by their triangular, solid stems. Sedges are also generally perennial which can affect their treatment options.

For more help identifying problem weeds in your lawn or landscape, visit us online aggieturf.tamu.edu/turfgrass-weeds/

Back to top